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Maritime Traffic Safety Law of China (2021)

Fri, 06 Aug 2021
Categories: Insights

Maritime Traffic Safety Law was promulgated in 1983, and amended in 2016 and 2021 respectively. The latest revision will enter into force on 1 Sep. 2021.

The key points are as follows:

  1. This Law shall apply to the navigation, berthing, operation, and other activities related to maritime traffic safety in the sea areas within the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China.
  2. To maintain maritime traffic safety and protect the maritime environment, the competent transport authority under the State Council may, in conjunction with the relevant competent authorities, take necessary measures to prevent and stop the non-innocent passage of vessels of foreign nationality through the territorial sea.
  3. For entering or leaving the territorial sea of the People’s Republic of China, the following vessels of foreign nationality shall report to the maritime safety authority: (1) submersibles; (2) nuclear-powered vessels; (3) vessels carrying radioactive substances or other toxic and hazardous substances; and (4) other vessels that might endanger maritime traffic safety of the People’s Republic of China as provided by laws, administrative regulations or the provisions of the State Council. When passing through the territorial sea of the People’s Republic of China, the aforementioned vessels shall hold relevant certificates, take special precautionary measures in conformity with the laws, administrative regulations and rules of the People’s Republic of China, and accept the instructions and administration of the maritime safety authority.
  4. Where any vessel of foreign nationality may threaten the safety of the internal waters or territorial seas of the People’s Republic of China, the maritime safety authority shall be empowered to order it to leave. Where any vessel of foreign nationality violates the laws or administrative regulations of the People’s Republic of China on maritime traffic safety or on the prevention of vessel pollution, the maritime safety authority may exercise the right of hot pursuit in accordance with the law.



Cover Photo by seele an ( on Unsplash

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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