New shipping routes and updated nautical charts


A new shipping route system will be established in the Kattegat and Skagerrak on 1 July 2020. This means that updated nautical charts will be published.

(photo: Colourbox)

In the Kattegat, there is currently only one recommended transit route, Route T, from Skagen to the Great Belt. It was established over 40 years ago. Vessels have grown much larger since then, and of the 70,000 ships that sail through the Kattegat annually, many of them are tankers with large draughts that sail to and from the Baltic Sea.

The Danish and Swedish maritime authorities have therefore decided to establish a new route system for organizing maritime traffic. This has been decided in order to reduce the risk of accidents and oil spills.

Map showing shipping routes.
(photo: Danish Maritime Authority)

The new route system requires updated nautical charts
When a new route system is established, it is important that routes, traffic separation schemes and deep water routes are clearly presented to the shipping industry, so that the ships are able to safely carry out their navigation planning and monitoring of their navigation.

This task is performed by the Danish and Swedish hydrographic offices under the Danish Geodata Agency and the Swedish Maritime Administration respectively.

New editions of paper charts
Prior to the implementation of the new route system, therefore, the Danish Geodata Agency will publish ten updated paper charts, as well as one brand new paper chart (designated no. 121). Thus, all paper charts of the Skagerrak and Kattegat will be replaced with new versions of the charts and the new chart.

The Swedish Maritime Administration will similarly publish new editions of the Swedish paper charts of the Skagerrak and Kattegat.

The paper charts will be available from 3 April 2020, allowing users to familiarise themselves with the major changes entailed in the route system, including the changes that will be made to the buoyage.

The new paper chart no. 121 provides better coverage of Skagen and Ålbæk Bugt, where some Ship-to-Ship Operations occur for vessels with a large draught.

New versions of electronic charts
At the end of May 2020, the Danish Geodata Agency and the Swedish Maritime Administration will issue new versions of the electronic nautical charts (ENC) that are affected by the implementation of the new route system and the changes in the buoyage.

The elements of the route system will be coded into the ENC starting on 1 July 2020. As a general rule, the route system will not appear on the ship's ECDIS until this date. However, some ECDIS have the ability to scroll the on-screen display forward or backward in time. This will allow users of these ECDIS to view the new route system before it is implemented.

Users can read more about the updates of the paper charts and ENCs in the upcoming editions of the Danish Geodata Agency's publication Chart Corrections [Chart Corrections no. 13 2020, which will be issued on Friday, 3 April 2020 – link to Chart Corrections on the Danish Geodata Agency website]

Traffic patterns will change
The new route system is intended for professional shipping. The relevant routes, traffic separation schemes and deep water routes are intend to create more predictable traffic patterns in order to improve safety of navigation in the area and reduce the large number of ships in the existing Route T, by establishing a new recommended route, Route S, along the Swedish coast.

Nevertheless, it is important that recreational sailors familiarise themselves with the route system. Rule 10 of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea on traffic separation schemes means that recreational sailors will have to take precautions in areas where traffic separation schemes are now established.

The charts are therefore intended to be used for both commercial navigation, but equally also by all recreational sailors entering the designated waters.

The paper charts can be ordered here: 

Fact box:
The charts that will be issued on 1 April are:

  • Chart 92 Skagerrak
  • Chart 100 Kattegat
  • Chart 101 Kattegat, N-section
  • Chart 102 Kattegat, S-section
  • Chart 121
  • Chart 122 Kattegat, Aalborg Bugt
  • Chart 123 Kattegat, Læsø Rende
  • Chart 124 Kattegat, S of Anholt
  • Chart 128 Kattegat, Samsø Bælt
  • Chart 129 Kattegat, SE-section
  • Chart 131 Sundet, N-section

Three new ENCs will also be issued in Usage Band 3 in connection with the project

Read this in press release in Danish here: