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Suez Canal Transit Guide:

Arrival notes

For Northbound or Southbound Transit, MASTER, Should cable 5 Days 48/24/12 Hours Prior Arrival Notice to us. The Master Should also give the full particulars of the vessel, including her Ex. Name (if applicable), The Date of last transit, SCNRT / SCGRT as per Suez Canal Certificate. Also details of any Cargo on board, Including the IMO class (if any), last and next ports of call. In case of no modification to the vessel since Last transit, Master has to state “PARTICULARS NO CHANGE” At the same time mentioning whether there is light projector on board. Furthermore, any master’s and/or vessels requirements should be Telexed to NATSHIP

Arrival registration

To avoid missing convoys and / or delays, Master, on arrival should immediately contact the Suez Canal Harbor Control by VHF:

On arrival of Port Said or Suez, vessel is required to hoist the following flags
IMMIGRATION SIGNAL, flags TP by day, or one RED LIGHT above two WHITE LIGHTS by night.
THE SIGNAL required by Suez Canal Authority regulation to denote the nature of any Dangerous Cargo On Board.

1. PORT SAID – S. B. (Southbound Convoy)

a. THE FIRST starts at 01.00 hours, until 05.00 hours with an arrival limit
Of 19.00 hours. That is the limit time of Pilot Station arrival.
3 % of Canal Dues if vessel arrived from 1900 hours till 2100 hours.
5 % of Canal Dues if vessel arrived from 2100 hours till 2200 hours.

b. THE SECOND starts at 7.00 hours, until 09.00 hours, with an arrival limit All vessels except LPG, VLCC Tankers, Nafta, Cement Cargo & Vessels Draft more than 12.8 Meter (42 Feets).
All vessel arrival time from 1900 hours to 0300 hours.
3% of Canal Dues if vessel arrival after 0300 hours till 0400 hours
5% of Canal Dues if vessel arrival after 0400 hours till 0500 hours.

2.Suez - N.B.

There is ONE CONVOY starting at 05.20 hours, with arrival limit of 01.00 hours for big container vessels, VLCC’S ULCC’S, Supertankers, Heavy Bulk Carriers and vessels with draft over 38 feet. For Cargo and other types of vessels, the arrival limit is 03.00 hours.

3. For vessels prospect to arrive AFTER LIMIT TIME, Please contact us 24 hours before her arrival, For up to date information's to enable vessel of joining the related convoy.

4. TRANSIT SPEED is normally 14 Knote per hour, except loaded VLCC’S LPG, LNG, loaded Tankers and Heavy Bulk Carriers where the speed during Northbound transit is 13 k. p. h.


Due to the increase in Canal traffic, priority will be given to vessels notifying the S.C.A (Suez Canal Authority) 5 days in advance of the intended transit, provided the vessel arrives within the time limits stipulated. A fine is imposed by the S.C.A. if the vessel does not transit on the notified date, therefore, it is imperative to alter or cancel any such notification at least 24 hours in advance.

The Suez Canal Special Tonnage Certificate.
The General Arrangement Plan.
The Capacity Plan.
The Engine Room Plan.
Full Manifests of the Cargo on board the ship should be the authorities prior passage For all vessels UP TO 2000 Suez Canal Gross Tonnage the original Safety Construction Certificate is required to be submitted prior to transiting the Canal, otherwise a seaworthiness Certificate should be issued in place. Vessel transiting for THE FIRST TIME are inspected by the Suez CANAL Surveyors, Masters are to hand three Photostat copies of the above (1 – 4) certificates / plans to the Authorities, For the Ship’s file. In the absence of any Suez Canal Certificate on board, The S.C.A. will charge tolls based on the GRT of the vessel, until such time a certificate is on board and the vessel is measured.

mooring ropes

The Suez Canal Authority’s Regulation stated that :
At least 6 FLEXIBLE mooring ropes of appropriate size for the vessel, in good condition, fitted with SPLICED EYES, must be in readiness for any emergency, at suitable points on deck. For vessels equipped with tension mooring wires the number of floating ropes may be reduced to 4. Mooring lines, likely to produce sparks by their manipulation is absolutely forbidden on board petroleum tankers, LPG or LNG or any vessel carrying inflammable substances.

One of the ropes which is selected as “first line ashore” must be of floating material to ensure quick securing to the shore.
Wires should not exceed 5.5 circumference to facilitate handing.

Two fire ropes (wire) made fast one forward and one aft., hung over the vessel’s side ready for emergency.

mooring boat

Vessels transiting the Canal must have MOORING BOATS hired from mooring company and Approved By The Suez Canal Authority. This mooring boats must be constant readiness for lowering to run the ropes to the MOORING POSTS Without any delay during the transit of the vessel. In case no mooring boats from the said company are available, SHIP’S BOATS if suitable for mooring in the Canal can be used and must be manned by shore crew, hired from the mooring company,- each boat is to be manned by three men. Ship may ask for additional motor boats or mooring boats according to master’s request. Ships must be fitted with lifting appliances capable of lifting mooring boats of 4 tons weight.

Projector are compulsory during transit and normally hired from the local company, LPG & LNG tankers Should be equipped with own projector conforming to the Suez Canal Authority’s rule of Navigation, and that said projector should be gaslight. It is also recommended by the S.C.A. that all vessels having a bulbous bow should also have their own projector fitted on broad.

pilot - escort tug & fines

The S.C.A.’s regulations state that, it is compulsory to have a pilot onboard for transit, changes of berth, entering or leaving Canal (or ports) and for any movements whatsoever. Failure to comply with this regulation will attract heavy fines as S. C. A. ’s rules. Vessels facing accident, grounding, listings, steering, problems, engine defects, etc., whilst transiting the Canal, may attract an escort tug, imposed by the S.C.A. Vessels unable to maintain the minimum transiting speed will be placed at the end of the convoy and / or may attract an escort tug, as well as extra tolls or even miss the convoy.