IMO MSC Approves New Ship Routes in Kattegat, Skagerrak

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The IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) has approved a joint Danish-Swedish proposal for new ship routes in Kattegat and Skagerrak.

As informed, the work is already in progress and the new routes will be in place from July 1, 2020.

The proposal by Denmark and Sweden had been first approved by the IMO Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) Sub-Committee in February this year.

The new routes are said to be necessary due to the much larger size of ships navigating the straits today compared to the ships that the route systems were originally designed for.

About 70,000 ships a year pass through Kattegat and Skagerrak on their way to or from the Baltic Sea and several of these have significant draught. For that reason, the existing ship routes must be expanded to ensure traffic separation and proper use of deep-water routes.

Specifically, the new ships’ routeing measures consist of two recommended routes between Hanstholm and the Skaw (Route A and Route B), a traffic separation system at the Skaw, deep-water routes between Læsø and Anholt and east of Grenå, a new precautionary area north-east of Læsø, a new Route S along the Swedish coast, as well as three new traffic separation systems along Route S.

“Ensuring safety of navigation in Danish waters is a strategic target for the DMA which is significantly furthered by this important decision by MSC,” the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) said.

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