Navigation authority

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A navigation authority is a company or statutory body which is concerned with the management of a navigable canal or river.

Rights of a navigation authority[edit]

Whilst the rights of individual authorities vary, a navigation authority will typically have a right to:

  • Implement a registration or licensing scheme for boats on waterways under their control
  • Levy a licence fee, tolls or both on vessels using the waterway
  • Lay down rules regarding the manner in which vessels shall be navigated.[1]

Responsibilities of a navigation authority[edit]

Again, responsibilities vary, but will usually include:

  • Maintaining locks and other structures
  • Dredging the channel
  • Flood control

Ownership of the waterway[edit]

Whilst a navigation authority may own the land over which the waterway runs, and usually does in the case of artificial waterways, this is not invariably the case, and particularly in the case of river navigations, the land beneath the river may belong to riparian landowners.

List of navigation authorities[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

Major authorities[edit]

Minor authorities[edit]

Other bodies[edit]


The Netherlands[edit]

United States[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ British Transport Commission. "General Canal Byelaws 1965" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-10-12.