Focal Maritime

Automated Identification System (AIS)

29/08/13

Port Notice to Ship Agents, Masters, Owners, and Operators of vessels calling in Maltese waters by the Ports and Yachting Directorate.

The attention of all Agents, Masters, Owners, and Operators of vessels which call in Maltese waters is hereby being directed to the mandatory requirements and obligations regarding the AIS.

In the interests of safety and for the preservation of good order within the Maltese ports, internal and territorial waters, and also in terms of the Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Reporting Requirements Regulations (S.L.499.23), all vessels calling at a port in Malta or navigating within the Maltese internal and territorial waters must be fitted with an Automated Identification System (AIS) in accordance with the technical and performance standards laid down in Chapter V of the SOLAS Convention and as follows:

i.                    All Passenger ships, irrespective of size, except passenger ships below 15m LOA or 300gt engaged only in domestic voyages; and

ii.                  All other ships, except passenger ships, of 300gt or more, except those ships which are less than 500gt sailing exclusively within Maltese waters and outside routes normally used by AIS fitted ships.

Ships fitted with AIS shall maintain it in operation at all times, except where international agreements, rules or standards provide for the protection of navigational information, and shall have the AIS information constantly updated.

With respect to fishing vessels, any fishing vessel calling at a Maltese port or navigating within the Maltese internal and territorial waters of more than 15m LOA1 and which either flies the flag of a Member State and is registered in the Community, or operates in the internal and territorial waters of Malta irrespective of its flag, or lands its catch in any port of Malta, shall be fitted with an AIS (Class A) which meets the performance standards drawn up by the IMO, including but not limited to IMO Resolution A.917(22).

Fishing vessels equipped with an AIS shall maintain it in operation at all times and shall have the AIS information constantly updated. AIS may only be switched off in exceptional circumstances where the master considers this to be necessary in the interest of safety or security of his vessel.   

All masters are reminded that they should comply with the instructions and requests given to them by the Malta VTS (Coastal Station) and the Valletta VTS (Port Control). Furthermore, prior entering the territorial waters, all reports, including reporting of deficiencies, must be duly made. Masters shall ensure that when the ship enters the territorial waters of Malta, the ship participates in and complies with all the regulations; rules and directives which apply in such territorial waters.

In the event of non-compliance by any person or vessel with the above directions and Regulations, action in terms of the applicable legislation will be taken. Such action includes prohibition of entry into, exit from or navigation in Maltese waters and ports.

1 Fishing vessels having an overall length exceeding 15 metres but less than 18 metres, by not later than the 31st of May of 2014. 

http://www.transport.gov.mt/admin/uploads/media-library/files/Port%20Notice%2004.pdf


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