Procedures and functions of IMO.3.1
IMO is recognized as the only international body responsible for establishing and recommending measures on an international level concerning sips' routeing. 3.2
In deciding whether or not to adopt or amend a traffic separation scheme, IMO will consider whether:
- the aids to navigation proposed will enable mariners to determine their position with sufficient accuracy to navigate in the scheme in accordance with rule 10 of the 1972 Collision Regulations, as amended;
- the state of hydrographic surveys in the area is adequate;
- the scheme takes account of the accepted planning considerations and complies with the design criteria for traffic separation schemes and with established methods of routeing.
In deciding whether or not to adopt or amend a routeing system other than a traffic separation scheme, IMO will consider whether the aids to navigation and the state of hydrographic surveys are adequate for the purpose of the system. 3.4
IMO shall not adopt or amend any routeing system without the agreement of the interested coastal States, where that system may affect:
Responsibilities of Governments and recommended practices.3.5
- their rights and practices in respect of the exploitation of living and mineral resources;
- the environment, traffic pattern or established routeing systems in the waters concerned;
- demands for improvements or adjustments in the navigational aids or hydrographic surveys in the waters concerned.
A new amended routeing system adopted by IMO shall not come into force as an IMO adopted system before an effective date promulgated by the Government that proposed the system, which shall be communicated to IMO by the responsible Government. That date shall not be earlier than six months after the date of adoption of a routeing system by IMO but, when new chart editions necessitate a substantially longer period between adoption and implementation, IMO shall set a later date as required by the circumstances of the case. If the Government that proposed the system is unable at the time of adoption by IMO to declare a definite date of implementation, this information should be communicated to IMO as soon as possible thereafter and the implementation date then declared should not be earlier than four months after the date on which the declaration is made; in the case of a traffic separation scheme the exact time of implementation should also be stated. If there is a protracted delay in making such a declaration, the Government concerned should periodically inform IMO of the situation and forecast when implementation is likely to be possible. Either Notices to Mariners to amend charts, or revised charts to depict the system shall be made available in ample time before the system comes into force. 3.6
The responsible Government implementing a new or amended routeing system should ensure that full and final details of planned changes to aids to navigation, anchorage areas or pilot boarding areas which are closely associated with the system and important to its effective utilization by the mariner are provided to the appropriate hydrographic authority at least six months prior to the date of implementation. 3.7
The selection and development of routeing systems is primarily the responsibility of the Governments concerned. 3.8
A Government proposing a new routeing system or an amendment to an adopted routeing system, any part of which lies beyond its territorial sea, should consult IMO so that such system may be adopted or amended by IMO for international use. Such Government should furnish all relevant information, in particular with regard to the number, edition and where possible the geodetic datum of the reference chart used for the delineation of the routeing system. If appropriate, it should also provide the following additional information:
- the reasons for excluding certain ships or classes of ship from using routeing system or any part thereof; and
- any alternative routeing measure, if necessary, for ships or certain classes of ship which may be excluded from using a routeing system or parts thereof.
Such a system, when adopted, shall not be amended or suspended before consultation with and agreement by IMO, unless local conditions and the urgency of the case require that earlier action be taken. In considering the proposal, IMO shall take account of the objectives, procedures, responsibilities, methods and criteria for routeing systems as set out in these general provisions. 3.9
In an emergency such as might result from the unexpected blocking or obstruction of a traffic lane by a wreck or other hazard, immediate temporary changes in the use of the affected traffic separation scheme may be made by the responsible and sponsoring Government or Governments, with the object of directing traffic flow clear of the new hazard. In such cases, every possible measure shall be take by the Government or Governments concerned immediately to inform shipping of the hazard and of the temporary changes which have been made. 3.10
Governments are recommended to ensure, as far as practicable, that oil rigs, platforms and other similar structures are not established within routeing systems adopted be IMO or near their terminations. When the temporary positioning of an exploration rig or a similar structure in an adopted traffic separation scheme cannot be avoided, the scheme should, if necessary, be amended temporarily in accordance with the guidelines given in section 7. 3.11
If the above exploration activities lead to the finding of important exploitation prospects, the effect of subsequent exploitation on the safety of marine traffic should be considered carefully. If the establishment of permanent installations within a traffic separation scheme is unavoidable, permanent amendments to the scheme, if deemed necessary, should be submitted to IMO for adoption. 3.12
Governments establishing traffic separation schemes, no parts of which lie beyond their territorial seas, are requested to design them in accordance with IMO criteria for such schemes and submit them to IMO for adoption. 3.13
Where, for whatever reason, a Government decides not to submit a traffic separation scheme to IMO, it should, in promulgating the scheme to mariners, ensure that there are clear indications on charts and in nautical publications as to what rules apply to the scheme. 3.14
Governments establishing routeing systems, other than traffic separation schemes, no parts of which lie beyond their territorial seas, are recommended to follow the same procedure as that set out in paragraphs 3.12 and 3.13 above. 3.15
By rules 10(k) and 10(l) respectively of the 1972 Collision Regulations a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre when engaged in an operation for either the maintenance of safety on navigation or the laying, servicing or picking up of a submarine cable in a traffic separation scheme is exempted from complying with rule 10 to the extent necessary to carry out the operation. The Government or authority responsible for safety of navigation in a traffic separation scheme should ensure that:
- the intention of undertaking such an operation is first notified to each Government or appropriate authority concerned;
- information about such ships working in a traffic separation scheme is, as far as practicable, promulgated in advance by Notice to Mariners, and subsequently by radionavigation warnings broadcast before and at regular intervals during the operations;
- such operations are, as far as possible, avoided in conditions of restricted visibility.
3.16 Nothing in the general provisions on ship's routeing shall prejudice the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982) nor the present or future claims and legal views of any State concerning the law of the sea and the nature and extent of coastal and flag State jurisdiction.