Regulation 13 - Establishment and operation of aids to navigation


  • Contracting Governments to -
    • provide appropriate aids to navigation
    • take into account international recommendations and guidelines
    • arrange for information on aids to navigation to be made available
Regulation 13
1. Each Contracting Government undertakes to provide, as it deems practical and necessary either individually or in co-operation with other Contracting Governments, such aids to navigation as the volume of traffic justifies and the degree of risk requires.
2. In order to obtain the greatest possible uniformity in aids to navigation, Contracting Governments undertake to take into account the international recommendations and guidelines* when establishing such aids.
3. Contracting Governments undertake to arrange for information relating to aids to navigation to be made available to all concerned. Changes in the transmissions of position-fixing systems which could adversely affect the performance of receivers fitted in ships shall be avoided as far as possible and only be effected after timely and adequate notice has been promulgated.

* Refer to the appropriate recommendations and guidelines of IALA and SN/Circ.107 - Maritime Buoyage System

MCA Guidance
1. Regulation 13 sets out the obligations on Contracting Governments to provide aids to navigation in accordance with the international recommendations and Guidelines published by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouses (IALA)
2. The General Lighthouse Authorities (GLAs) are responsible for the superintendence and management of all aids to navigation around the coast of the UK and the Republic of Ireland (ROI), in their respective areas, subject to certain provisions regarding aids to navigation in Local Lighthouse Authority Areas. This means that the UK and ROI as Contracting Governments look to the GLAs to advise on and discharge the Government's obligations under this Regulation. The GLAs comprise:
  • Trinity House Lighthouse Service for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar,

  • The Northern Lighthouse Board responsible for the coast of Scotland and adjacent islands, and the Isle of Man.

  • The Commissioners of Irish Lights, for the coast the whole of Ireland.
3. The GLAs are funded by light dues levied on mainly commercial ships calling at ports in the UK and ROI. The central fund (the General Lighthouse Fund) is administered by the Department for Transport.

Further information including the IALA Guidelines can be found on the IALA Website:

Information on the GLAs can be found on their respective websites as follows:


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