Guangxi MSA introduces new navigation requirements

Guangxi Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) has introduced new navigation rules which it said would optimize shipping routes and prevent collisions in the Beibu Gulf.

The new arrangements, which took effect on 10 March 2023, create five main shipping routes and 16 branch routes.

The MSA noted that the navigation environment in Beibu Gulf waters of Guangxi was complex, with a high density of vessel traffic, making vessel collision accidents prone to occur. Through the optimization and adjustment of the routes, the vessel traffic flow in the Beibu Gulf waters has been further guided and streamlined. This, said the MSA, helped to reduce the intersection of commercial shipping routes with areas for fishing, offshore oil exploration, and offshore wind power generation, thereby lowering the risk of collisions between commercial and fishing vessels and improving the coastal navigation environment of Guangxi.

Correspondent Shanghai P&I Services said that the Five Main Routes have a width of 3 to 6 nautical miles, and are the main channels connecting Guangxi to other domestic shipping routes and Southeast Asian countries.

The Sixteen Branch Routes have a width of 2 to 4 nautical miles and are the specific channels connecting various port areas along the coast to the main shipping routes. They are mainly aimed at improving the navigation order of vessels entering and leaving ports and improving the efficiency of port traffic.

The Correspondent suggested that vessels choose their route carefully and maintain a proper lookout at all times.

“Navigate at a safe speed on the right side of the centreline of the route, and avoid sailing side by side with other vessels for a long time. Take special caution when sailing in and out of the routes, or passing through areas with high traffic density and areas where traffic flows intersect. When crossing the route, try to cross at a right angle to the traffic flow in the route as far as possible”, the advisory note said.

Details and maps can be seen at: