Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS & ERS)

VMS became mandatory for all European fishing vessels in excess of 12 metres length overall with effect from 1 January 2012. 

Although Member States were allowed grant exemptions from this requirement for vessels between 12 and 15 metres, as the competent authority in Ireland, the SFPA decided that in general there would be no exemptions given to Irish fishing vessels from the requirement to have VMS fitted. Only the following vessel is not presently required to have VMS fitted:


All other Irish fishing vessels with a LOA greater than 12 metres that proceed to sea must have VMS fitted and operational.

Electronic Recording & Reporting Systems (ERS)

Irish fishing vessels greater than 12 metres are fitted with ERS. There are exemptions in place for two groups of vessels:

  • Vessels used exclusively for aquaculture, in accordance with Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 404/2011, CHAPTER II, Section 1, Article 36, para 2 
  • Vessels between 12 and 15 metre length overall where the vessel is operated exclusively within the territorial seas of the flag state or never spends more than 24 hours at sea from the time of departure to the return to port, in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009, CHAPTER I, Section 1, Article 22, para 3. A list of vessel granted exemptions is available here: 12-15m FVs Granted an Exemption from ERS (last updated 4 Jan 2023).

The above groups of vessels have been exempted from the  requirements outlined in Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 404/2011 in relation to ERS

A list of Irish fishing vessels fitted with ERS last updated on 2nd November 2020 is available here:


Exchange of information

The Irish ERS hub is exchanging ERS data with Norway regarding Irish fishing vessels operating in Norwegian waters and Norwegian fishing vessels operating in Irish waters through the European Hub since February 2011. The Irish ERS hub is live with the European Commission Data Exchange Highway since 26 October 2011. This allows Ireland to exchange relevant ERS data with other European Member States and Norway.

Contact us

Tel: +353 (0) 23 885 9300