Maritime Ireland

Maritime Ireland


Ireland is a nation of seafarers, we are an island nation with a strong maritime tradition.

Ireland’s Ocean Economy is a strategic priority for the government with a Development Task force specifically tasked with developing a global marine market for shipping services, seafood, tourism, oil and gas and renewable ocean energy.

Membership Organisations

The Irish Maritime Law Association

The Irish Maritime Law Association is a non-government, not-for-profit, legal organisation established in Dublin in 1963. It promotes the study and development of Irish Maritime and Mercantile Law and considers and promote proposals for the unification of international maritime and mercantile law and practice. It is the national branch of the Comité Maritime International, of which it is an active participant.

Nautical Institute Ireland

The Nautical Institute Ireland is the Irish arm of the Nautical Institute. The Nautical Institute is an international representative body for maritime professionals. It aims to provide the strongest possible professional focus, dedicated to improving standards of those involved in control of seagoing craft, while maintaining the Institute as an international centre of nautical excellence.

Irish Chamber of Shipping

The Irish Chamber of Shipping is Ireland’s principal trade association for the shipping industry; it is a membership organisation and represents ship-owners and operators in all sectors and trades in Ireland. The Irish Chamber of Shipping is Ireland’s representative on European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the International Chamber of Shipping.

The Irish Institute of Master Mariners

The Irish Institute of Master Mariners (IIMM) is a non-political membership organisation of qualified mariners. Its aim is to promote safe, efficient and professional conduct in the public and commercial maritime sectors in Ireland and internationally. The IIMM is a member of the International Federation of Shipmaster's Associations and the Confederation of European Shipmaster's Associations.

Ireland Ship Agents’ Association

The Irish Ship Agents Association is a not for profit, membership organisation with members across Ireland. It represents the interests of the overall ship agents industry in Ireland, providing a collective voice to government and industry. The ISAA is the national branch of FONASBA (the Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents) and of BRISCOM (the Association of British and Irish Ship Agents).


The Irish Marine Energy Research Clusteris an innovation hub promoting Ireland as a world renowned research and development location. IMERC is based in Cork. It is concentrated on key sub sectors: Marine Energy, Maritime ICT, Maritime Security & Safety, Shipping Logistics & Transport and Yachting Products & Services. It is comprised of SMEs and Multinational corporations all leading sector relating R&D projects.

WISTA (Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association)

Irish women can currently only join WISTA UK, as, unfortunately, there is no WISTA Ireland. However, if you are interested in taking part in establishing WISTA Ireland please let us know and we’ll connect you directly with like-minded people.

YPSN (Young Professionals in Shipping Network)

Irish young professionals can currently only join YPSN UK, as, unfortunately, there is no YSPN Ireland. However, if you are interested in taking part in establishing YPSN Ireland, we would be delighted to hear from you and can connect you directly with like-minded people.

Association of Marine Pilots of Ireland

The Association of Marine Pilots of Ireland are a non profit organisation who promote professionalism among pilots in Ireland. They work closely with the European Marine Pilots Association and the International Marine Pilots Association to exchange and disseminate information to members with the goal of improving professional and technical proficiency.



The OECD’s ‘Education at a Glance’ report update in 2015 shows Ireland as having one of the highest levels of education in the world up to the age of 34. With a wide range of multilingual skills readily available, the Irish workforce is characterised by high skills, innovation and flexibility.

Ireland’s National Maritime College, in Cork, offers courses in Nautical Science, Marine Engineering and Marine Electrotechnology. It is a state of the art facility which provides training for Ireland’s Merchant Navy, the Irish Naval Service and bespoke commercial training courses.  Third level institutions around the country offer other marine and logistics based degree programmes and are starting to introduce maritime modules to core course options.

Full details can be found in the Education section of the website which also includes a list of all maritime jobs currently being advertised in Ireland.

Ship Registration

The Marine Survey Office (MSO) is responsible for flag state regulatory control in Ireland, which is part of the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport. The MSO is responsible for the implementation of all national and international legislation in relation to safety of shipping and the prevention of pollution of the marine environment from ship-based sources. The General Register of Ships is maintained by the Mercantile Marine Office, part of the MSO. The Irish flag is white listed on the Paris MoU.

Exceptions may occur, however, as a general guideline in order to register a commercial ship in Ireland the owner or majority owner must be a national of an EU Member State or a body corporate established under and subject to the law of an EU Member State and having its principal place of business in an EU Member State.  The registration of the vessel is also subject to meeting a number of prescribed standards and conditions.  The registration of vessels in Ireland is subject to the Mercantile Marine Act 1955, as amended.

Recreational boating and watersports
The Irish Sailing Association (ISA) is the national governing body representing sailing, windsurfing, power boating and personal watercraft in Ireland. It advises on all aspects of boating safety and has a network of teaching establishments that offer training for leisure craft.

Inland waterways
Waterways Ireland is the agency responsible for the maintenance and development of inland navigable waterways in Ireland, mainly for recreational purposes. It is also responsible for the enforcement of the navigational rules or bye-laws applying to the waterways under its remit.

Tonnage Tax

Ireland has a highly competitive tonnage tax regime in place. For a vessel registered under Irish Tonnage Tax a notional profit is assigned to it based on its net tonnage. That profit is then taxed at the standard corporate tax rate of 12.5%.

Some of the main benefits of the Irish Tonnage Tax regime:

•    Nominal taxation on notional profits
•    Stability and certainty for companies
•    Broad definition of qualifying income
•    Flag blind
•    Ship management companies also qualify
•    No capital gains tax on shipping assets
•    Permanent reduction in tax liability, not a deferral
•    Wide range of profits covered and exempt from regular taxation
•    No obligation to provide training berths
•    Up to 75% of the fleet’s tonnage may be chartered in
Irish Tonnage Tax Calculator


Full details on the regime are available here: Irish Tonnage Tax – opportunities for the international shipping industry


Irish port traffic account for over 90% of imports and exports moved in and out of Ireland and facilitate an annual average of 4.5 million foot and car passengers over the past five years.

Irish ports offer transport services, facilities and maritime supply chain solutions to a number of industry sectors. A list of ports both in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland is available below:

Republic Of Ireland Port Companies

Bantry Bay Port Company

Bantry Bay is a dedicated transshipment port. Bantry Bay as a port facility offers fuel processing services, Tanker and Cruise ship anchorage and marine leisure services. For more information on Bantry Bay Port Company visit

Drogheda Port

Drogheda Port is one of Ireland’s multi modal ports and is strategically located on the east coast with direct motorway access to the country’s key industrial and commercial centres. Drogheda Port provides facilities for both general freight and container services and can handle virtually any type of cargo ranging from Containers, Paper, Steel, Timber, Fertilizer, Grains, Petroleum and Liquefied Petroleum Gas. The port's position on the east coast of Ireland provides a major geographical advantage for transport links in to and out of Ireland. Drogheda Port has very strong short-sea trade links with Europe, Scandinavia and the Baltic states. For more information on Drogheda Port Company visit

Dublin Port Company

Dublin Port Company provides world-class facilities, services, accommodation and lands in the harbour for ships, goods and passengers. Located in Dublin city centre. Dublin Port handles almost 50% of the Republic of Ireland’s trade, two thirds of all containerised trade and is the largest of the three base ports on the island of Ireland, the others being Belfast and Cork. Dublin Port also handles over 1.76 million tourists through the ferry companies operating at the port and through the cruise vessels calling to the port. For more information on Dublin Port Company visit

Dun Laoghaire Port Company

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) is the statutory commercial body charged with developing Dun Laoghaire Harbour as a marine tourism gateway to Ireland. Dun Laoghaire Harbour offers both commercial development opportunities and passenger ferry and cruise ship facilities. For more information on Dun Laoghaire Port Company visit

Dundalk Port Company

Dundalk Port Company offers general break bulk cargo handling facilities. The port is currently under the management of Dublin Port Company; however the enactment of the 2015 Harbours Bill made the future transfer of management of the port to Louth County Council possible. For more information on Dundalk Port, please visit

Greenore Port

Greenore Port is Ireland's only privately owned commercial port. Greenore Port offers facilities to handle commodities including bulk animal feed, fertiliser, coal, steel, timber and general cargo. Greenore Port is owned by RS Burke’s Shipping Company. For more information on Greenore Port visit

New Ross Port

The Port of New Ross in the south east of Ireland is the country’s only inland port. Located on both sides of the River Barrow, the port offers a range of facilities and is experienced in handling petroleum products, animal feedstuffs and fertiliser, cement, coal, timber, ore, steel and general cargo. The shipping channel on the river was increased to handle vessels sized up to 6,000 tonnes.

Shannon Foynes Port Company

Shannon Foynes Port is Ireland’s second largest port operation. The port company provides a variety of cargo handling services over six port terminals, and also provides warehousing and logistics support. Shannon Foynes Port has the capacity to handle the largest vessels entering Irish waters up to 200,000 dwt. SFPC specialises in bulk cargoes and accounts for more than 35% of all bulk cargoes in the Republic. Typical cargoes include liquid fuels and chemicals, ores, coal and other energy products, animal feedstuffs and fertilisers, recyclable materials and project cargoes, including wind turbines for wind energy projects. For more information on Shannon Foynes Port Company visit

Port of Cork

The Port of Cork is a key seaport in the south of Ireland. The port services the requirements of all six shipping modes ranging from Lift-on Lift-off, Roll-on Roll-off, Liquid Bulk, Dry Bulk, Break Bulk to Cruise vessels. Port of Cork is currently undertaking a planned €80 Million redevelopment of the port facilities in Ringaskiddy . The project aims to play a catalytic role in the achievement of the strategy for the sustainable development of the Cork Region and Hinterland. For more information on the Port of Cork, visit

Port of Galway

Galway Harbour is located in the area of Galway City. Port of Galway offers facilities for general break bulk cargo as well as offshore and unitized cargo handling facilities. Galway Harbour also has discharge underground pipeline facilities for Petroleum Products and for Bitumen. For more information on Galway Harbour visit

Port Of Waterford

Port Of Waterford is geographically the closest Irish multi-modal port to continental Europe, while also being within two hours of the major cities in Ireland. Port Of Waterford offers facilities to handle unitized, liquid and break bulk, renewable and gas energy cargoes for the off-shore industry and also provides terminal access for the cruise ship sector. For more information on Port Of Waterford visit

Rosslare Europort

Rosslare Europort is the closest point from the southern part of Ireland to the UK and the European Mainland. The Port is a hub of all the major Ro/Ro Passenger and Freight services operating the southern Irish Sea and Continental routes. Rosslare Europort offers scheduled passenger ferry services to Wales and the French mainland, unaccompanied unitized cargo services to France and also offers rail terminal facilities quay side. For more information on Rosslare Europort visit

Wicklow Harbour

Wicklow Harbour is a tidal port at the mouth of the Leitrim River. Cargo operations are carried out at the packet pier and river berths on the North & South Quays. Wicklow Port specialises in handling bundled timber, paper, lead, plasterboard, steel and dry bulk cargoes, principally coal. Other general and heavy lift cargoes can be accommodated. For more information on Wicklow Harbour visit


Northern Ireland Port Companies

Belfast Harbour Company

Belfast Harbour is Northern Ireland's principal maritime gateway and logistics hub, Belfast Harbour is Northern Ireland's leading dry bulk maritime terminal and the port has made significant capital investment in purpose built storage accommodation for major break bulk commodities. Break bulk goods handled by the port include printing paper, timber and steel products. For more information on Belfast Harbour Company visit

Port of Larne

The Port of Larne offers facilities for both passenger and freight customers to and from the island of Ireland and Scotland. The Port of Larne provides cargo handling facilities for driver accompanied freight cargo traffic, unaccompanied freight cargo traffic, hazardous cargo and heavy haulage project cargo. For more information on Port Of Larne visit

Warrenpoint Harbour Authority

Warrenpoint Port is is Northern Ireland's second maritime gateway in terms of cargo volumes and offers facilities for Ro/Ro, Dry Bulk and Break Bulk cargoes. For more information on Warrenpoint Harbour Authority visit



As an island nation, Ireland is heavily dependent on shipping. There are a range of services operating between Ireland and other European ports.

A full list of operators and routes can be found here.

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