Categories: a-port-information, BusinessPublished On: 23.03.2022310 words1.7 min read

MGN 401 (M+F) Amendment 3 Navigation: Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) and Local Port Services (LPS) in the UK

The purpose of this guidance note is to assist Statutory Harbour Authorities in considering the implementation of a VTS or LPS and in reviewing an existing VTS. It will be used by the MCA, as competent authority for VTS.



IMO Resolution A.1158(32) – Guidelines for Vessel Traffic Services was adopted on 15th December 2021. This MGN updates the VTS policy for the UK competent authority and national VTS Providers following the adoption of the new IMO Resolution. It aims to promote awareness of the important contribution that VTS and LPS make to the maritime industry and to indicate the approach to VTS adopted in the UK. All participants in VTS and LPS should receive and understand this information.

Key Points:

  • It defines the UK’s interpretation of VTS;
  • Provides guidance for determining the need to establish a VTS;
  • Defines the responsibilities of those authorities concerned with providing VTS and Local Port Services (LPS) in the UK; and
  • It complements the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) and the Guide to Good Practice (GTGP) on the management of safety in ports.

This notice replaces MGN 401 Amendment 2.


Where this document provides guidance on the law it should not be regarded as definitive. The way the law applies to any particular case can vary according to circumstances – for example, from vessel to vessel and you should consider seeking independent legal advice if you are unsure of your own legal position.

Notice to all:

  • port authorities and VTS providers,
  • VTS Personnel
  • masters and deck officers of merchant vessels, and
  • skippers and watch keepers of fishing and recreational craft.
Published 22 March 2022