Regulation 10 - Ships' Routeing


  • Contracting Governments to refer ships' routeing systems to IMO for adoption.
  • Routeing systems to adhere to measures adopted by IMO
  • Ships to use mandatory routeing systems unless there is a compelling reason not to.
  • Details of IMO-adopted schemes are contained in Resolution A.572(14), as amended.
Regulation 10
1. Ships' routeing systems contribute to safety of life at sea, safety and efficiency of navigation and/or protection of the marine environment. Ships' routeing systems are recommended for use by, and may be made mandatory for, all ships, certain categories of ships or ships carrying certain cargoes, when adopted and implemented in accordance with the guidelines and criteria developed by the Organization.*
2. The Organization is recognized as the only international body for developing guidelines, criteria and regulations on an international level for ships' routeing systems. Contracting Governments shall refer proposals for the adoption of ships' routeing systems to the Organization. The Organization will collate and disseminate to Contracting Governments all relevant information with regard to any adopted ships' routeing systems.
3. The initiation of action for establishing a ships' routeing system is the responsibility of the Government or Governments concerned. In developing such systems for adoption by the Organization, the guidelines and criteria developed by the Organization * shall be taken into account.
4. Ships' routeing systems should be submitted to the Organization for adoption. However, a Government or Governments implementing ships' routeing systems not intended to be submitted to the Organization for adoption or which have not been adopted by the Organization are encouraged to take into account, wherever possible, the guidelines and criteria developed by the Organization.*
5. Where two or more Governments have a common interest in a particular area, they should formulate joint proposals for the delineation and use of a routeing system therein on the basis of an agreement between them. Upon receipt of such proposal and before proceeding with consideration of it for adoption, the Organization shall ensure that details of the proposal are disseminated to the Governments which have a common interest in the area, including countries in the vicinity of the proposed ships' routeing system.
6. Contracting Governments shall adhere to the measures adopted by the Organization concerning ships' routeing. They shall promulgate all information necessary for the safe and effective use of adopted ships' routeing systems. A Government or Governments concerned may monitor traffic in those systems. Contracting Governments shall do everything in their power to secure the appropriate use of ships' routeing systems adopted by the Organization.
7. A ship shall use a mandatory ships' routeing system adopted by the Organization as required for its category or cargo carried and in accordance with the relevant provisions in force unless there are compelling reasons not to use a particular ships' routeing system. Any such reason shall be recorded in the ships' log.
8. Mandatory ships' routeing systems shall be reviewed by the Contracting Government or Governments concerned in accordance with the guidelines and criteria developed by the Organization.*
9. All adopted ships' routeing systems and actions taken to enforce compliance with those systems shall be consistent with international law, including the relevant provisions of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
10. Nothing in this regulation nor its associated guidelines and criteria shall prejudice the rights and duties of Governments under international law or the legal regimes of straits used for international navigation and archipelagic sea lanes.

* Refer to the General Provisions on Ships' Routeing adopted by the Organization by resolution A.572(14), as amended.

MCA Guidance
1. IMO Resolution A.572(14) (as amended) sets out the General Provisions on Ships' Routeing which are followed by Contracting Governments when submitting routeing schemes for consideration. "IMO Ships' Routeing" contains details of all IMO-adopted ships' routeing schemes as well as the General Provisions. All details of adopted schemes are shown on the relevant UKHO charts, with any special requirements set out in chart notes. Paragraphs 1 to 6 lay down the requirements and procedures for submitting proposals for schemes.
2. Paragraph 7 refers to mandatory ships' routeing systems with which ships must comply. These are the IMO adopted systems for mandatory use by ships or certain categories of ships. Such a system will be shown on official navigational charts as a "Mandatory Ships' Routeing System". The only example of such a system in or adjacent to UK waters is in the southern North Sea where there is a mandatory route for tankers from North Hinder to the German Bight and vice versa. Part of the route passes through UK jurisdictional waters. (Refer to "IMO Ships' Routeing", Part G, Section II/1-1.)
3. For further information on use and observance of IMO-adopted ships' routeing systems refer to: ANNEX 5- Use of IMO-adopted Routeing Systems.

For MCA Guidance on use of Traffic Separation Schemes refer to MGN 200 - Observance of Traffic Separation Schemes

See also the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea,1972,(as amended) which are contained in MSN 1781 and MSN 1781(amnd)

5. "IMO Ships' Routeing" is published by IMO, London, ISBN 92-801-6100-8


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