Vessel Traffic Services

IMO Area to be Avoided (ATBA)

The IMO Area to be Avoided around Shetland is applicable to all vessels over 5000 GT, carrying or capable of carrying oil or other liquid hazardous cargoes in bulk calling at Sullom Voe or in transit around or near the coastline of Shetland.

Shetland Islands Council, conscious of the dangers to navigation around the Shetland coast, due largely to offshore obstructions, strong tides, rapid weather changes and the presence of fishing vessels, vigorously discourages navigation close to the Shetland coastline. The International Maritime Organisation has ratified this as an ‘Area to be Avoided’ (A.377(X) - MSC 62/25, Annex 32)

Mariners should observe the IMO scheme as detailed on the navigation charts for the Shetland area. Any vessels found within an ‘Area to be Avoided’ will be reported to the flag state in addition to owners and charterers.