• Provisions of the People's Republic of China on Safety Management of Vessel Traffic Service System

    Order of the Ministry of Communications1997-09-05】(No. 8 [1997]

    Chapter I General Provisions

    Article 1 The Provisions are formulated in accordance with Maritime Traffic Safety Law of the People's Republic of China and Regulations of the People's Republic of China concerning the Administration of Traffic Safety on Inland Waters for the purpose of enhancing vessel traffic management, safeguarding vessel traffic safety, promoting vessel traffic efficiency and protecting marine environment.

    Article 2 The Provisions shall apply to vessels and facilities (hereinafter referred to as vessels) navigating, berthing and operating within coastal and inland waters of the People's Republic of China covered by Vessel Traffic Service system (hereinafter referred to as VTS system), and their owners, operators and agents.

    Article 3 The Maritime Safety Administration of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the Administration) shall take charge of the safety administration of Vessel Traffic System nationwide.

    Vessel Traffic Service centers (hereinafter referred to as VTS center) established by the Administration are the operation centers implementing vessel traffic management.

    Chapter II Ship Reporting

    Article 4 Ships navigating, berthing and operating in VTS area shall report to VTS center on ships'movement by Very High Frequency (VHF) or other effective means in accordance with the reporting procedures and contents defined in VTS Guide for Users issued by the Administration.

    Article 5 Ships involved in traffic accidents, pollution incidents or any other emergency situations in VTS area shall immediately report to VTS center by VHF or any other effective means.

    Article 6 When finding abnormality of aids to navigation, obstacles, drifting objects or any other unusual circumstances impeding the safety of navigation,ships shall immediately report to VTS centers.

    Article 7 The languages used in VHF between ships and VTS centers shall be Chinese Mandarin or English.

    Chapter  Vessel Traffic Management

    Article 8 Vessels navigating within a VTS area shall comply with the special regulations for navigation and collision avoidance issued by Ministry of Communications and the competent authority, in addition tothe International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 and the Act of the People’s Republic of China on Preventing Collisions in inland Waters.

    Article 9 Vessels shall sail at safety speed, and observe the speed restrictions set by Ministry of Communications and the competent authority when navigating within VTS areas.

    Article 10 Vessels shall anchor in accordance with stipulations, and observe orders in VTS areas.

    Article 11 No vessel shall anchor in fairways, harbor basins or other no- anchoring areas. Whereas a vessel needs to anchor in the above areas out of emergency, an immediate report to the VTS centre shall be required.

    Article 12 Vessels involved in mooring side by side or lightering in anchorage must conform to relevant regulations by the Ministry of Communications and the competent authority, and shall report to VTS centres promptly.

    Article 13 VTS centres carry out traffic organization in accordance with the traffic flow, navigation environment and ship schedule in port. VTS centres are authorized to adjust or alter the navigation schedule accordingly.

    Article 14 Vessels shall keep routine watch on the designated VHF channels while sailing, berthing or operating within VTS areas, and respond to inquiries from VTS centres.

    Article 15 All technical parameters including scale and formation of a vessel or fleet sailing within VTS areas shall meet relevant requirements by Ministry of Communications and the competent authority.

    Chapter IV Vessel Traffic Service

    Article 16 Each VTS center shall provide relevant services to vessels based on its existing functions.

    Article 17 Upon request of vessels, VTS centers may provide information such as other vessels' schedule,aids to navigation, hydrometeorological conditions, navigational warnings, and notice to mariners, etc.

    VTS centers may broadcast the above information regularly or where necessary.

    Article 18 Upon request of vessels, VTS center may provide navigating services whereas vessels encounter difficulty in navigation, harsh meteorological environment or breakdown.

    Vessels shall report to VTS centers whereas navigating service is no longer necessary.

    Article 19 To avoid close-quarter situation, VTS centers may forward suggestions, persuasion or warning to vessels.

    Article 20 VTS centers may transfer information concerning salvage and pollution cleanup and coordinate rescue whereas deemed necessary or upon request of vessels or their owners, operators or agents.

    Article 21 Upon request of vessels or their owners, operators or agents, VTS centers, as appropriate, may provide services other than those stipulated in Chapter 4 of The Provisions.

    Chapter V Legal Liability

    Article 22 For violation of The Provisions, the Administration shall impose punishment in accordance with relevant laws and regulations as well as provisions promulgated by the Ministry of Communications.

    Article 23 The implementation of The Provisions, under any circumstances, shall not exempt the captain's responsibility for navigation safety, nor impact the relationship of responsibilities between the pilot and the captain.

    Article 24 Whereas there is deviation from The Provisionsby the captain and the pilot for the purpose of avoiding emergencies impeding human lives, properties or environmental safety, an immediately report shall be forwarded to VTS centers.

    Chapter VI Supplementary Provisions

    Article 25 For the purpose of The Provisions, the following terms are defined as:

    Vesselmeans the ship which shall be equipped with correspondence devices in accordance with international conventions and domestic regulations, and shall be controlled by VTS system as required by the Administration.

    VTS systemmeans the system established by the Administration to implement traffic control and provide advisory services in order to ensure traffic safety, improve traffic efficiency and protect marine environment.

    VTS areameans the area designated and made public by the Administration, in which VTS system may be implemented effectively.

    VTS User's Guidemeans a guidance document formulated and issued by the Administration in accordance with The Provisions for the convenience of vessels controlled by VTS system.

    Ship Schedule Reportis the report to VTS centers on ship movement in certain VTS area through VHF or other effective means, as required by the Administration.

    Article 26 Administrative measures for VTS management formulated by the Administration equipped with VTS system shall be reported to China MSA in accordance with The Provisions.

    Article 27 The Ministry of Communications of the People's Republic of China shall be responsible for the interpretation of The Provisions.

    Article 28 The Provisions shall enter into force on January 1, 1998.

    (All information published in this website is authentic in Chinese. English is provided for reference only.)