The light dues collected from commercial vessels when they visit an Irish port contribute to the provision and maintenance of aids to navigation (AtoN) around the Irish coastline.
They are collected in the Republic of Ireland, on behalf of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, by the Revenue Commissioners who issue light dues certificates to the shipowners or their agents.
We are a not-for-profit organisation and, along with Trinity House (England & Wales) and the Northern Lighthouse Board (Scotland and the Isle of Man). Light dues paid by commercial shipping entering ports in Ireland and the UK are a key source of income for the three General Lighthouse Authorities.
Current light dues rates
Republic of Ireland (for commercial vessels as of 1st April 2010): 60 cent per net tonne (Euro)
UK and Northern Ireland (for commercial vessels as of 1st April 2021): 38.5 pence per net tonne (Sterling)
- The rate is applied to the net registered tonnage (NRT) of the vessel.
- There is a minimum and maximum payment.
- A tonnage cap of 40,000 tonnes applies.
- One charge is made each month.
- A maximum of nine voyages is chargeable in any financial year.
The structure and level of light dues in the Republic of Ireland are determined annually by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. The rate for Ireland is reviewed under an order of the Merchant Shipping (Light Dues) Act 1983, Section 2.
How it all works
The General Lighthouse Authorities (GLAs) encompassing the Commissioners of Irish Lights, Trinity House, and the Northern Lighthouse Board operate an integrated system of marine aids to navigation around Britain and Ireland. The GLAs also operate a unified policy and collection system for light dues.
All light dues collected in the UK and Ireland are pooled in a central fund, the General Lighthouse Fund (GLF), which is administered by the Secretary of State in the Department for Transport in London. The GLF releases operating funds to Trinity House, the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Commissioners of Irish Lights.
Under an agreement reached between the Irish and UK authorities in 1985, light dues collected at Irish ports are supplemented by an annual Irish Government Exchequer contribution to the GLF.