Order No.8, 1997 of the Ministry of Communications
Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1 Provisions of the People's Republic of China on the Safety Management of Vessel Traffic Service System (hereinafter referred to as 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 ships and facilities (hereinafter referred to as ships) navigating, berthing and operating within coastal and inland waters of the People's Republic of China covered by Vessel Traffic Service (hereinafter referred to as VTS) system, and owners, operators and agents of ships.
Article 3 The harbor superintendency administrations of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the Administrations) are responsible for the management of VTS.
VTS centers established by China MSA are the operation centers implementing vessel traffic management.
Chapter II Ship Reporting
Article 4 Ships navigating, berthing and operating in VTS area shall forward to VTS center ship movement report via Very High Frequency transmitters (hereinafter referred to as VHF) or other effective means in accordance with the reporting procedures and contents defined in VTS Users’ Guide issued by China MSA.
Article 5 Ships involved in traffic accidents, pollution incidents or any other emergency situations in VTS area shall immediately report to VTS center via VHF or any other effective means.
Article 6 When abnormality of aids to navigation, obstacles, drifting objects or any other unusual circumstances are found which impede the safety of navigation, ships shall immediately report to VTS centers.
Article 7 The communication between ships and VTS centers via VHF shall be in Chinese Mandarin or English.
Chapter ⅢVessel Traffic Management
Article 8 Ships navigating within VTS areas shall comply with the special regulations for navigation and collision avoidance issued by Ministry of Communications and other Administration, as well as the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 and the Provisions of the People's Republic of China on Preventing Collisions in inland Waters.
Article 9 Ships shall sail at a safe speed, and observe the speed restrictions set by Ministry of Communications and the Administration when navigating within VTS areas.
Article 10 Ships anchoring within VTS areas shall comply with provisions and orders.
Article 11 Ships are restricted from anchoring in fairways, harbor basins or other restricted areas. Where ships need to anchor in the above areas in emergency, an immediate report to the VTS center shall be made.
Article 12 Ships involved in mooring alongside or lightering in anchorage shall conform to relevant regulations by the Ministry of Communications and the Administration, and shall report to the VTS center promptly.
Article 13 VTS centers shall conduct traffic organization in consideration of the traffic flow, navigation situation and ship schedule in port. VTS centers are authorized to adjust the navigation schedule accordingly.
Article 14 Ships shall keep watch on the designated VHF channels while sailing, berthing or operating within VTS areas, and respond to inquiries from VTS centers.
Article 15 The technical parameters including dimensions and formation of ships or fleet sailing within VTS areas shall meet relevant requirements by Ministry of Communications and the Administration.
Chapter IV Vessel Traffic Service
Article 16 Each VTS center will provide relevant service to ships based on its existing functions.
Article 17 Upon request of ships, VTS centers may provide information such as other ships’ movements, aids to navigation, hydrological and meteorological conditions, navigational warnings, and notice to mariners, etc.
VTS centers may broadcast the above information regularly or where necessary.
Article 18 Where ships encounter difficulties in navigation or adverse meteorological conditions, VTS centers may provide navigational service upon request.
Ships shall report to VTS centers when such navigational service is no longer necessary.
Article 19 To avoid close-quarters situation, VTS centers may forward suggestions, persuasion or warning to ships.
Article 20 VTS centers may convey information concerning salvage and pollution clean-up and coordinate rescue operations where deemed necessary or upon request of ships or their owners, operators or agents.
Article 21 Upon request of ships 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 Liabilities
Article 22 The Administrations shall impose punishment for violation ofthe Provisions in accordance with relevant laws and regulations as well as provisions promulgated by the Ministry of Communications.
Article 23 The implementation ofthe Provisions, under any circumstances, should not exempt the ship master's responsibility for navigation safety, nor interfere with the responsibilities of the pilot and the ship master.
Article 24 An immediate report shall be forwarded to VTS centers, where there is deviation from the Provisions by the master and the pilot for the purpose of avoiding emergencies impeding human lives, properties or environment.
Chapter VI Supplementary
Article 25 For the purpose of the Provisions, the following terms are defined as:
Shipmeans the ship which is equipped with communication devices in accordance with international conventions and domestic regulations, or the ship covered by VTS as required by the Administrations.
VTS systemmeans the Vessel Traffic Service system established by the Administrations to conduct traffic control and provide advisory service in order to ensure navigation safety, improve traffic efficiency and protect marine environment.
VTS areameans the area designated and publicized by the Administrations, in which VTS system may be implemented effectively.
VTS User's Guidemeans a guidance formulated and issued by the Administrations in accordance with the Provisions to facilitate ships covered by VTS.
Ship Movement Reportis the report to VTS on ship movement in certain VTS area via VHF or by other effective means, as required by the Administrations.
Article 26 Administrative measures for VTS management formulated by the Administrations equipped with VTS system shall be reported to China MSA in accordance withthe Provisions.
Article 27 The Ministry of Communications of the People's Republic of China is responsible for the interpretation of the Provisions.
Article 28 The Provisionswill be implemented on 1January 1998.
Note: 1. All information published in this website is authentic in Chinese. English is provided for reference only.
2. The Ministry of Communications is the predecessor of the Ministry of Transport. The harbor superintendency administration is the predecessor of the maritime safety administration.
(All information published in this website is authentic in Chinese. English is provided for reference only.)