New shipping routes and updated charts

On July 1st 2020, a new routeing system in Skagerrak, Kattegat and the northern part of the Sound came into force. That meant new, updated charts were released.

Since the current recommended route (Route T) for transit from Skagen to the Great Belt was established over 40 years ago, vessel numbers and size has increased considerably. To-day over 70,000 vessels sail through the Kattegat annually many of which are large tankers sailing to and from the Baltic.

In order to reduce the risk of accidents and oil spills, the Danish and Swedish authorities worked together to establish new routing measures, for vessel movement through the Skagerrak, Kattegat and the Sound.

The new routing system entered into force on July 1st 2020. The map below provides an overview of the elements of the routeing system (traffic separation systems, inshore traffic zones, precautionary areas, deep-water routes and recommended routes).

Descriptions of the individual elements in the routeing system and the changes to the navigational aids can be found on the Danish Maritime Authority's website:
https://www.dma.dk/SikkerhedTilSoes/Sejladsinformation/RuterKattegatSkagerrak/Sider/default.aspx

Mariners should pay special attention to the minimum depths and maximum draughts of the recommended routes and deep-water routes, which have been determined from the latest survey data. Details are included in the latest versions of the available electronic charts (ENC) and paper charts.

Updated charting for the new route system
It is important that the elements of this new routeing system are clearly presented to the shipping industry so that vessels are able to plan and accurately monitor safe passage through the new routeing system.
This task has been performed by the Danish and Swedish chart offices on behalf of the Danish Geodata Agency and the Swedish Maritime Administration.

Traffic patterns change
The new route system is aimed at professional shipping. The associated routes, traffic separations and deep-water routes intend to create more predictable traffic patterns for the benefit of navigation safety 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 leisure sailors become familiar with the elements of the routeing system. The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea - Rule 10 on traffic separations - means that recreational sailors will have to take precautions in areas where traffic separations are now established.

The charts are thus both for the use of commercial sailing, but equally for all recreational sailors who enter the named waters.

Rute Type Minimum depth Maximum Draught
A Recommended route 23 metres at MLWS (mean low water springs), extending for a distance of 1 nautical mile on either side of the centre line.  
B Recommended route 14 metres at MLWS (mean low water springs), extending for a distance of 1 nautical mile on either side of the centre line.  
S Recommended route   Vessels with a draught of 10 metres or less are recommended to use Route S on voyages between Skagen and the entrance to the Sound.
T Recommended route   Vessels with a draught with a draught of 10 metres or more on voyages to and from the entrance to the Sound are recommended to use Route T.
Kattegat North Deep water route 19 metres Vessels with a draught of 10 metres or more are recommended to use Deep-water Route Kattegat North. Northbound traffic not restricted by their draught are recommended to use the area east of the deep-water route. Southbound traffic not restricted by their draught are recommended to use the area west of the deep-water route.
Kattegat South Deep water route 19 metres Vessels with a draught of 10 metres or more are recommended to use Deep-water Route Kattegat South. Northbound traffic not restricted by their draught are recommended to use the area east of the deep-water route. Southbound traffic not restricted by their draught are recommended to use the area west of the deep-water route.