12 - Vessel Traffic Services
Governments to establish VTS where traffic volume or risks justify
to follow guidelines adopted by IMO
can only be mandatory in territorial seas
to be encouraged by Administrations to use VTS
Vessel traffic services (VTS) contribute to safety of life
at sea, safety and efficiency of navigation and protection
of the marine environment, adjacent shore areas, work sites
and offshore installations from possible adverse effects of
Governments undertake to arrange for the establishment of
VTS where, in their opinion, the volume of traffic or the
degree of risk justifies such services.
Governments planning and implementing VTS shall, wherever
possible, follow the guidelines developed by the Organization*.
The use of VTS may only be made mandatory in sea areas within
the territorial seas of a coastal State.
Governments shall endeavour to secure the participation in,
and compliance with, the provisions of vessel traffic services
by ships entitled to fly their flag.
in this regulation or the guidelines adopted by the Organization
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 Guidelines on
Vessel Traffic Services adopted by the Organization by resolution
Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) are provided world-wide to improve
navigational safety and efficiency, safety of life at sea
and protection of the marine environment. There are two types
of VTS: Port and Coastal, and there is a clear distinction
between the two. A Port (or river) VTS is a service provided
when entering or leaving ports or harbours or when sailing
along rivers or through waters which restrict the manoeuvring
of ships. A Coastal VTS is mainly concerned with vessel traffic
passing through a sea area. Reference is made to the IMO Guidelines
for VTS (Resolution A.857 (20)), which offer guidance on design
and operation of VTS systems.
most ports and within territorial seas, participation in VTS
is mandatory under local regulations. Information on available
Vessel Traffic Services is given in the Admiralty List of
Radio Signals (ALRS) Volume 6 parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 and the
IALA VTS Manual. MCA strongly urges all UK ships to make use
of any VTS that is provided. The MCA will keep compliance
of vessels with VTS under review and if performance is considered
unacceptable, a more regulatory approach may be taken.
Guidelines on Vessel Traffic Services (Resolution A857(20))
and MSC/Circular 952 make reference to the IALA Guidelines
on VTS - see IALA Website http://www.iala-aism.org/
should also be made to the following Merchant Guidance Notices,
which explain the relevant Guidelines set out in IMO Resolution A857(20)
and MSC/Circular 952:
401 (M&F) - Navigation: Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) and Local Port Services (LPS) in the United Kingdom
401 (M&F) Amendment - Navigation: Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) and Local Port Services (LPS) in the United Kingdom
434 (M+F) - Navigation: Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) - Training and Certification of VTS Personnel