Special navigation rules for the Danube sector betoween Sulina roadstead and Braila harbour (km 175)

These "Special Navigation Rules" apply on the Lower Danube from Braila (km 175) to Sulina roadstead and they were made by the River Administration of the Lower Danube - Galati, hereinafter referred to as the "Administration" based on article 23 of the "Convention Regarding the Regime of Navigation on the Danube", signed in Belgrade on the 18th of August 1948 and on the "Fundamental Dispositions Regarding the Navigation on the Danube" adopted by the Danube Commission in 2010.



Article 1.01

Field of application

These special rules complete the provisions of the "Rules of Navigation on the Danube - Part I", stipulating the special navigation conditions for the maritime sector of the Lower Danube between Braila (km 175) and Sulina roadstead and they apply to all maritime, sea-river going and river vessels navigating apart or in convoy on this sector.


Article 1.02


  1. The masters of all vessels, no matter the flag under which they sail on the Lower Danube sector between Braila (km 175) and Sulina roadstead, are obliged to observe these rules.
  2. The maritime vessels are obliged to have the lights and signals stipulated by the "International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea".


Article 1.03

Definition of terms

For the purpose of the present Rules:

a) the term "pilot" means the person possessing an adequate license and making part of the Administration's pilots corps or who is authorized by it, based on an examination, to provide vessel piloting on the maritime sector of the Lower Danube between Sulina roadstead and Braila (km 175);

b) the term "piloted vessel" means any vessel, floating unit or installation, convoy or any other floating body navigating isolated or in formation and benefitting of the services of a pilot;

c) the term "Administration" means the River Administration of the Lower Danube - Galati;

d) the term "sea-river going vessel" means a vessel built and equipped for both sea and river safe navigation.

e) The other terms used hereinafter that the same meaning as in "Rules for Navigation on the Danube."


Article 1.04

Notices to skippers

The provisions of the present Rules are completed by Notices to Skippers issued by the Administration. These Notices to Skippers are transmitted by means of the Harbour Master's Offices and are published in the Hydro-meteorological Bulletin of the Danube. Under certain circumstances these NtS are transmitted within the hydrological bulletin which is broadcasted on a radio station with national coverage.


Articolul 1.05

Compulsory Requirement of Piloting the Vessels

  1. Maritime and sea-river going vessels are forbidden to sail on the maritime sector of the Lower Danube from the mouth of Sulina Channel to Braila harbour (km 175), without having on board a pilot of the Administration or a pilot authorized by the Administration to perform the piloting.
  2. River-going vessels, regardless of flag, navigating upstream and downstream, shall request the presence on board of an Administration pilot or of a pilot authorized by it, unless they already have on board a pilot duly licensed for the navigation on this sector.




Article 2.01

Vessel Documents

All ships, regardless of the flag under which they navigate, must have on board the nationality document as well as all certificates and documents required by the national rules in force and by the international conventions to which Romania is part.


Article 2.02

Tonnage Certificates

  1. All maritime and river-maritime vessels, besides the documents stipulated at art. 2.01 above must have on board a Suez Canal Tonnage Certificate or a similar tonnage certificate issued by the Administration.
  2. The certificates stipulated at paragraph 1 above are used by the Administration to calculate the navigation tariffs.
  3. In case the tonnage certificates mentioned above are lacking, the Administration shall issue such a certificate.
  4. The costs incurred by the measurements necessary for issuing the tonnage certificate shall be in borne by the vessel.


Article 2.03

Permissible Vessel Tilting

The vessels having a cross tilt over 4° are not allowed to navigate on the maritime sector of the Lower Danube.


Article 2.04

Verification of Vessels Draft

  1. Upon arriving from the sea in Sulina roadstead, the masters of the maritime and river-maritime vessels have the obligation to communicate the actual draft of the ship in fresh water, while the pilot, before getting on board, has the obligation to check the accuracy of the communicated data.
  2. It is forbidden to enter from the sea or to leave a harbour for the ships having exceeded the maximum permissible draft communicated by the Administration.
  3. During loading/ballasting operations the ship master has the obligation to permanently check the ship's draft, which should not exceed the admissible maximum draft on the maritime sector of the Lower Danube provided by art. 3.05, or the one communicated by the Administration.
  4. Before boarding the ship or the convoy, the pilot has the obligation to check the observance of the permissible draft for the respective day. If he finds out it is exceeded, he shall inform the Administration and the Harbour Master's Office.




Article 3.01

Marching Direction

  1. On the maritime sector of the Lower Danube the vessels must keep to the right side of their marching direction.
  2. Exception is made in case special local conditions require the change of marching direction.
  3. In the cases provided at paragraph 2 above, the marching direction may be changed only after announcing the intention by acoustic/visual signals provided in these Rules, by radio-telephone and after having agreed the meeting way with the vessels navigating in the area.


Article 3.02

Safety measures

  1. The masters of the vessels under way or at a standstill are obliged to watch over the safety of the vessel, having permanently ready for use the anchors, the mooring and signalling means and to take all measures so that their ship should not hinder the navigation.
  2. Under unfavourable hydro-weather conditions (levels above +300 cm at Tulcea, wind above 6 on the Beaufort - scale / 39-49 km/h, ice floes, etc.) the passage through Tulcea bend must be assisted by a tug boat provided by the Administration. The costs of the tug assistance are supported by the vessel.


Article 3.03


On the maritime sector of the Lower Danube:

  1. Isolated river-going ships must get out of the way of the maritime vessels.
  2. When meeting or overtaking convoys or smaller ships the integrity or safety of which can be jeopardised by the backwash, waves or suction effects produced by the maritime ship, the latter shall reduce speed accordingly and in due time.
  3. Small crafts of any kind shall get out of the way of self-propelled vessels in due time and shall navigate at maximum 15 m from one of the banks.


Article 3.04

Objects abandoned in the river

  1. The anchors, chains or other objects abandoned in the river on the maritime sector of the Lower Danube, which hinder or jeopardise the navigation, shall be recovered from the water by the Administration at the expense of their owners.
  2. When the owner did not notify the place and kind of lost objects or if he cannot be traced, the Administration shall valorise the objects in order to recover its expenses according to the legislation in force.
  3. The masters of the vessels and convoys sailing on the maritime sector of the Lower Danube, when noticing large objects, parcels, floats, crafts or ships floating on this sector, without crew or lights during the night, and endangering the navigation, shall communicate their position to the Administration and the harbour master's office as well as to the other vessels sailing in the area. The Administration shall take measures to preserve such objects and shall return them to the owner against the payment of the costs generated by their recovery and storage or it shall valorise them according to the provisions in force.


Article 3.05

Overall dimensions of the vessels

  1. On the maritime sector of the Lower Danube, from Braila to Sulina Roadstead, all maritime and river-sea going ships shall navigate with a fresh water draft of maximum 23 feet, respectively 7.01 m. The depths situation is communicated daily on a radio station of national coverage and it shall be transmitted to the navigators by means of Notices to Skippers.
  2. In normal conditions, this sector allows for the navigation of ships of maximum 180 m long and floating structures having widths of maximum 40 m.
  3. In certain conditions, depending on the Danube water levels, the Administration may:
  1. order the reduction or it may approve the exceeding of the draft stipulated in paragraph 1 above;
  2. approve the navigation of ships longer than 180 m, but which cannot exceed 225 m in length;
  3. approve the navigation of floating structures having widths of maximum 40 m, if the hydro-meteorological conditions allow this.
  1. The approval to exceed the draft or the length of the ship can only be given from one day to another and it shall be communicated to the harbour Master's Office and the Piloting Agency. In this situation the ship master shall correlate the ship draft with the depth communicated by the Adrministration, in order to assure the necessary margin for safe navigation.
  2. The overall dimensions of the tugged or pushed river convoys shall observe the sizes recommended by the Danube Commission or by the Special Rules and the Notices to Skippers issued by the Administration for certain sectors or special situations.


Article 3.06

Distances to be observed by vessels and small crafts

  1. When crossing difficult navigation areas or tight bends or the Danube sector between Sulina Bar and the Nm 34, it is forbidden for vessels to approach one another at less than 1 nautical mile.
  2. No vessel or small craft shall cross the channel at less than 1 NM distance from the bow of the marching maritime or river going vessels.


Article 3.07

Fairway obstruction

  1. Obstruction of the fairway by any kind of vessel, floating material, installation or fishing tool is strictly forbidden.
  2. On the maritime sector of the Lower Danube it is strictly forbidden to use nets or other fishing tools in the fairway or in the ship berthing places.




Article 3.1.01

Vessels Forbidden to Navigate on Sulina Channel

The navigation with sails of vessels with a tonnage over 50 tons is strictly forbidden on Sulina Channel.


Article 3.1.02

Navigation speed on Sulina Channel

1. On free and unrestricted sectors, the navigation speed on the channel is established by mutual agreement with the pilot on board but anyway it may not exceed the speed limits established below for normal hydro-meteorological conditions:

Vessel type Upstream Downstream
Small crafts 8 knots 9 knots
Tugs or convoys 8 knots 9 knots
Passenger, salvage, fire-fighting and military ships 9 knots 10 knots
Maritime ships up to 4,000 dwt 7 knots 9 knots
Maritime ships between 4,000 dwt and 12,000 dwt 6 knots 8 knots
Maritime ships between 12,000 dwt and 25,000 dwt 5 knots 7 knots

If the water level at Tulcea is over +300 cm, the speeds shall be reduced to the safe steering and wave generation limit of the ship. At pilots indication, the ship master is obliged to reduce speed according to the actual conditions in the navigation area.


Article 3.1.03

Navigation at the same height, meetings, overtaking

  1. Navigation at the same height is prohibited.
  2. At bends and where the fairway breadth is insufficient, meeting and overtaking of ships are prohibited.
  3. When navigating upstream or downstream, overtaking is allowed only for ships up to 4000 tons displacement. Overtaking is only permitted in places offering adequate conditions.
  4. By night time, meeting and overtaking of the maritime and sea-river going vessels on the sector between Sulina Channel mouth and Nm 34, is prohibited.


Article 3.1.04

Navigation by night

  1. The navigation by night between the Nautical Mile 0 (Sulina Harbour) and Sulina Bar is prohibited for all ships, except for the Administration vessels or those specially authorized by it.
  2. Navigation by night is prohibited for all maritime and sea-river going vessels between Nm 34 and Nm 0 (Sulina Harbour).
  3. Upstream navigation between Sulina Channel mouth and Nm 43 is allowed 24 hours a day, except for the maritime vessels heaving lengths exceeding 140 m and/ or widths over 28 m, new constructions with no self propulsion, special oversized transports as for the vessels transporting dangerous goods. By means of NtS, the Administration can restrict or interrupt the upstream navigation in between Sulina Channel mouth and Nm 43.
  4. In certain conditions, the Administration may prohibit the upstream navigation, depending on the hydro-meteorological and navigational conditions.
  5. Maritime and sea-river going vessels must have functional at all times the radar, radio station and automatic identification system (AIS) while navigating on the maritime sector of the Danube.


Article 3.1.05

Sulina Channel closed by navigation

  1. The Administration decides the temporary closing of Sulina Channel when required by the situation.
  2. In this case, at the monitoring stations of Ceatal Sf. Gheorghe and Ceatal Izmail, restriction signals A1 are up during day and night ( Annex no. 7 to the " Rules of Navigation on the Danube") and the temporary closing of the Channel is communicated to the vessels by the Piloting Agencies and the Harbour Masters' Offices of Tulcea and Sulina. The shipmasters of all vessels and convoys are obliged to observe the provisions of paragraph 3 and paragraph 4 below, as the case may be.
  3. The masters of the vessels /convoys navigating upstream shall take measures for anchoring or mooring in the places specially signalled according to the Regulations, or in other locations indicated by the pilot.
  4. The masters of the vessels /convoys navigating downstream shall proceed depending on the position, characteristics and navigating conditions at the moment they received the communication according to the provisions of art. 5.04, paragraph 4 and paragraph 5 of these Rules. 




Article 3.2.01

Entrance and Exit through Sulina Channel Mouth

  1. Entrance through Sulina Channel Mouth is permitted only during daytime except for the conditions stipulated in chapter 4, art. 4.01, art. 4.03 and chap. 5, art. 5.04. In special circumstances, the Administration may prohibit the passage of certain vessels if the navigating conditions and/or the ship's characteristics do not comply the requirements.
  2. Exit through Sulina Channel Mouth is permitted only during daytime except for the conditions stipulated in chapter 4, art. 4.01, art. 4.03 and chap. 5, art. 5.04. In special circumstances, the Administration may allow the passage of certain vessels after having analysed the actual conditions, the ship's characteristics and the emergency of the request.
  3. In case dredging works or other kind of works are carried out at the mouth of Sulina Channel, the entrance/exit of the vessels is regulated by adequate signalling as provided by these Rules, signals born by the equipments involved in the works, or by means of a passage schedule for the works area, communicated by Notices to Skippers to the Harbour Master's Offices and to Sulina Piloting Agency.
  4. In case of interdiction to go out to sea, the vessel must anchor in the specially arranged and accordingly signaled places by this mean by the Administration, until the end of interdiction.


Article 3.2.02

Choice of Anchoring Place in Sulina Roadstead

  1. When arriving in Sulina Roadstead, the shipmaster shall choose the anchoring place so that the vessel should not disturb nearby vessels or their manoeuvres to enter/exit Sulina Channel.
  2. When arriving from the sea, the shipmaster shall inform the Administration and the Harbour Master's Office in Sulina about the time this ships requests the pilot and at the same time about the ship's characteristics, type and quantity of cargo, maximum draft at arrival in fresh waters, port of departure and destination.


Article 3.2.03

Order of Entrance from Roadstead into Sulina Channel

  1. As a rule, the order of entrance from the Roadstead into Sulina Channel is the order of arrival into Sulina Roadstead. Exception is made for passenger ships, vessels carrying perishable or dangerous cargoes, and the ships in danger or in need of urgent medical intervention.
  2. Based on safety criteria, the Administration can establish priority at entrance or in a different order for the ships justifying this measure.
  3. The ships carrying dangerous cargoes, those coming from areas of epidemics or having on board persons suffering from contagious diseases, considered by the sanitary authorities as dangerous (plague, cholera, yellow fever, etc.) shall not be admitted in the Channel without the approval of the Harbour Master's Office and of the sanitary authorities, who shall communicate the entrance permission to the Administration. When for certain reasons (storm, damages, non contagious serious illness, etc.) their entrance into the Channel is however permitted, such vessel must remain in the Channel, in the place indicated by the Administration, downstream of Sulina Harbour and they must not get into contact with other persons than the authorised ones (Harbour Master's Office, Frontier Police, Customs and sanitary-veterinary authorities).


Article 3.2.04

Compulsory Assistance or Towing of Ships Passing Through Sulina Channel Mouth

  1. In order to enter or exit by Sulina Channel Mouth, the vessels not satisfying the requested conditions regarding overall dimensions and/or manoeuvrability shall, as a rule, be assisted by a tug boat of the Administration.
  2. The tugboat performs the operation based on an order, handed over by the shipmaster to the pilot, and after its reception acknowledgement via radio-telephone to the Administration. At the end the service confirmation and the order are given to the tugboat master.
  3. The tug assistance refusal implies the postponement of the vessel's entrance into the Channel or its returning downstream of Sulina harbour and the consequences of such refusal are the responsibility of the ship's master.


Article 3.2.05

Meeting of Ships at Sulina Channel Mouth

Meeting of vessels in the buoyed sector at Sulina Channel Mouth is strictly forbidden.




Article 4.01

General provisions

  1. The vessels having entered the Channel have the obligation to permanently inform themselves by radio-telephone, about the weather conditions from the other ships in the area or from the monitoring stations of the Administration.
  2. When navigation conditions change or such changes are forecasted, the vessels must take anchoring or mooring measures, in the places signalled as such or in other places indicated by the pilot, taking all precautions stipulated in the "Rules of Navigation on the Danube" under art. 6.30, art. 6.31, art. 6.32 and art. 6.33.
  3. Under reduced visibility conditions (fog, mist, heavy rain, snow, etc.) the navigation on Sulina Channel is prohibited. In such situations, the pavilion "U" from the International signal code is hoisted on the mast of the monitoring stations on the Channel or the existing conditions and restrictions are communicated by radio-telephone, at the request of the vessels about to enter the Channel.


Article 4.02

Special Situation of Powerful Flow on Sulina Channel

  1. If a powerful flow on Sulina Channel creates difficult navigation conditions, at a water level of +300 cm at Tulcea, a black flag is hoisted on the mast of the Ceatal Izmail station (Nm 43).
  2. In this case, the masters of maritime and river-maritime vessels must take special precaution measures, as indicated by the pilot (reduced speed, assistance of a tugboat, etc.).


Article 4.03

Navigation during winter time

  1. After the appearance of ice on the Lower Danube maritime sector, the navigation takes place under special conditions established by the Administration. The Administration's dispositions are compulsory.
  2. The masters of the maritime and river-maritime vessels which are to navigate in ice conditions shall request information from the Administration regarding the ice situation on the Danube, in order to evaluate, depending on the engine/s power, the construction and condition of the hull, the possibility of the vessel to enter or exit Sulina Channel and to make the manoeuvres or to leave the harbours.
  3. For all taken measures, the shipmaster shall observe the pilot's recommendations and the measures established by the Administration (order of entrance into convoys, speed, waiting places, etc.).
  4. When navigating in ice conditions, the shipmasters shall permanently keep in touch with vessels operating on the ice and with the Administration in order to communicate their position and the ice state and to receive information regarding navigation conditions and restrictions.
  5. The ships caught by the ice have the obligation to remain permanently on radio reception on channel 16 VHF.
  6. When navigating on natural passages or on ice-breakers opened paths, the vessels are obliged to navigate only on these passages, at the required speed so as to avoid breaking ice packs on the sides. Dropping anchor, overtaking or meeting on such passages is strictly prohibited.
  7. Vessels blocked by the ice, that are in danger or which obstruct the passage of other more powerful ships, are obliged to accept the priority intervention of the Administration ships operating on the ice, for the clearance of the channel. Also, in special situations, they may request the priority assistance of the Administration vessels. In both situations, the vessels shall prepare in advance adequate towlines passed through high resistance pieces (anchor hawse, roller chock, etc.) and it shall bear the costs of the intervention regardless of the results.
  8. The Administration is not responsible for the damages suffered by the ships navigating in ice caused by ice floes, by intervention vessels or by other ships and cannot be held responsible for the damages caused by the ice engaged ships to other ships, installations, hydrotechnical constructions and similar.
  9. The masters of the vessels that benefited of the services of the Administration shall confirm in writing the duration of each service, and the ship agent has to confirm in writing the payment. The ships that have no agent shall make a cash payment for the services to the Administration's representative.



Article 5.01

Obligation of vessel piloting

  1. All maritime and river-maritime vessels, regardless of their flag, navigating on the maritime sector of the Lower Danube between Sulina Channel Mouth and Braila harbour (km 175) are obliged to have on board a pilot of the Administration or authorised by it to perform the piloting on this sector.
  2. All mooring, departure or position changing manoeuvres of the maritime and river-maritime ships, in the harbours and roadstead of the harbours on the maritime Lower Danube, shall be carried out only in the presence of the pilot.
  3. The self-propelled river ships, navigating upstream /downstream or manoeuvring in the harbours, regardless of the flag, shall request the presence on board of an Administration pilot or one authorised by it, if they don't have already on board a person duly authorised for the navigation on this sector.


Article 5.02

Pilot's embarkation and disembarkation on board the ship

  1. For the safe embarkation or disembarkation of the pilot, the ship master is obliged to reduce speed or to stop the vessel, depending on the circumstances, taking all necessary measures for this situation.
  2. When entering from the sea into Sulina Channel, the piloting of the vessel becomes compulsory from a distance of minimum 1 Nm from the far end of the North dam of Sulina Channel mouth.
  3. When going out to sea from Sulina Channel, the pilot may disembark the piloted ship at a distance of at least 1 Nm from the far end of the North dam of Sulina Channel Mouth.


Article 5.03

Places for pilot's embarkation and disembarkation

  1. Sulina Roadstead which, for the embarkation and disembarkation of the pilots, includes the sea water in the sector delimited from buoy 02 (prolongation of North dam end) on a radius of 2 Nm, between true bearings 0° - 121°;
  2. The harbours in the maritime sector of the Lower Danube, their roadstead as well as other areas established by the Administration by means of Notices to Skippers;
  3. On the maritime sector of the Lower Danube, at Nm 44 and at km 175 (Braila).


Article 5.04

Impossibility for pilot's embarkation/disembarkation in Sulina Roadstead
Impracticable Bar

  1. It is considered to have "impracticable bar" when due to strong winds (force 5-6 / 29-49 km/h Beaufort scale during daytime and force 4 /20 -28 km/h Beaufort scale during nighttime) and high waves (sea agitation degree 4/ wave height 1,25-2,5m, Douglas scale during daytime and 3/ wave height 0,5-0,25, Douglas scale during nighttime), the navigation through the bar and/or the embarkation/disembarkation of the pilot cannot be made in safe conditions. In this case the vessels are informed by radiotelephone. "Impracticable Bar" is declared by the Administration.
  2. When the bar is declared impracticable, the vessels that are to enter Sulina Channel coming from the sea shall wait in the roadstead.
  3. Vessels less than 120 m long navigating downstream to go out to sea, can engage themselves on Sulina Channel, with the obligation to drop anchor in the signalled areas if the bar remains impracticable.
  4. Vessels with a length over 120 m may not engage on Sulina Channel until the Bar is declared practicable.
  5. In situations when ships with a length of more than 120 m engaged on Sulina Channel are caught by the declaration of "Impracticable Bar" they are to drop anchoror or dock in an adequate place indicated by the pilot and approved by the Administration.


Article 5.05

Treatment of the Pilot on Board

During the presence of the pilot on board, the shipmaster has to provide him board and lodging at the level of the officers.


Article 5.06

Pilot's obligations

  1. Before setting out, the pilot has the obligation to find out the hydro-meteorological conditions, the changes and restrictions on the sector where he is to pilot the ship (sketches with depths at sills, notices to skippers, and similar).
  2. The pilot is obliged to inform the shipmaster on the regime of navigation on the maritime sector of the Lower Danube, to give him assistance in piloting the ship and to inform him about all the navigation restrictions on the sector they sail.
  3. The pilot has the obligation to request, and the ship master to provide all the information regarding the ship characteristics, cargo type, the name of the ship master, owner/operator, etc.
  4. The pilot shall inform the Harbour Master's Office and the Administration about the manoeuvres performed, the position of the vessel, hydro-weather conditions in the area, traffic situation, navigation events and other similar.
  5. During his stay on board the vessel/convoy, the pilot has the obligation to give the shipmaster all the information regarding the respective area or harbour so that the ship/convoy may navigate and perform the harbour manoeuvres in full safety.
  6. In the roadstead of the maritime Lower Danube harbours, the pilot coming or leaving with the ship may provide assistance for the entrance, exit, anchoring, mooring, departure and other similar, only after having found out exactly the required conditions for the safe execution of the manoeuvres and after the vessels received the approval of the competent authorities (Harbour Master's Office, Harbour Administration).
  7. The pilot shall report on board with the documents attesting his identity and the authorisation to pilot maritime vessels (Pilot card or Authorisation issued by the Administration, Licence as Maritime Danube Pilot).
  8. The pilot has the obligation to speak English and one of the official languages of the Danube Commission (Russian, French or German).
  9. The pilot shall inform the shipmaster that during manoeuvres and when crossing difficult navigation areas he has the obligation to be present on the bridge deck. In case the shipmaster is obliged to leave the bridge deck, the pilot shall request the nomination of a competent person, responsible for the ship's steering in his absence. In case of non-compliance, the pilot shall request the vessel or the manoeuvre stopping, and if there are no favourable conditions for this immediate stopping, he shall continue to pilot the vessel until he has the possibility to stop the vessel, reporting about this immediately, in this sequence, to the nearest harbour master's office and to the Administration.
  10. When passing through the area of every Station for Navigation Monitoring and Control, Harbour Master's Office or Piloting Agency, the pilot has the obligation to contact them by radiotelephone in order to receive possible further information.
  11. The pilot has the obligation to check that the data in the "Piloting Bulletin", "Skipper's Declaration", "Provided Services Confirmations" or documents issued by the vessel regarding the voyage, are compliant with the reality and to deliver them to the Administration. In case he finds there are inaccuracies in these documents, and the skipper refuses to correct them, such documents shall be submitted accompanied by a report. In case the pilot discovers that the information regarding the technical condition, received from the ship's/convoy's skipper do not comply with the reality, he has the obligation to inform the Harbour master's Office that has jurisdiction in that area as well as the Administration. The pilot shall remain on board the ship until the inquiry made by the harbour master's office is completed and he shall countersign as a witness the resulting documents.


Article 5.07

Obligations of Piloted Vessels' Masters

  1. To observe the provisions of the "Regulations for the Navigation on the Danube" and of the "Special Navigation Rules Applicable for the Maritime Sector of the Lower Danube".
  2. To check the card/authorisation issued by the Administration attesting the pilot's right to perform the piloting service.
  3. By signing the piloting service confirmation documents submitted by the pilot, the vessel master confirms the exact time when the pilot got on board which is considered the starting hour for the piloting service.
  4. To put at the disposal of the pilot all necessary data regarding the vessel's manoeuvring characteristics and to inform the pilot about the technical condition of all navigation systems and devices, for the purpose of a safe voyage. The ship master shall ensure the necessary conditions to transmit and receive messages and information regarding the ongoing voyage.
  5. After consultation with the pilot, the ship master gives directly and on his own responsibility the orders for the ship's march. If in the interest of quicker manoeuvres the ship master appreciates necessary to let the pilot give directly these orders, the manoeuvres carried out under such circumstances are considered to have been ordered by the ship master and they engage only his responsibility.
  6. The ship master is responsible for the manoeuvres of his ship and for any damage that may result following such manoeuvres, even if the pilot is present on board.
  7. During manoeuvres or during the voyage through difficult areas, the ship master is obliged to command directly the ship. However in case he cannot be present on the bridge deck he has to appoint another competent person who is responsible for the ship's command or manoeuvring.
  8. The ship master shall not allow other members of the crew, present on the bridge deck, to disturb or hinder in any way the fulfilment of the service duties of the pilot.
  9. The skipper of the piloted vessel/convoy is obliged to present the pilot the correct data regarding the draft, dimensions, tonnage, characteristics and power of the engines, of the propulsion mechanisms, the manoeuvrability as well as other characteristics of the vessel required by the pilot.
  10. To stop the ship at the request and in the places indicated by the pilot whenever disagreements with the pilot occur, so as to permit the arrival on board of the representatives of the Harbour Master's Office and of the Administration for the purpose of solving the litigation.
  11. To confirm, before the pilot leaves the vessel, all the services provided by the piloting service as well as the other services delivered by third parties or by the Administration (piloting boats, divers, assistance tugs and similar).
  12. The skipper of the piloted vessel/convoy has no right to retain the pilot on board after the ship/convoy left the area/harbour where the piloting is compulsory and he has the obligation to disembark him in safe conditions. In case the pilot's disembarkation cannot be safely performed due to unfavourable weather or hydrological conditions, the master of the vessel/convoy has the obligation to assure the disembarking of the pilot in the nearest safe place, as well as his return to the residence place of the Administration, at the expense of the vessel.


Article 5.08

Non-Observance of the Pilot's Indications on Board the Vessels

  1. In case the ship master does not accept or does not fulfil the indications of the pilot, the latter has the obligation to remain on board the ship, on the bridge deck and to warn the shipmaster about the consequences that may result in jeopardising of the safety of the vessel.
  2. In case the shipmaster persists in non-observing the pilot's indications, the latter shall inform by any means the harbour master's office in the area and the Administration requesting the stopping of the ship for inquiries. Upon arrival of the representatives of the Harbour Master's Office and of the Administration, the pilot shall present a written report for the investigation of the case.


Article 5.09

Safety Measures at Embarkation and Disembarkation of the Pilot

  1. When embarking and disembarking the pilot, the shipmaster is obliged to put at his disposal a pilot ladder, perfectly adequate from a technical point of view, well secured and cleaned, being responsible for any bodily injury suffered by the pilot.
  2. In case the pilot considers that the vessel's embarkation/disembarkation means are not adequate, he may refuse to get on board/ disembark until normal conditions for such operations are fulfilled.


Article 5.10

Request for pilot; pilot ships

  1. Besides the request made by radiotelephone, according to art. 3.2.02 paragraph 2, the maritime and river-maritime vessels arriving in Sulina roadstead, in order to request the presence of a pilot on board shall hoist visibly above the bridge house the blue and yellow vertically striped flag (letter "G" in the international signal code) and shall give the sound signal corresponding to the same letter.
  2. Also, the request for pilot can be made by written request, submitted to the piloting agencies by the vessel's representative, at least 4 hours in advance.
  3. Piloting services are provided by pilot ships that can be identified by the following signals:

During day:
- white and red flag on the mast (letter "N" in the international code of signals);
During night:
- red light below a white light on the mast, visible for 360°.
The pilot ship is painted white and on both sides is written in black "PILOT".



Article 6.01

Convoy formation

  1. The maximum number of units towed or pushed on Sulina Channel cannot exceed 4 (four) units, by twos in parallel when navigating upstream and two units in parallel when navigating downstream.
  2. The length of the towing attachment should not exceed 30 m for upstream/downstream marching of the convoy.
  3. In certain conditions, depending on the hydrometeorological situation on Sulina Channel, the river-maritime vessel traffic, characteristics of tugs / pushers as well as on the number of units towed or pushed, the Administration may grant exemptions from the provisions aforementioned. The exemptions shall be immediately communicated by the Administration to the Harbours Master's in the area of jurisdiction where these shipments are to be performed.


Article 6.02

Obligations of the Tugboat/Pusher Towards the Vessels in the Convoy

When a convoy is at anchor or moored in any place on the maritime sector of the Lower Danube, the tugboat/pusher is not allowed to leave without making sure that the ships in the convoy, at anchor or moored, do not hinder the navigation.


Article 6.03

Convoy Access to Sulina Bar

  1. The entrance from the Sea to Sulina Bar is permitted for the tugboats having maximum two units at tow and with a maximum length of the towing attachment of 100 m; afterwards they shall observe the provisions of the "Rules of Navigation on the Danube".
  2. The exit from Sulina Channel into the sea is permitted only for tugboats with maximum two units at tow and a maximum length of the towing line of 50 m.
  3. The access of convoys to Sulina Bar is permitted only with the approval of the Administration and under the conditions established by it.


Article 6.04

Special towages

In order to obtain the authorisation for special towages on the maritime sector of the Lower Danube, the masters of the convoys must submit to the Administration a sketch of the convoy with all characteristics (length and breadth of the convoy, length of towing line, the pull/push power of the of the tug boats at the fore and aft part of the convoy).




Article 7.01

Construction, dimensions

  1. Floating materials consisting of several components must be rigidly assembled and the operation of assembling/dismounting them in the Lower Danube sector should not hinder or jeopardise the navigation.
  2. Floating materials which are towed on Sulina Channel should not exceed 16 meters breadth and 40 meters in length.
  3. Floating materials exceeding the dimensions stipulated in paragraph 2 above cannot navigate on Sulina Channel without the previous authorisation of the Administration.




Article 8.01

Declaration of Dangerous Cargo

When entering the maritime sector of the Lower Danube (km 175 and Nm 44), the masters of the vessels and convoys submitted to the provisions of ADND and not having a pilot on board are obliged to transmit by radiotelephone to the Administration and the Harbour Master's Office, by calling on channel 16 VHF and by communication on channel 71 VHF, the data provided in art. 8.02 Part I - "Rules of Navigation on the Danube".


Article 8.02

Anchoring Place for Vessels Carrying Dangerous Cargoes. Authorisations

  1. Vessels carrying dangerous cargoes and entering Sulina Channel coming from the sea to upstream and that do not have the necessary time to transit Sulina Channel during daytime, shall anchor in the maritime roadstead.
  2. Vessels carrying dangerous cargoes and navigating downstream and that and that do not have the necessary time to transit Sulina Channel during daytime, shall anchor in the area from Nm 34 ½ la Nm 35 on the right bank.





Article 9.01

Damages to Vessels

The Administration cannot be held responsible for ant damages caused to vessels while crossing the maritime sector of the Lower Danube.


Article 9.02

Damages to the Navigable Fairway

  1. Damages caused to dams, pitching walls, embankments, breakwaters, floating/coastal signalling, as well as channel obstructions or pollutions produced by the vessels and convoys navigating on the maritime sector of the Lower Danube, are considered prejudices to the Administration and the liability belongs to the vessel/convoy having caused them.
  2. Ships and convoys going out to sea are obliged to drop anchor in Sulina Roadstead for investigations in case they caused damages while crossing the maritime sector of the Lower Danube.




Article 10.01

Information on Accidental Pollution

  1. In case an accidental pollution occurs, the masters of the respective vessels or convoys shall inform by any available means existing on board both the nearest Harbour master's Office and the Administration.

The information must contain the following data:

  1. type, name and flag of the vessel making the communication;
  2. name of the ship/convoy master;
  3. hydro-meteorological conditions at the place and moment of occurrence of the pollution event (visibility, wind force and direction, flow speed);
  4. size of polluted surface (large/small surface, spot);
  5. thickness of the pollutant layer;
  6. characteristics regarding the nature/state of the pollutant (toxic, poisonous, inflammable, explosive / solid, liquid, gaseous);
  7. measures that have been taken to fight the effects of the pollution.

The ship/convoy master may complete every communication with other relevant information regarding the pollution.

  1. The masters of the vessels/convoys navigating on the maritime sector of the Lower Danube, who notice any phenomenon of water pollution shall immediately inform the nearest Harbour master's Office and the Administration about it, giving as far as possible all the information stipulated at paragraph 1 above.


Article 10.02

Documentation and Recording of Hydrocarbons and Wastes

  1. Maritime and river-maritime vessels shall keep on board all the documents and record books stipulated by the 73/78 MARPOL Convention and its further amendments as follows:
  • Hydrocarbons log;
  • Wastes disposal operations log.
  1. Each record in the above mentioned logs must bear the date and signature of the person responsible for such operations. Each completed page shall be signed by the vessel master.
  2. The records in the above-mentioned logs are made in the official language of the state under whose flag sails the ship and in English.
  3. The Harbour Master's Offices and the Administration have the right to check the exactitude of the records made in the above-mentioned logs and to ask for copies of such entries.




Article 11.01

Special situations

  1. In special cases established by the Administration, the vessels shall be allowed to navigate with other convoy formations on condition not to endanger in any way the safety of navigation of their own units or of the other vessels.
  2. During the period when the Administration closes the navigation on Sulina Channel, in compliance with the provisions of art. 3.1.04, art. 3.1.05, art. 4.01 and art. 4.03, its vessels can navigate on its own responsibility and with the purpose to eliminate the causes that determined the closing of the navigation or in order to take other measures according to the situation.