To promote safety and navigability on the coast, Vessel Traffic Service centres monitor maritime traffic in the following ways:
In regulated VTS areas
The Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) centres monitor and regulate the ship traffic in regulated geographic areas along the Norwegian coast. Established radar sensors, video cameras, meteorological sensors, the Norwegian Coastal Administration's AIS chain, and the SafeSeaNet Norway (SSNN) ship reporting system for ship traffic are important support tools for the traffic control centres in this area.
Outside regulated VTS areas
Control of risk tonnage
With the help of the Norwegian Coastal Administration's AIS chain and the coordination of data against the messaging and reporting system SafeSeaNet Norway (SSNN), it is possible to monitor ship traffic along the coast, even outside the areas that are covered by radar sensors. General monitoring of the entire coastal area does not lie within the mandate of the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
The Norwegian Coastal Administration focuses on the transport of hazardous and pollutive substances, as well as large towing jobs. This traffic consists primarily of shipments from Northwest Russia and traffic to and from the Baltic region, as well as traffic in connection with Norwegian activities – including, in particular, the shipping of crude oil and products from the petroleum industry.
Verification of legality
Vessel traffic monitoring is also aimed at verification of the legality of the vessels' use of the coast. This includes, for example, verification of compliance with the compulsory pilotage regulations, regulations relating to pilot exemption certificates and enforcement of the notification regime.
Support in emergencies and crisis situations
The Norwegian Coastal Administration's overview of the maritime traffic situation is an important basis for handling potentially hazardous situations and incidents at sea. The Vessel Traffic Service centres take action by notifying, for example, other governmental agencies or summoning tugboat assistance in the event of undesired or acute incidents at sea. The VTS centres therefore play an important role in the Norwegian Coastal Administration's first-line response to acute pollution and other undesired situations and incidents at sea.
Statistics and documentation
Ship movements that are not monitored by the VTS centres due to legal or other reasons are nevertheless included in databases for subsequent documentation and statistics. The Norwegian Coastal Administration cooperates and exchanges information with other government agencies, such as the Norwegian Armed Forces, Customs, Police, and the Norwegian Maritime Directorate.
New AIS satellite launched
The new Norwegian satellite NorSat-3, launched successfully on April 29 2021. It will improve monitoring vessel traffic in Norwegian vast sea areas.
A New Proposal for Revised Maritime Traffic Regulations
On behalf of the Ministry of Transport the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) have prepared a proposal for revised Maritime Traffic Regulations.
New regulation on Svalbard
On 12 March 2021, the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications laid down a new regulation on ports and fairways on Svalbard. From the same date two other regulations were repealed.
New maritime traffic regulations from April 1st.
The Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications has laid down a new maritime traffic regulation. This will enter into force on 1 of April and will replace the current regulations. The new maritime traffic regulations are largely a continuation of existing regulations, but with some important changes.
Chart providers offer digital sailing routes to Norwegian ports
Mariners, who subscribe to electronic charts from PRIMAR, now also get access to the Norwegian Coastal Administration's digital reference routes for navigation in PRIMAR’s chart service.
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