UN Agency Recommends New Maritime Traffic Measures in the Santos Basin

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(Petrobras, 18.Jun.2024) — This month, June, in London, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), connected with the UN through its Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR), recommended approving the Brazilian proposal to create Areas To Be Avoid (ATBA) to reduce the risk of collisions between merchant ships and oil platforms and support vessels of the energy companies that operate in the Santos Basin. The subcommittee’s recommendation must be adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in December of this year, coming into effect in July 2025.

Merchant ships currently navigating the region must use other routes to avoid sensitive ATBAs, such as the Santos Basin, due to the large number of offshore platforms and traffic.  
The proposal to create the ATBAs was prepared by Petrobras in 2018 and improved in conjunction with the Brazilian Navy and the Brazilian Institute of Oil and Gas (IBP). It was then submitted to the IMO and authorized by the Brazilian government in 2023. The Brazilian proposal provides for the creation of two polygonal areas totaling 7,363.64 km2, where the navigation of merchant ships not related to offshore activity is to be avoided. 
The Santos Basin lies in the ZEE (Exclusive Economic Zone), which extends from 12 nautical miles to 200 nautical miles off the coast, the equivalent of 321.8 km. In this region, only the IMO has the power to take measures that interfere with free navigation. The IMO has already adopted ATBAs in the Campos Basin since 2007 and in the Espírito Santos Basin since 2012.


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