Responsibility for planning and implementing a VTS
It is the responsibility of the Contracting Government or Governments or Competent authorities to
plan and implement vessel traffic services or amendments to such services.
3.2Guidance for planning a vessel traffic service
3.2.1 Local needs for traffic management should be carefully investigated and determined by
analysing casualties, assessing risks and consulting local user groups. Where the risks are
considered VTS-addressable, in cases where monitoring of the traffic and interaction between
Authority and participating vessel is considered to be essential, the implementation of a VTS, as an
important traffic- management instrument, should be considered.
3.2.2 A VTS is particularly appropriate in an area that may include any of the following:
- high traffic density;
- traffic carrying hazardous cargoes;
- conflicting and complex navigation patterns;
- difficult hydrographical, hydrological and meteorological elements;
- shifting shoals and other local hazards;
- environmental considerations;
- interference by vessel traffic with other marine-based activities;
- a record of maritime casualties;
- existing or planned vessel traffic services in adjacent waters and the need for co-operation
between neighbouring States, if appropriate;
- narrow channels, port configuration, bridges and similar areas where the progress of
vessels may be restricted;
- existing or foreseeable changes in the traffic pattern resulting from port or offshore
terminal developments or offshore exploration and exploitation in the area.
3.2.3 In further deciding upon the establishment of a VTS, Contracting Governments or competent
authorities should also consider the responsibilities set forth in 2.2 of these Guidelines and Criteria,
and the availability of the requisite technology and expertise.
3.3 Further guidance on vessel traffic services
3.3.1 VTS Authorities should, in the planning of the VTS to be established, make use of available
manuals prepared by and published by appropriate international organizations or associations.
3.3.2 The following references should also be consulted for further details:
- IMO Guidelines and Criteria for Ship Reporting Systems (resolution MSC.43(64))
- General Principles for Ship Reporting Systems and Ships Reporting Requirements,
including Guidelines for Reporting Incidents Involving Dangerous Goods, Harmful
Substances and/or Marine Pollutants (resolution A.851(20))
- The IALA vessel traffic services Manual
- IALA/IMPA/IAPH/World VTS Guide