About the Wrecks Investigation Licence

Under section 8 of the Historic Wrecks Act 2001, there are three classes of licence that can be applied for.

  1. Pre-disturbance survey licence
  2. Licence to excavate on an OPEN wreck.
  3. Licence to excavate on a CLOSED wreck.

When applying for a licence please be aware that while the Historic Wrecks Authority (HWA) strives to meet monthly there are many times when this is not possible. The HWA currently meets the second Monday of every month except for the month of August.

Applications should be submitted as early as possible and ideally 5 months in advance of the projected start of the project. The earlier applications are received the easier it is to provide feedback or address any complications that may arise.

Applicants for licences for field schools should ensure that licences for field school activities have been granted before commitments are made to their students and local hosting institutions.

Applicants applying to have a licence renewed should be aware that their application will not be considered unless a field report for the last years activities has been submitted to the HWA. As per the signed declaration this is within six months of the completion of the project but for clarity within 7 months of the start of the project, whichever comes first.

Licence applicants must be in good standing before the Authority will consider a new application or renewal - all obligations under previous licences issued need to have been satisfactorily met.

A separate application needs to be made for each wreck, site or survey.

The HWA generally issues only one licence per applicant at any given time. The HWA is committed to building Local Capacity in the appreciation, celebration and exploration of Bermuda's Maritime Heritage underlining the recommendation that foreign applicants find ways to substantively include a local capacity building component in their plans.