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Is voyage planning a statutory requirement?

Yes. 

SOLAS regulation V/34 (Safe navigation and avoidance of dangerous situations) provides that prior to proceeding to sea, the master shall ensure that the intended voyage has been planned using the appropriate nautical charts and nautical publications for the area concerned, taking into account IMO Guidelines and Recommendations. The voyage plan must identify a route which: (1) takes into account any relevant ships’ routeing systems; (2) ensures sufficient sea room for the safe passage of the ship throughout the voyage; (3) anticipates all known navigational hazards and adverse weather conditions; and (4) takes into account the marine environmental protection measures that apply, and avoids, as far as possible, actions and activities which could cause damage to the environment.

 

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Written by Ship Inspection

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Where can the IMO Guidelines for Voyage Planning and the MCA ‘s advice on voyage planning be found?

What is a voyage plan?