China 09 Jan, 2024

China - Regional MSAs Announce New Shipping Routes in the Bohai Sea and Eastern Waters

Dean Crossley
Dean Crossley
Loss Prevention Manager

Collaborative efforts to enhance maritime safety and oversee ship navigation in the Bohai Sea and its eastern waters have resulted in the collective issuance of 27 significant navigation routes by the Tianjin Maritime Safety Administration (MSA), Liaoning MSA, Hebei MSA, and Shandong MSA.

Effective from 18 December 2023, these designated routes are designed to safeguard maritime traffic and establish a structured navigation framework for vessels operating in the region. Specifics regarding the new shipping routes are available in Circular No.: SPI231201, released by PRC P&I correspondent Shanghai P&I Services on 23 December 2023.

Among the pivotal routes, the Chengshanjiao-Laotieshan Waterway Route (No.4) and Chengshanjiao-Changshan Waterway Route (No.5) serve as crucial entry and exit points to the Bohai Sea. Originally disclosed by the Shandong MSA in 2021, these existing routes align with the latest announcement. Commercial vessels are advised to prioritise these navigation routes, while fishing vessels are encouraged to avoid operations within them whenever feasible.


The MSAs furnish a comprehensive overview of the 27 major public navigation routes in the Bohai Sea and its eastern waters. These bidirectional routes are categorised as bidirectional trunk, bidirectional branch, and recommended routes. Emphasising their status as protected public transportation resources, the MSAs ensure that routes are not exclusively designated for specific units or individuals.

Turning points along the routes solely serve as location and direction indicators, not as recommendations for vessel navigation. Coordinates are based on the 2000 National Geodetic Coordinate System, equivalent to WGS-84. While the route width is theoretical, vessels are advised to utilise routes and navigate to the right of the centerline, planning routes based on vessel characteristics and navigational chart information.

Strict adherence to international regulations is mandatory, with vessels urged to exercise caution in various scenarios, including entering or leaving routes and traversing densely navigated waters. The routes, recommended channels for vessels, do not absolve vessel masters or crews from the responsibility of ensuring safe navigation.

Any modifications to routes will be separately announced by the MSAs, ensuring continuous alignment with port construction, maritime traffic safety, or other requirements.

Members requiring further guidance should contact the Loss Prevention Department.