IMO approves joint RF/USA proposal on regulation of shipping in the Bering Strait (photo)
At its 99th session in London, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) approved the joint proposal of the Russian Federation and the USA on arranging a ship traffic in the Bering Strait according to a proposed scheme, says press center of RF Transport Ministry.
The Russian delegation is headed by Vitaly Klyuyev, Director of RF Transport Ministry's Department of State Policy for Maritime and River Transport.
The traffic scheme proposed by Russia and the USA provides for designating six 4 nm wide two-way shipping lanes in the Bering Strait and at the approaches to it from the Russian and the American sides as well as six precautionary areas at the beginning/end/crossing/reversing of lanes.
The lanes run parallel to each other across the Russian and American parts of the Bering Strait allowing the ships select the most convenient way depending on weather and ice conditions as well as on point of destination. The lanes are far from the shore to ensure sufficient depth for safe navigation of large ships.
The lanes are commended for vessels with gross registered tonnage of 400 t and more.
The recommended scheme of traffic and precautionary areas in the Bering Strait and at the approaches which comes into effect on 1 December 2018 is the first internationally recognized regulation approved by IMO for Polar waters in compliance with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS 74/78).
The traffic scheme proposed by the Russian Federation and the USA for the Bering Strait and the approaches to it is a timely and a reasonable measure meant to reduce the risks of incidents and sea pollution. It will provide for a more effective concentration of emergency response forces of the littoral states in the region.
This measure will support further development of infrastructure projects in the Russian Arctic associated with transportation of hydrocarbons and facilitate the growth of transit shipping on the Northern Sea Route.
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