Important point to Consider for Voyage Planning

The Annex to IMO Resolution A.893(21) (See ANNEX 25), “Guidelines for Voyage Planning”, should be followed on all vessels.

All information relevant to the contemplated voyage or passage should be considered. The following items should be taken into account in voyage and passage planning:

  1. the condition and state of the vessel, its stability, and its equipment; any operational limitations; its permissible draught at sea in fairways and in ports; its manoeuvring data, including any restrictions;
  2. any special characteristics of the cargo (especially if hazardous), and its distribution, stowage and securing on board the vessel;
  3. the provision of a competent and well-rested crew to undertake the voyage or passage;
  4. requirements for up-to-date certificates and documents concerning the vessel, its equipment, crew, passengers or cargo;
  5. appropriate scale, accurate and up-to-date charts to be used for the intended voyage or passage, as well as any relevant permanent or temporary notices to mariners and existing radio navigational warnings;
  6. accurate and up-to-date sailing directions, lists of lights and lists of radio aids to navigation; and
  7. any relevant up-to-date additional information, including:
    • mariners' routeing guides and passage planning charts, published by competent authorities;
    • current and tidal atlases and tide tables;
    • climatological, hydrographical, and oceanographic data as well as other appropriate meteorological information;
    • availability of services for weather routeing (such as that contained in Volume D of the World Meteorological Organization's Publication No. 9);
    • existing ships' routeing and reporting systems, vessel traffic services, and marine environmental protection measures;
    • volume of traffic likely to be encountered throughout the voyage or passage;
    • if a pilot is to be used, information relating to pilotage and embarkation and disembarkation including the exchange of information between master and pilot;
    • available port information, including information pertaining to the availability of shore-based emergency response arrangements and equipment; and
    • any additional items pertinent to the type of the vessel or its cargo, the particular areas the vessel will traverse, and the type of voyage or passage to be undertaken.
  8. On the basis of the above information, an overall appraisal of the intended voyage or passage should be made. This appraisal should provide a clear indication of all areas of danger; those areas where it will be possible to navigate safely, including any existing routeing or reporting systems and vessel traffic services; and any areas where marine environmental protection considerations apply.
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