SOLAS Ch V - Regulations
1. Application
2. Definitions
3. Exemptions & Equivalents
4. Navigation Warnings
5. Meteorological Services & Warnings
6. Ice Patrol Services
7. Search & Rescue Services
8. Life-Saving Signals
9. Hydrographic Services
10. Ship's Routeing
11. Ship Reporting Systems
12. Vessel Traffic Services
13. Aids to Navigation
14. Ships' Manning
15. Bridge Design
16. Maintenance of Equipment
17. Electromagnetic Compatibility
18. Navigational Systems & Voyage Data Recorder
19. Shipborne Navigation Systems
20. Voyage Data Recorders
21. International Code of Signals
22. Navigation Bridge Visibility
23. Pilot Transfer Arrangements
24. Use of Heading/Track Control Systems
25. Electrical Power
26. Steering Gear
27. Charts & Nautical Publications
28. Records of Navigational Activities & Daily Reporting
29. Distress Signals
30. Operational Limitations
31. Danger Messages
32. Information Required in Danger Messages:
33. Distress Situations
34. Safe Navigation
34-1 Master's Discretion
35. Misuse of Distress Signals
Regulation Appendix
A1. Categories of Waters & Classes of Ships
A2. Table of Requirements for Ships
A3. Nautical Charts & Publications
A4. WMO Maritime Services
A5. Routeing Systems
A6. Safe Manning
A7. Equipment Manuals
A8. Performance Standards & Type Approval
A9. Performance Standards for Navigational Equipment
A10. Voyage Data Recorders
A11. Navigation Equipment - New Ships
A12. Navigation Equipment - Existing Ships
A13. Magnetic Compass
A14. Electronic Charts
A15. Radar Reflectors
A16. Radar Equipment
A17. Automatic Identification Systems
A18. Steering Gear, Heading & Track Control Systems
A19. High Speed Craft Code
A20. Inspection & Survey of Navigational Equipment
A21. Pilot Transfer Arrangements
A22. Recording of Navigational Events
A23. Passenger Ship Operational Limitations
A24. Voyage Planning
A25. Guidelines for Voyage Planning
Regulation 34 - Safe navigation and avoidance of dangerous situations


  • Voyage planning is required on all vessels which go to sea.
  • Master to ensure plan is drawn up.
  • Details of factors to take into account.
Regulation 34
1. Prior to proceeding to sea, the master shall ensure that the intended voyage has been planned using the appropriate nautical charts and nautical publications for the area concerned, taking into account the guidelines and recommendations developed by the Organization.*

The voyage plan shall identify a route which:

2.1 takes into account any relevant ships' routeing systems
2.2 ensures sufficient sea room for the safe passage of the ship throughout the voyage
2.3 anticipates all known navigational hazards and adverse weather conditions; and
2.4 takes into account the marine environmental protection measures that apply, and avoids, as far as possible, actions and activities which could cause damage to the environment

*Refer to the Guidelines for Voyage Planning, adopted by the Organization by Resolution A.893(21)

MCA Guidance
1. Reg. 34 applies to all ships which proceed to sea.
2. This is a new Regulation. Paragraph 3 replaces and revises SOLAS V/74 Regulation 10.2 (Master's discretion for safe navigation.)
3. The Regulation requires the voyage to be planned in accordance with the IMO Guidelines for Voyage Planning - Resolution A.893(21) (issued as SN/Circ.92) The Regulation authorises the Master to take voyage planning decisions for safety or environmental reasons. It further prevents the owner, charterer or company (as defined in the ISM Code) from over-ruling any such decision. The Regulation together with the IMO Guidelines and these Guidance Notes supersede MGN 72 and MGN 166.
4. It is important to note that Regulation 34 makes a properly prepared voyage plan mandatory and the plan is liable to be checked during port State control inspections.
5. Small vessels and pleasure craft - Regulation 34 applies to all vessels. For small vessels and pleasure-craft the degree of voyage planning will be depend upon the size of vessel, its crew and the length of the voyage. The MCA expects all mariners to make a careful assessment of any proposed voyage taking into account all dangers to navigation, weather forecasts, tidal predictions and other relevant factors including the competence of the crew.
Associated Documents

Annex 24 - Voyage Planning: MCA Guidance Notes

Annex 25 - Voyage Planning: IMO Resolution A.893


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