It is mandatory for the following vessels to submit a report in the Barents SRS before entering the area between Lofoten and the agreed border between Norway and Russia:
- Vessels over 5000 gross tons
- All tankers
- All ships carrying hazardous/polluting cargo
- Ships under tow when the total length of the tow is more than 200 metres
- All ships that have problems with propulsion and who have limitations in their ability to manoeuvre or have defective navigation aids
The area is more closely defined in the Maritime Traffic Regulations, see an unofficial translation here
Barents SRS includes a Norwegian and a Russian monitoring area. Vessels sailing in Norwegian territory report to the Norwegian Coastal Administration's Vessel Traffic Service centre NOR VTS (Vardø) via the AIS (Automatic Information System) or by other specified means.
The traffic separation systems off the Norwegian coast from Vardø to Røst are within the operational area of Barents SRS.
Barents SRS provides an overview of what vessels and cargo are present at any given time in the these specific waters, which strengthens maritime safety in the Barents region.