Unless stated otherwise, routeing systems are recommended
for use by all ships and may be made mandatory for all ships,
certain categories of ships or ships carrying certain cargoes,
or types and quantities of bunker fuel.
Routeing systems are intended for use by day and by night
in all weathers, in ice-free waters or under light ice conditions
where no extraordinary manoeuvres or icebreaker assistance
Bearing in mind the need for adequate under-keel clearance,
a decision to use a routeing system must take into account
the charted depth, the possibility of changes in the sea-bed
since the time of the last survey, and the effects of meteorological
and tidal conditions on water depths.
A ship navigating in or near a traffic separation scheme adopted
by IMO shall in particular comply with rule 10 of the 1972
Collision Regulations to minimize the development of risk
of collision with another ship. The other rules of the 1972
Collision Regulations apply in all respects, and particularly
the rules of part B, sections II and III, if risk of collision
with another ship is deemed to exist.
At junction points where traffic from various directions
meets, a true separation of traffic is not really possible,
as ships may need to cross routes or change to another route.
Ships should therefore navigate with great caution in such
areas and be aware that the mere fact that a ship is proceeding
along a through-going route gives that ship no special privilege
or right of way.
A deep-water route is primarily intended for use by ships
which, because of their draught in relation to the available
depth of water in the area concerned, require the use of such
a route. Through traffic to which the above consideration
does not apply should, as far as practicable, avoid using
Precautionary areas should be avoided, if practicable, by
passing ships not making use of the associated traffic separation
schemes or deep-water routes, or entering or leaving adjacent
In two-way routes, including two-way deep-water routes,
ships should as far as practicable keep to the starboard side.
Arrows printed on charts in connection with routeing systems
merely indicate the general direction of established or recommended
traffic flow; ships need not set their courses strictly along
The signal YG, meaning "You appear not to be complying
with the traffic separation scheme" is provided in
the International Code of Signals for appropriate use.