1007 - 11/14 - Navigational Infringement Fines - Georgia
Further to Bulletin 357, we would like to draw Members’ attention to some recent navigational infringement fines experienced in Georgia.
Navigation in Georgian Territorial Waters is regulated by the “Order of the President of Georgia No 380” and navigation in the roads and in the ports of Georgia is regulated by ″Port rules″ and Orders of the Chairman of the Georgian Maritime Administration. These acts establish mandatory Traffic Separation Schemes, Maritime Special Areas, Recommended Routes and GEOREP Reporting System.
Port anchorage areas and entrances are closely monitored by the local Vessel Traffic Services and the Coast Guard. VTS may instruct Masters in respect of courses and speeds to be taken, or on other navigational matters. These instructions should be double-checked, recorded and followed, if possible. To avoid any misunderstanding, if in doubt of the information received by the VTS, Masters should directly call the Coast Guard (call sign POSEIDON) and ask for advice. Any non-compliance with regulations or instructions may be sanctioned. Fixed penalties of 50,000 GEL (around 29,000 USD) can be imposed on vessels’ Masters. These fines have to be paid before the vessel’s departure from port, if payment is not made the ship maybe detained with potentially escalating berth occupancy charges etc. Ship owners are normally given ten days to appeal and thirty days to pay the fine. In case of failure to pay within this timeframe, the detained ship can be sold in accordance with Georgian Legislation.
In 2013/2014 around 35/40 navigational infringement incidents occurred in Georgia, most of them involved vessels not complying with Traffic Separation Schemes.
We strongly recommend Members, whilst in Georgian Territorial Waters, strictly adhere to all rules and regulations. They should navigate in the Traffic Separation Schemes and comply with all reporting requirements. All officers on board should be aware of the local regulations. A comprehensive passage plan should be followed, with the positions for entering and leaving the Traffic Separation Schemes confirmed in advance. All electronic charts on board should be updated. If there is a failure to comply with any of the instructions of the Vessel Traffic Service, the Master needs to inform his owners/Club, as he will most likely face a heavy fine.
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