In addition, it was stipulated in Article 9 that vessels shall navigate at safe speed, according to the prevailing circumstance and condition when sailing within Xiamen sea area.

Xiamen sea area means the areas within the connecting lines among Dadeng island, Xiaodeng island, Jinmen, Xiaojinmen, Dadan, Qingyu and other island which is under administration of Xiamen MSA and covered by Xiamen VTS.

In line with the above stipulations, Xiamen MSA issued notice on Navigation speed limit and Navigation restrictions under heavy weather for vessels sailing within Xiamen sea area to interpret the detailed requirement. The notice has come into effect as of 1 March 2018.

Key points

  1. Speed limit for vessels sailing within Xiamen sea area

The maximum speed limit is:

  • 15 knots during the route segment from No.11 beacon to No.29 beacon of main channel of Xiamen port.
  • 12 knots during the route segment from No.602 beacon to No.610 beacon of Haicang channel;
  • 10 knots for the route segment in the west of No. 610 beacon of Haicang channel.
  • 12 knots during the route segment from No. 29 beacon to No. 41 beacon of Dongdu channel;
  • 10 knots for the route segment in the north of No. 41 beacon and Maluan channel.
  • 12 knots for Liuwudian channel;
  • 10 knots for Lujiang channel and Tongyi channel.
  • 15 knots for skimming dish at Lujiang channel.
  •  25 knots for high speed passenger craft passing through Jintong channel and Xiajin route.

2. Navigation restrictions under heavy weather for vessels sailing within Xiamen

  • In the event the visibility is less than 2 sea miles caused by fog, haze or rain, the vessels at sea shall take safety measures adapted to the conditions of restricted visibility for the sake of safety.
  • In the event the visibility at sea decreased, the relevant shipping enterprise, dock management unit shall suspend shipping service timely, the
    vessels shall suspend entering into to or departing from the port, the vessels underway shall take particular caution, drop anchor at nearby sea area if the prevailing circumstance permit, and comply with the organization and command of Xiamen VTS.
  • In the event the navigation environment is well and the visibility at sea is no less than 700m, the cross-straits direct transportation roller may submit written report to maritime administration organization under condition that effective safety measures has been taken, and upon consultation between maritime and port department, may enter into the port for berth or depart from the port if safe sailing condition was conformed.
  • The vessels shall operate strictly in accordance with the classification of vessels sustainability in winds and seas described in certificate of competency for ship.
  • In the event the wind force is more than 6, the vessels shall be forbidden to berth or depart, and passenger ship shall be forbidden to load or unload passengers.
  • The passenger ship engaged in ship route within Xiamen sea area shall suspend shipping service and take shelter measures timely in the event the wind force in the route is more than 6. And all ships shall suspend shipping service and take shelter measures timely in the event the wind force of Xiamen sea area is more than 8.
  • During tropical cyclone, vessels shall take shelter to avoid attack of typhoon in accordance with command of local preventing typhoon command organization.

3. Legal liability

In the event of violation of above rules, the maritime administration department shall order the vessel to correct, and impose penalty on Owners or vessel’s operator in amount of RMB5,000 to RMB10,000; impose penalty to Master in amount of RMB2,000 to RMB10,000, and in case of gross violation, detain certificate of  competency for seafarers for 6 months.

We suggest Owners to pay attention to the requirement of traffic control under heavy weather and speed limit, and comply with the “Xiamen Marine traffic Safety Regulation” when sailing within Xiamen sea area. Meantime, Owners are also recommended to double check with ship agent on special requirement before ship’s calling in order to avoid violation of the regulation or any penalty.