Vessel traffic management, electronic nautical publications and safety information for owners, operators of ships, yachts, fishing vessels.
Vessel traffic management can involve vessel traffic services or local port services.
Vessel traffic services (VTS) is an important tool in contributing to:
VTS is made up of one or more of three service types:
A local port service is where VTS is considered excessive, but there is still a need to disseminate information to those using the port. This is not a lower standard or poorer service – it just means that VTS is not provided.
Refer to the following guidance for more information about VTS and local port services:
MCA is responsible for broadcasting the warnings issued by the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) to vessels at sea. Radio broadcasts are made about known and potential risks.
MCA produces information leaflets for seafarers on ships, yachts and fishing vessels. Find safety leaflets about navigation, communication and safety at sea.
Ship operators and owners must meet approval and installation standards for electronic equivalents of nautical charts and publications.
The safety of life at sea (SOLAS) convention chapter V regulation 126.96.36.199 states that all ships whatever their size must have “nautical charts and nautical publications to plan and display the ship’s route for the intended voyage and to plot and monitor positions throughout the voyage” and that “an electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) is also accepted as meeting the chart carriage requirements”.
SOLAS chapter V regulation 2.2 defines that a nautical chart or nautical publication as “a special-purpose map or book, or a specially compiled database from which such a map or book is derived, that is issued officially by or on the authority of a government, authorised hydrographic office or other relevant government institution and is designed to meet the requirements of marine navigation”.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) makes exemptions or alternative arrangements from the requirements for certain types of vessel, for example:
As well as nautical charts and publications covered under the regulations, MCA also recognises products which satisfy certain carriage requirements.
Check out MCA’s‘equivalency letters’ to find out which products are MCA approved as meeting requirements.
Contact MCA if you’re a service provider of digital nautical data and you’d like us to consider your product as satisfying certain carriage requirements:
The use of digital nautical publications on a vessel must comply with requirements as described in MGN 610 (M+F) SOLAS chapter V: Guidance on the merchant shipping (safety of navigation) regulations 2020
Access the full MCA guidance here