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A number of vessels trading from Georgian ports have recently been fined for failure to comply with local vessel traffic management schemes. Since 2007 the approaches to Georgian ports have been governed by ‘Presidential Order No. 380’ “On establishing the traffic separation schemes, separation of sea corridors and maritime special areas in the territorial sea of Georgia”.
Routes to/from and between Georgian ports are now governed by a series of traffic separation schemes (TSS) administered by local vessel traffic services (VTS). All movements within these areas are monitored via radar/AIS and the Georgian Government reserves the right to issue fines to vessels it deems to be in breach of TSS regulations. Fines vary but may range between USD $50,000 and $100,000 depending on the circumstances of the infringement, it should also be noted that the Georgian authorities have been rigorous in the application of such fines. Members are advised that to avoid being fined their vessels should adhere to the current local regulations and navigate appropriately within the TSS. Detailed passage planning is essential to ensure that the master and officers are fully conversant with local requirements and that the ship’s charted track takes into account the limitations imposed by the traffic lanes and separation zones included in the scheme.