Routeing measures approved at IMO's Safety of Navigation (NAV) meeting

Further to our article in Weekly NEWS No. 28 of 8 July 2004 on the compulsory pilotage debate held during the meeting of the IMO’s Sub-committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV) last week, a number of routeing measures were also approved on the final day of the meeting.

As a consequence of the Western European Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) proposal, which was agreed in principle last December by the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), NAV was tasked with assessing the mandatory reporting system which had been proposed as an associated protective measure for this PSSA.

Known as the West European Tanker Reporting System (WETREP), the system was approved by the Sub-committee and will apply to all tankers greater than 600 tonnes deadweight carrying a cargo of heavy crude oil or heavy fuel oil, as defined below. The states which proposed the reporting system have guaranteed that ships would only have to submit the report once, on entry into the PSSA, and that this would negate the need to report again when the ship is within the PSSA area. The system, pending adoption in December, will enter into force on 1 July 2005.

Despite industry comment advocating the use of AIS (Automatic Identification System) in preference to the reporting system, the Sub-committee agreed that the WETREP system should be tabled for approval by the Maritime Safety Committee.

The following new routeing systems were also approved:

  • New Traffic Separation Scheme in the Approaches to the Cape Fear River (North Carolina, U.S.A);
  • The establishment of New Recommended Traffic Separation Schemes off Mina Al-Ahmadi (Kuwait).

While amendments to the following existing traffic separation schemes (TSS) were also approved:

  • TSS in Puget Sound and its Approaches in HaroStrait, BoundaryPass, and in the Strait of Georgia (U.S.A.);
  • TSS in the Approaches to Chesapeake Bay (U.S.A.);
  • New traffic Lanes for Ships carrying Dangerous or Pollutant Cargoes in Bulk “Off Cape Roca” and “Off Cape S. Vicente” (Portugal);
  • Revoking the existing TSS “Off Berlengas” (Portugal);
  • TSS “In the Approaches to Puerto San Martin/Puerto Pisco” (Peru).

Three further routeing measures other than TSS were also approved:

  • The Establishment of an Area to be Avoided and a No-anchoring Area in the West Cameron Area of the Northwest Gulf of Mexico;
  • An amendment to the Notes for the Deep-water Route in the Southern approach to Chesapeake Bay;
  • The establishment of an Area to be Avoided in the Region of the BerlengasIslands (Portugal).

The above new measures and amendments will now be forwarded to the Maritime Safety Committee for adoption and specification of an entry into force date. Click here to download a copy of the draft coordinates and relevant details .

In addition to the routeing measures, more technical discussions also saw the Sub-Committee encouraging the continued use of the IMO guidelines on correctly entering ship data when installing AIS, noting in particular the Safety of Navigation Circular, SN/Cir.227.

Contact: Howard Snaith

Contact: Tim Wilkins