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Maritime Forum

Licensing Toolkit - Sweden


Avg. duration: highly variable (6 months to 2 years)  Validity: variable (on request) Legal cost: Depends on the cost of the water activity plus deposit Authority in charge: Länsstyrelsen (County Administrative Board) and/or Mark och Miljödomstolen (Land and Environment Court)



Process Phase Duration Overview of tasks
Preparation 1-3 months

Project definition (location, target size, type of equipment and techniques, potential impacts, etc.)

Pre-engagement with stakeholders  

Documentation preparation (prepare application and pay application fee)
Process phase Duration Key tasks Challenges
Project definition  
  • Assess the farm’s expected impacts on the environment, natural resources, and social impact.
  • Define the project including location, target size, type of equipment and techniques to be used and create a conceptual farm sketch. Understand the current land use plan of the envisioned site of your seaweed farm.
  • Ensure you have or can obtain the right to the water. 
  • Any activities with a surface area below 0.3 do not need a licence. However, a notification must be submitted and accepted by Länsstyrelsen before the water activities can start. This process takes around 4 months.
  • Is it often unclear were the exact boundary's of private/public waters are, as described by this report:…
  • Developing an in-depth understanding of the year-round characterises of your side is challenging due to the limited available data, and difficult to measure metrics. This can cause a limited understanding of location specifications and impact of the water activity.

Pre-engagement with stakeholders 

  • Pre-engagement with local stakeholders is not mandatory, but highly encouraged since a local objection can block your license application.
  • Involve authorities like the municipality, Sjöfartsverket and authorities for protected areas.
  • Plan to reach out to local interest groups, like fish farmers, fishers, boating- and homeowners associations.

Documentation preparation

  • Compile the information required Section 8 of the Environmental Assessment Ordinance (2017:966) as an application for water activities and submit to the e-service of Länsstyrelsen. 


Process Phase Duration Overview of tasks
Public consultation & licence draft Minimum 9 months (high variable)

Advertisement and public consultation

Remediation/address feedback  

Licence draft including conditions

Process phase Duration Key tasks Challenges
Application initiation

60 days

  • Send in the developed application to Länsstyrelsen including all information per Section 8 of the Environmental Assessment Ordinance (2017:966)
  • The local municipality will validate the completeness of your aquaculture application and that it is in accordance with the land use plan.
  • In case the area in located in public water, request the right to the water at Kammarkollegiet.
  • If any information is missing, the local municipality will contact you. Be sure to respond promptly.
Advertisement and public consultation >3 weeks
  • Länsstyrelsen will provide details on the required size of the consulting circle. Send out information regarding the planned activities to all public, business and individual stakeholders.
  • Advertise the consultation in local newspaper
  • Organise a consulting meetings to give stakeholders the opportunity to ask questions regarding the water activities. 
  • Send a repost of the received comments to Länsstyrelsen. Any adjustments for the planned water activities based on the received comment must be reported as well.
  • Large consulting circle is required to ensure all impacted stakeholders are given the opportunity to comment. 
Governmental validation >6 months (variable)
  • Land and the Environment Court is in charge of evaluating the planned activities according to the Swedish Environmental Code. Pay the administration fee (varies based on the planned activities).
  • If any questions arise, be sure to respond promptly (a court ruling typically takes 6-9 months).
Remediation / address feedback 3 months
  • Stakeholders are given the opportunity to provide feedback and comments are the licence.
  • Be sure to respond promptly.


Process Phase Duration Overview of tasks
Installation Minimum 1 month



Process phase Duration Key tasks Challenges

3-5 weeks

  • Apply for SSA (sjösäkerhetsanordning) at Transportstyrelsen. Place SSA buoys and submit installation report to Sjöfartsverket.
  • Place the required bank guarantee (depending on the size of the water activity). In case of bankruptcy, this bank guarantee is used to clean the infrastructure of water activity. 
  • It takes several weeks before the safety markers appear on the sea charts. For optimal safety, they are installed a month before the water activity starts.
  • Install the infrastructure for the water activity as descripted in the licence, within the determined area. 
  • Any major change to the infrastructure or design of the water activity must be reported to Länsstyrelsen. Länsstyrelsen will decide if a new impact assessment process must be started. 
  • Länsstyrelsen has the right to revoke the license at all times according to the miljöbalken Ch. 24 § 1


For any questions or additional information related to this Licensing Toolkit for Sweden, please contact Izabela Alias at Izabela [dot] Aliasatjordbruksverket [dot] se (Izabela[dot]Alias[at]jordbruksverket[dot]se).


Contact us to be featured as a fellow farmer

Are you a Swedish seaweed farmer, or in the last strives of establishing your seaweed farm? If so, we would be interested in featuring you here as an inspiring example for future seaweed farmers. If you would like to be showcased, please contact us at: contactateu4algae [dot] eu (contact[at]eu4algae[dot]eu)