The 1972 Convention was developed to update and replace the 1960 conflict of laws regulations, which were adopted at the same time as the 1960 SOLAS Convention.One of the most important innovations of the 1972 COLREG was the recognition of traffic separation schemes: Rule 10 provides guidance for determining the safe speed, risk of collision and behavior of ships operating under traffic separation schemes.
The first traffic separation system was established in the Straits of Dover in 1967 and almost 200 such systems have been adopted by the organization worldwide.
COLREGs consist of 41 rules divided into six sections:
- Part A - General;
- Part B - Government and Navigation;
- Part C - Lights and Shapes;
- Part D - Sound and Light Signals;
- Part E - Exceptions; It is
- Part F - Verification of compliance with the provisions of the Convention.
There are also four attachments with:
- technical requirements for spans and formwork and their positioning;
- sound signaling devices;
- additional signals for fishing boats when operating nearby; It is
- International Distress Signals.
Part A – General (Rules 1-3)
Rule 1 states that the rules apply to all vessels on the high seas and all waters connected to the high seas and navigable by seagoing vessels.
Rule 2 covers the responsibility of the captain, owner and crew to comply with the rules.
Rule 3 contains definitions.
Part B - Driving and Navigating (Rules 4-19)
Section I – Behavior of Ships in Any Visibility (Rules 4-10)
Rule 4 states that the section applies in all visibility conditions.
Regulation 5 requires that "every ship maintain at all times appropriate visual and audio surveillance and by all available means reasonable to the circumstances and conditions prevailing in order to make a full assessment of the situation and the risk of collision".
Rule 6 deals with safe speed. It requires the following: "Every ship must proceed at a safe speed at all times...". The rule outlines factors to consider when determining safe speed. Some of them relate specifically to ships equipped with radar. The importance of using "all available means" is further emphasized in rule 7 on collision risk, which indicates that "assumptions should not be made on the basis of sparse information, particularly sparse radar information".
Rule 8 deals with measures to avoid collisions.
In regulation 9, a ship navigating along a fairway or narrow fairway shall "remain as close to the outer limit of the fairway or the starboard-side fairway as is safe and practicable". The same rule obliges a ship less than 20 meters in length or a sailing boat not to impede the passage of a ship "which can navigate safely only within a canal or narrow passage". The rule also prohibits ships from crossing a canal or narrow passage "if such crossing would prevent the passage of a ship which can navigate safely only within said canal or passage". The meaning of "do not interfere" was classified by a 1987 amendment to Rule 8. A new paragraph (f) has been added emphasizing that a ship not to obstruct the passage of another ship must act in advance to allow sufficient seaway. Space for the safe passage of the other ship. This ship also had to comply with this obligation by taking avoidance measures in accordance with the rules of governance and navigation when there was a risk of collision.
Rule 10 of the Collision Rules deals with the conduct of ships on or near traffic separation plans adopted by the Organization. The SOLAS V/8 standard recognizes the IMO as the only competent organization to deal with international maritime transport organization measures. The effectiveness of traffic separation systems can be estimated from a study conducted in 1981 by the International Association of Institutes of Navigation (IAIN). This showed that there were 60 collisions in the Dover Strait between 1956 and 1960; Twenty years later, with the introduction of traffic separation devices, that number has dropped to just 16. In other areas where these facilities did not exist, the number of collisions has increased significantly. New traffic separation systems are introduced regularly and existing ones are modified as necessary to respond to changing traffic conditions. In order to make this possible as soon as possible, the MSC has been authorized to adopt and change traffic separation plans on behalf of the organization.
Rule 10 states that boats crossing lanes must do so "as far as practicable at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow". This lessens the confusion of other ships as to the intentions and course of the crossing ship, while allowing the ship to cross the line as quickly as possible. Fishing vessels "shall not impede the passage of vessels following a lane" but are not prohibited from fishing. This is in line with Rule 9 which states: "A fishing vessel shall not obstruct the passage of another vessel navigating a canal or narrow passage". In 1981 the regulations were changed. Two new paragraphs have been added to regulation 10 to exempt ships that have reduced maneuverability "when engaged in an operation for the safety of navigation in a traffic separation scheme" or when engaged in cable laying. In 1987 the regulations were modified again. It was emphasized that regulation 10 applies to the separation of traffic regulations adopted by the Organization (IMO) and does not relieve a ship of its obligation under any other regulation. It should also be clarified that when a ship is required to cross lanes, it should do so as perpendicularly as possible to the general direction of traffic. In 1989 rule 10 was amended to clarify which ships may use the "coastal traffic zone".
Section II - Conduct of Vessels in Sight (Rule 11-18)
Rule 11 states that the section applies to ships that are in visual range.
Rule 12 specifies what to do when two sailboats approach each other.
Rule 13 concerns overtaking: The overtaking ship must give way to the overtaking ship.
Rule 14 deals with head-to-head situations. Crossing situations are covered by rule 15 and the actions an avoiding vehicle must take are defined in rule 16.
Rule 17 deals with the action of the stationary craft, including the provision that the stationary craft "shall take action to avoid collision only by its maneuver once it is aware that it must avoid". take the appropriate measures.
Rule 18 deals with ship-to-ship responsibilities and contains requirements for ships to keep clear of each other.
Section III - Behavior of vehicles with restricted visibility (Rule 19)
Rule 19 states that every ship must proceed at a safe speed appropriate to prevailing circumstances and limited visibility. A ship spotting another ship by radar must determine if there is a risk of collision and, if so, take action to avoid it. A vehicle listening to another vehicle's fog signal must reduce speed to a minimum.
Part C - Lights and Shapes (Rules 20-31)
Rule 20 states that the rules for lights apply from sunset to sunrise.
Rule 21 contains definitions.
Rule 22 deals with the visibility of lights and states that lights must be visible at minimum distances (in nautical miles) determined by the ship type.
Rule 23 deals with the lights that power vehicles are required to carry while underway.
Rule 24 deals with lights for tugs and pushers.
Rule 25 deals with lighting requirements for sailing boats in motion and rowing boats.
Rule 26 addresses lighting requirements for fishing vessels.
Regulation 27 deals with lighting requirements for ships that are not under command or whose maneuverability is reduced.
Regulation 28 deals with light requirements for ships with restricted drafts.
Rule 29 deals with easy requirements for practical craft.
Rule 30 deals with light requirements for anchored and stranded ships.
Rule 31 addresses lighting requirements for seaplanes
Part D – Sound and Light Signals (Rules 32-37)
Rule 32 gives definitions of whistles, short whistles and long whistles.
Rule 33 states that boats of 12 meters or more must carry a whistle and bell and boats of 100 meters or more must also carry a gong.
Rule 34 deals with maneuvers and warning signals using whistles or lights.
Rule 35 deals with sound signals to be used when visibility is reduced.
Rule 36 addresses the signals to be used to attract attention.
Rule 37 deals with distress signals.
Part E - Exceptions
Regulation 38 provides that ships which comply with the COL 1960 Regulations and were under construction or under construction when the COL 1972 Regulations came into force may be exempted from certain sound and light signaling requirements for certain periods.
Part F - Verification of compliance with the provisions of the Convention (Rules 39-41)
Regulations 39 to 41 have been added to allow verification of the organization's compliance with the IMO Member States' audit program.
KOLREGs contain four attachments:
- Appendix I - Positioning and Technical Details of Lights and Shapes
- Appendix II – Additional signals for fishing vessels operating nearby
- Appendix III - Technical details of sound signaling devices
- Appendix IV - Distress Signals, which lists the distress signals and the need for assistance.
Appendices I and IV were amended in 1987 to clarify the position of certain lights carried on smaller vessels and to add "approved signals transmitted by radio communication systems" (i.e. distress calls transmitted on the GMDSS). In 1993 a section on locating signals from search and rescue radar transponders was added.
history of changes
The 1981 Amendments (Resolution A.464(XII))
- assumption: 19. November 1981
- implementation: 1. June 1983
Several rules are affected, but perhaps the most important change concerns rule 10, which has been amended to allow ships performing various safety operations such as dredging or hoisting to perform these functions in traffic separation facilities.
The 1987 Amendments (Resolution A.626(15))
- assumption: 19. November 1987
- implementation: 19. November 1989
The changes affect several rules, including Rule 1(e) ? Special Design Ships: The amendment classifies the application of the Convention to such ships; regulation 3(h) which defines a draft restricted ship; Rule 10(c) ? crossing lanes.
The 1989 Amendments (Resolution A.678(16))
- assumption: 19. October 1989
- implementation: 19. April 1991
The change relates to rule 10 and is intended to prevent unnecessary use of coastal traffic areas.
The 1993 Amendments (Resolution A.736(18))
- assumption: 4. November 1993
- implementation: 4. November 1995
The changes mainly relate to the position of the lights.
The 2001 Amendments (Resolution A.910(22))
- assumption: 29. November 2001
- implementation: 29. November 2003
The changes include new rules for Wing-in-Ground (WIG) ships. To be changed:
- GRAMMGeneral Definitions (Rule 3) – Provide the definition of Ground Wing Craft (WIG);
- Action to Avoid Collision (Rule 8(a)) - to clarify that any action to avoid a collision must be taken in accordance with the relevant COLREG rules and to link rule 8 to the other driving and navigation rules;
- responsibilities between five(Rule 18) - Addition of a requirement that a low-flying craft must keep clear of and not impede their navigation when taking off, landing and flying near the surface of all other craft, and that a low-flying craft must also operate on the surface in the water comply with the rules for machine vehicles;
- Vehicles powered in transit (rule 23) - to include the requirement that low-flying vehicles, in addition to the lights required by paragraph 23(a) of the rule, shall display a high intensity red flashing light when taking off, landing and flying close to the surface;
- Seaplanes (Rule 31) – addition of a provision for low-flying craft;
- Equipment for sound signals and sound signals in restricted visibility (rules 33 and 35) - for small craft;
- Arrangement and technical details of lights and shapes (Annex I) - changes related to high-speed craft (related to the vertical separation of mast lights); It is
- Technical Details of Sound Signaling Devices (Appendix III) - Modifications relating to whistles and bell or gong to service smaller vessels.
The 2007 Amendments (Resolution A.1004(25))
- assumption: 29. November 2007
- implementation: December 1, 2009
Annex IV is replaced by the following:
1 The following symbols, used or displayed together or separately, indicate hazards and the need for assistance:
(a) a pistol or other explosive signals fired at approximately one minute intervals;
(b) a continuous tone with any fog signal device;
(c) rockets or projectiles firing red stars fired one at a time at short intervals;
(d) a signal made by any signaling method consisting of the group ... --- ... (SOS) in Morse code;
e) radiotelephone signal consisting of the spoken word "MAYDAY";
(f) that of N.C. displayed international distress signals;
(g) a sign consisting of a square flag with a ball or something similar above or below it;
(h) Flames on the ship (e.g. from a tar barrel, oil drum, etc.);
(i) a parachute rocket for firing a flare or a portable flare displaying a red light;
(j) a smoke signal emitting orange colored smoke;
(k) Slowly and repeatedly raise and lower arms stretched out to either side;
(l) a digital selective calling (DSC) distress call sent to:
(i) Kanal UKW 70, o
(ii) MF/HF on the frequencies 2187.5 kHz, 8414.5 kHz, 4207.5 kHz, 6312 kHz, 12577 kHz or 16804.5 kHz;
m) a ship-to-shore distress alert transmitted by the ship's Inmarsat or other earth station providing mobile satellite service;
n) signals sent by emergency beacons;
(o) Approved signals transmitted by radio communication systems, including survival craft radar transponders.2 The use or display of any of the above signals, except to indicate a hazard and the need for assistance, and the use of other signals associated with other signals can be confused of the above characters is prohibited.
3 Attention is drawn to the relevant sections of the International Code of Signals, the International Manual for Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue, Volume III, and to the following signals:
(a) a piece of orange canvas bearing a black square and a circle or other suitable symbol (for air marking);
(b) an ink marker.”
The 2013 Amendments (Resolution A.1085(28))
- assumption: December 4, 2013
- implementation: 1 January 2016
A new Part F (Verification of compliance with the provisions of the Convention) is added after the existing Part E (Exemptions) to allow the organization to carry out the necessary verifications under the audit system of the IMO Member States.
How do you memorize Colregs? ›
- Choose a Regulation that you struggle with.
- Read it 3 times to yourself, 3 times out loud or to a friend and explain that rule to your dog or someone who doesn't know their Ports from Starboards.
- Write the rule on a note card.
- Set an alarm for 12-24hrs time, close the book and walk away.
COLREG 8: ACTION TO AVOID COLLISION
1.19 Rule 8(a) Any action taken to avoid collision shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, be positive, made an ample time and with due regard to the observance good seamanship.
Rule 29 covers light requirements for pilot vessels. Rule 32 gives definitions of whistle, short blast, and prolonged blast. Rule 33 says vessels 12 metres or more in length should carry a whistle and a bell and vessels 100 metres or more in length should carry in addition a gong.What are the 4 characteristics of a good action to avoid collision taken by a give way vessel? ›
- Positive, made in ample time and with due regard to the observance of good seamanship.
- Alteration of course and/or speed.
- Alteration of course alone.
- Action which results in passing at a safe distance.
- Allowing more time to assess the situation.
Rule 19 states every vessel should proceed at a safe speed adapted to prevailing circumstances and restricted visibility. A vessel detecting by radar another vessel should determine if there is risk of collision and if so take avoiding action.What is the shortest rule on the Colreg? ›
Rule 16 is one of the shortest rules but it makes life easier for everyone. The basic points are: Do not hesitate – alter course or speed early. Do not make small alterations – only a big alteration of course or speed will show the other vessel exactly what you are doing.What is Rule 7 in collision regulation? ›
(a) Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist.Is Rule 8 enough to avoid collision? ›
Rule 8 covers action to be taken to avoid collision. (a) Any action taken to avoid collision shall be taken in accordance with the Rules of this Part and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, be positive, made in ample time and with due regard to the observance of good seamanship.What is Rule No 13 of ColRegs? ›
ColRegs Rule 13 governs overtaking situations and states that, “any vessel overtaking any other shall keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken.” This rule applies to all vessels, not just power-driven vessels, as is the case in crossing and head-on situations.What is rule 31 in Colregs? ›
Where it is impractical for a seaplane or a WIG craft to exhibit lights and shapes of the characteristics or in the positions prescribed in the Rules of this part she shall exhibit lights and shapes as closely similar in characteristics and position as is possible.
What is Rule 15 of Colregs? ›
Rule 15: Crossing situation
When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel. This rule is simple.
Rule 35 – Sound Signals in restricted Visibility apply in or near areas of restricted visibility, whether by day or night. This does not include the darkness of night though! Throughout the two rules, a short blast is for 1 second and a prolonged blast is for between 4 and 6 seconds.What is Rule 7 action to avoid collision? ›
Rule 7 - Risk of Collision
(a) Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Read the road ahead. ...
- Drive to the right. The safest place on a two-lane road is slightly to the right of the center of your lane. ...
- Reduce your speed. ...
- Ride off the road.
Depending on the situation, you can do one of these 3 things to prevent a collision: stop, steer away or speed up.What is Rule No 6 in collision regulations to prevent collision? ›
Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.What is Rule 10 of the collision Regulation? ›
Rule 10 is one of the longest rules and one of the hardest to understand. Always remember the following: There is no right of way – a traffic separation lane does not give you right of way over any other vessels. All of the other rules continue to apply within a traffic separation scheme.What is the Rule 5 and Rule 6 in collision regulation? ›
Rule 5 every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing. Rule 6 deals with safe speed. Rule 7 risk assumptions shall not be made on scanty (radar) information. Rule 8 covers action to be taken to avoid collision.What is rule 16 in ship? ›
Rule 16 Action by give-way vessel
Every vessel which is directed to keep out of the way of another vessel shall, so far as possible, take early and substantial action to keep well clear.
When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit avoid, crossing ahead of the other vessel.
What is Rule 4 in collision regulation? ›
Rule 4 says the section applies in any conditions of visibility. Rule 5 every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing. Rule 6 deals with safe speed. Rule 7 risk assumptions shall not be made on scanty (radar) information. Rule 8 covers action to be taken to avoid collision.What is Rule 14 of collision regulation? ›
(a) When two power-driven vessels are meeting on reciprocal or nearly reciprocal courses so as to involve risk of collision each shall alter her course to starboard so that each shall pass on the port side of the other.What is Rule 9 of the collision regulation? ›
(a) A vessel proceeding along the course of a narrow channel or fairway shall keep as near to the outer limit or the channel or fairway which lies on her starboard side as is safe and practicable.What is Rule 17 of collision regulation rules? ›
Rule 17(a)(ii): 'as soon as it becomes apparent' that the give-way vessel is not taking appropriate action, then you may take your own action to avoid a collision. Rule 17(b): when a collision cannot be avoided by the give-way vessel alone, then you must take the best action you can to avoid colliding.What help does Rule 9 has in preventing collision? ›
In Rule 9 a vessel proceeding along the course of a narrow channel or fairway is obliged to keep "as near to the outer limit of the channel or fairway which lies on her starboard side as is safe and practicable." The same Rule obliges a vessel of less than 20 metres in length or a sailing vessel not to impede the ...What is Rule 17 action by stand on vessel? ›
§ 83.17 Action by stand-on vessel (Rule 17).
(b) When, from any cause, the vessel required to keep her course and speed finds herself so close that collision cannot be avoided by the action of the give-way vessel alone, she shall take such action as will best aid to avoid collision.
Rule 34(d) (manoeuvring and warning signals):
Such signal may be supplemented at night by a light signal of at least five short and rapid flashes. All vessels involved in an overtaking situation should act in accordance with the COLREGS as required by the circumstances of the case.
(a) When two sailing vessels are approaching one another, so as to involve risk of collision. 'Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists.What is Colreg Rule 32? ›
(a) The word "whistle" means any sound signalling appliance capable of producing the prescribed blasts and which complies with the specifications in Annex III to these Regulations. (b) The term "short blast" means a blast of about one second duration.What is Rule 27 in Colreg? ›
COLREGs course - Rule 27 (Vessels not under command or restricted in their ability to manoeuvre)
What is Rule 28 in Colreg? ›
A vessel constrained by her draught may, in addition to the lights prescribed for power-driven vessels in Rule 23, exhibit where they can best be seen three all-round red lights in a vertical line, or a cylinder.What is Rule 26 in Colreg? ›
(a) A vessel engaged in fishing, whether underway or at anchor, shall exhibit only the lights and shapes prescribed in this Rule.What is Rule 21 in Colreg? ›
(a) "Masthead light" means a white light placed over the fore-and-aft centreline of the vessel showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 225° and so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5° abaft the beam on either side of the vessel.What is Colreg Rule 18? ›
Vessels constrained by their draught. Any vessel, except a vessel not under command or restricted in her ability to manoeuvre, must avoid impeding the safe passage of a vessel constrained by her draught and exhibiting the signals mentioned in Rule 28.What is in the Rule 22 of Colreg? ›
The lights prescribed in these Rules shall have an intensity as specified in Section 8 Annex I to these Regulation so as to be visible at the following minimum ranges: (a) In vessels of 50 metres or more in length: – a masthead light.What is Colreg Rule 20? ›
Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision..What is Colreg Rule 36? ›
Any light to attract the attention of another vessel shall be such that it cannot be mistaken for any aid to navigation. For the purpose of this Rule the use of high-intensity intermittent or revolving lights, such as strobe lights, shall be avoided.What is Colreg Rule 30? ›
(a) A vessel at anchor shall exhibit where it can best be seen: (i) in the fore part, an all-round white light or one ball; (ii) at or near the stern and at a lower level than the light prescribed in subparagraph (i), an all-round white light.What are the 72 COLREGS? ›
The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGS) are published by the International Maritime Organization and are recognized as the navigation rules followed internationally by ships and other vessels at sea.How many COLREGS are there? ›
The COLREGs include 41 rules divided into six sections: Part A - General; Part B - Steering and Sailing; Part C - Lights and Shapes; Part D - Sound and Light signals; Part E - Exemptions; and Part F - Verification of compliance with the provisions of the Convention.
What is Rule No 13 of COLREGS? ›
ColRegs Rule 13 governs overtaking situations and states that, “any vessel overtaking any other shall keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken.” This rule applies to all vessels, not just power-driven vessels, as is the case in crossing and head-on situations.What is Rule 7 in COLREGS explanation? ›
(a) Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist.What is rule 15 USCG? ›
Rule 15 - Crossing Situation
(a) When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel.
(a) The word "whistle" means any sound signalling appliance capable of producing the prescribed blasts and which complies with the specifications in Annex III to these Regulations. (b) The term "short blast" means a blast of about one second duration.What is rule 31 in COLREGs? ›
Where it is impractical for a seaplane or a WIG craft to exhibit lights and shapes of the characteristics or in the positions prescribed in the Rules of this part she shall exhibit lights and shapes as closely similar in characteristics and position as is possible.What is Rule 18 in Colreg? ›
Rule 18 follows Explanation. Vessels constrained by their draught. Any vessel, except a vessel not under command or restricted in her ability to manoeuvre, must avoid impeding the safe passage of a vessel constrained by her draught and exhibiting the signals mentioned in Rule 28.What is Rule 12 in Colreg? ›
(a) When two sailing vessels are approaching one another, so as to involve risk of collision. 'Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists.What is Rule 6 of the collision regulation *? ›
Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.What is Colreg Rule 17? ›
Rule 17(a)(ii): 'as soon as it becomes apparent' that the give-way vessel is not taking appropriate action, then you may take your own action to avoid a collision. Rule 17(b): when a collision cannot be avoided by the give-way vessel alone, then you must take the best action you can to avoid colliding.