Port of New Bedford

America's #1 Fishing Port

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Rates & Permits

NBPA Rates & Permit Information

Permits and Dockage Rates

Operational rules, including permit conditions and rates/fees are set by the NBPA Commissioners. The NBPA assesses user charges for private contractors and dockage as well as sets unloading fees for vessels that use its facilities or public infrastructure. The revenues are used to operate and maintain properties. Refer to NBPA Rules and Regulations.(Link Temporarily disabled)

Docking Permits

No vessel is allowed to dock at a pier or wharf under NBPA control without first obtaining a Docking Application. Only active commercial fishing vessels that are seaworthy and possess adequate insurance are eligible to obtain docking permits. Docking permits only allow the permit holder to tie up at a pier under NBPA administration. Tie up space is not necessarily alongside the cap log (for example, the vessel may be second or third boat abreast). The permit does not convey any rights to the vessel or permit holder to park vehicles or store other equipment inside the cap log area. The NBPA and the Harbor Master officials reserve the right to designate particular docking locations for vessels. Application requirements and fees for Docking Permits are described below.

Dockage rates are established by the Commission. Effective January 1, 2018, the dockage rates are:


  • $65.00 per foot


Unloading Fees

Unloading fees apply to fishing vessels that do not have annual Docking Permits (but otherwise are eligible for Docking Permits) and that are unloading catch at fish houses whose piers and/or bulkheads are maintained by the NBPA . For example, fishing vessels that unload catch at piers and/or bulkheads under NBPA jurisdiction and then leave port or berth at private docks are subject to unloading fees. See below for fee rates. Docking Permits include unloading and berthing at piers, wharves, and bulkheads under NBPA jurisdiction.

Off-loading rate for vessels that homeport, but just use NBPA infrastructure to off-load product; $1500.00/year.

Transient rates for berthing and off-loading

  • Dockage -  $200.00/day with annual cap of $65 per foot

User Permits

Private contractors who conduct business on city piers under NBPA administration must obtain a User Permit (a User Compliance Assurance Form) . Examples are contractors include welders, electricians, crane operators, and supply/delivery companies. Additional permits are required for any additional mobile units. Fees for User Permits are described below.

User (Daily) - $50.00
User (Annual) - $300.00
User (Additional Annual Mobile, Welding, Painting Rafts) - .$75.00

Other Harbor Users

Yachts, tugs, barges, or other vessels not classified as active commercial fishing vessels will not be issued docking permits and cannot dock at piers under NBPA jurisdiction without the prior permission of the Harbor Master officials and the Executive Director. To support additional port services, the NBPA licenses exclusive and non-exclusive use of several berths on the Central Waterfront. Licenses and fees for this very limited berth space are individually negotiated. Currently, these docking spaces are licensed to Cuttyhunk Water Taxi (a passenger/cargo ferry service) and Whaling City Launch Service.

Sponsors of regattas and races must obtain permission from the NBPA to operate in city waters at least 30 days before the event. No fee is usually required. Organizations wishing to use city piers and other facilities for weekend or holiday activities, such as concerts and festivals, also must obtain the prior permission of the NBPA . Although no fee is usually required for special events, organizers must provide the NBPA with a valid certificate of insurance in an amount specified by the NBPA . The City of New Bedford has permit requirements for special events.

Parking Program on NBPA Piers and Wharves

The Parking Program on NBPA Piers and Wharves is overseen by Marine Superintendents. The NBPA has implemented a parking program for its facilities. Visitor parking is available for up to two hours in designated parking spaces. All other users are charged parking fees as voted by the Commission currently set at $1 dollar per space per day. Violators of NBPA parking rules are fined $50 and can be towed.

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