New Maritime Safety Rules Take Effect

Guo Aibing

From today, all ships passing Chengshanjiao Promontory in the sea area off the Shandong Peninsula need to follow the new mandatory ship reporting and "routeing" systems.

The two new systems were adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) this June as international maritime rules. The organization ordered that the ship reporting and "routeing" systems enter into force today.

They are China's first two maritime regulations to be adopted by the IMO.

Vice-Minister of the Maritime Safety Administration Liu Shi announced the two new rules yesterday in a news conference in Beijing, saying it will greatly help improve maritime safety in the crowded water area.

Chengshanjiao stands at the mouth of the Bohai Sea. Passenger, cargo and fishing ships on their way to Tianjin, Yantai, Qinhuangdao and Dalian usually have to go through the region, which makes it the most busy sea area in China. The area has had the most maritime accidents of any in China.

Liu said the new systems could greatly reduce the number of accidents in the region and help ships operate quickly and smoothly.

According to the Mandatory Ship Reporting System,fishing vessels that are 24 metres long or more, cargo ships weighing 300 tons or more and passenger ships all need to report their names, call signs and IMO numbers to the local maritime administration centre before entering the area.

The centre will provide these vessels with information about such things as the activities of other vessels in the area, abnormal weather conditions and other maritime safety notifications.

The Ship's Routeing System in the waters off Chengshanjiao Promontory consists of the traffic separation scheme, the inshore traffic zone and the precautionary area.

(China Daily 12/01/2000)

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