Suez Canal Transit Guide :
1. Arrival Notices
2. Arrival Registration
3. Signal Hoists
5. Booking Convoys
6. Documents Required on Vessel's Arrival
7. Shipís certificates required to be onboard
8. Ships Dimensions for Transiting the Canal
9. Mooring Ropes
10. Mooring Boats
11. Projector (Searchlights)
12. Pilot - Escort Tugs & Fines
13. Reductions Granted by S.C Authority
14. Canal Dues
15. Change Crew, Spare Parts Parcels
16. For Loading/Discharging Operations
17. Suez Canal Characteristics
18. Navigation in the Suez Canal
1. Arrival Notices :
Suez Canal Authority Requires Five Days Arrival Notice of Vesselís ETA for Transit.
Vessel should advise following details (through Sanmar Agent) to Suez Canal Authority:
ETA, Name, Nationality, Call Sign, any Ex Name
Suez Canal GRT
Suez Canal NRT
Date of last Transit
Suez Canal ID
Type of Cargo or if in Ballast Gas Free or not
Dangerous Goods Details
Last Port and Next Port
No of Tiers on Deck for Container Carriers
Any Special Requirements as Crew change, Cash, repairs, etc.
2. Arrival Registration :
To avoid missing convoys and/or delays, Master, on arrival should immediately contact the pilot by VHF:
CHANNELS 12 & 16 AT PORT SAID.
CHANNELS 14 & 16 SUEZ.
Sanmar has a constant watch on all the above channels in order to follow the vessels arrival and assist the Master when
necessary. Also Master can phone us Via Port-Said Radio Ch. 16.
3. Signal Hoists :
On arrival Port Said or Suez, Vessel is required to show the following flags:
Immigration Signal, Flags, or one red light above two white lights by night
Dangerous Goods Signal
1. PORT SAID - S. B. (Southbound Convoy)
A) Southbound Convoys
(from Port Said to Suez)
There are two SB Convoys N1 and N2
1. First Convoy N1
Timing: Commences 0100 hrs up to 0500 hrs
Limit time: Limit time of arrival at anchorage is 1900 hrs
Surcharge: Vessels arrive 1900 hrs till 2100 hrs can join the Convoy but against a surcharge of 3 PCT of Canal Dues, while
vessels arrive 2100 hrs till 2200 hrs can join the convoy against additional 5 PCT of Canal Transit Dues.
Transit Time: 14 -16 hours. Vessels anchor at Bitter Lake.
Type of Vessels Included:
3rd and 4th Generation Container Vessels
VLCC in ballast
Vessels with a draft over 42 ft
LPG, LNG Loaded or not Gas Free
Vessels in Port Said Harbor
Vessels with over 35000 SCGT.
Bulk Carriers Carrying Petroleum
2. Second Convoy N2
Timing: Commences 0700 hrs up to 0900 hrs
Limit time: Limit time of arrival at anchorage is 0300 hrs
Surcharge: Vessels arrive 0300 hrs till 0400 hrs can join the Convoy but against a surcharge of 3 PCT of Canal Transit Dues,
while vessels arriving 0400 hrs till 0500 hrs can join the convoy against a surcharge of 5 PCT of Canal Dues.
Transit Time: 14 16 hours. Vessels make fast in Ballah Branch.
Vessels which are Not Allowed to Join N2 for Safety Reasons:
Vessels in ballast over 90000 SCGRT
Loaded Vessels Carrying Petroleum grade A and similar Products with F/P below 23C
Vessels with Beam over 145 ft
Vessels with Draft over 42 ft
LPG, LNG Vessels loaded or not gas free
Vessels Carrying Uncontainerised Radio Active materials
Vessels Carrying Explosives
Non-Double Fitted Bottom Vessels Carrying Chemicals in Bulk.
B) Northbound Convoy
(from Suez to Port Said)
Only one Northbound Convoy Consists of Two Groups.
Commences at 0600 hrs up to 1130 hrs
Transit time: 12 - 14 hours. Vessels make free run from Port Said to Suez.
Limit time: Limit time of arrival at anchorage is 0100 hrs
Surcharge: Vessels arrive 0100 hrs till 0300 hrs can join this group but against a surcharge of 3 PCT of Canal Transit Dues,
while vessels arriving 0300 hrs till 0330 hrs can join the Convoy against a surcharge of 5 PCT of Canal Dues.
Types of Vessels in Group A:
3rd and 4th Generations Container Vessels
LPG, LNG Loaded or ballasted not gas free
Lash Vessels over 35000 SCGRT
Heavy Bulk Carriers
RoRo Ships and other Vessels over 40000 SCGRT
Loaded Chemical Tankers
Vessels with Draft over 38 ft or length over 950 ft BP
Limit time: Limit time of arrival at anchorage is 0300 hrs
Surcharge: Vessels arrive 0300 hrs till 0400 hrs can join this group but against a surcharge of 3 PCT of Canal Transit Dues,
while vessels arriving 0400 hrs till 0500 hrs can join the Convoy against a surcharge of 5 PCT of Canal Dues.
Types of Vessels in Group B:
All Cargo and other Vessels.
5. Booking Convoys:
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.
6. Documents Required on Vessel's Arrival:
1. The Suez Canal Special Tonnage Certificate.
2. The General Arrangement.
3. The Capacity Plan.
4. The Engine Room Plan.
5. Full Manifests of the Cargo on board the ship should be submitted to the Authorities prior passage.
6. For all vessels of UP TO 2000 Suez Canal Gross Tonnage the original Safety Construction Certificate is required to be
submitted prior transiting the Canal, otherwise a Seaworthiness Certificate should be issued in place. Vessel transiting for
THE FIRST TIME is inspected by the Suez Canal Surveyors; Masters are to handle three copies of the above (1-4)
certificates/Plans to S.C.A. for the ship's file. In absence of Suez Canal Certificate, 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.
Suez Canal Required Documents
Vessels transiting for the First Time
3 copies of Suez Canal Tonnage Certificate
3 copies of General Arrangement plan
3 copies of Capacity plan
3 copies of Engine room plan
3 copies of Registered Tonnage Certificate
All Vessels Arriving in ballast should present
Suez Canal Special Tonnage Certificate
Certificate of registry
General Arrangement Plan
Engine room Plan
Dangerous Goods Declaration
In Ballast Declaration
Normal Certificates as Radio, etc.
In addition Tankers should present:
A Copy of Capacity Plan
Declaration concerning double bottom tanks and the lower parts of the high tanks
Piping plan and general arrangement plan for LPG/LNG vessels
In addition Master will fill other Formal Documents to be presented by Agents and Authorities.
7. Ship's certificates required to be onboard:
- Register certificate
- Cargo ship safety equipment certificate
- Cargo ship safety radio certificate + record
- International load line certificate
- Cargo ship safety construction certificate
- I o p p ( int'l oil pollution prevention cert. )
- Sopep ( shipboard oil pollution emergency plan)
- International tonnage certificate 1969
- Minimum safe manning certificate
- Cargo securing manual
- Crew list
8. Ships Dimensions for Transiting the Canal:
For up-to-date information and permissible drafts/beams for any vessel, please contact us.
9. Mooring Ropes:
The Suez Canal Authority's Regulations 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 lines, likely to produce
sparks by their manipulation is absolutely forbidden on board petroleum tankers, LPG or LNG or any vessel carrying
IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT:
1. One of the ropes which is selected as "First line ashore" must be of floating material to ensure quick securing to the shore.
2. Wires should not exceed 5.5 circumferences to facilitate handling.
3. ALL VESSELS SHOULD HAVE: Two fire ropes (wire) made fast one forward and one aft., humph over the vessel's side ready
for use in case of emergency.
10. Mooring Boats:
Vessels Transiting the Canal must have MOORING BOATS hired from Mooring Company and APPROVED by the Suez Canal
This mooring boats must be in constant readiness for lowing to run the ropes to the MOORING SPOTS without any delay
during the transit of the vessel.
In case of 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 same mooring company. Each boat is to be manned by three men.
Ships may ask for additional motorboats or mooring boats according to Master's request.
Ships must be fitted with lifting appliances capable for lifting mooring boats of 4 tons weight.
11. Projector (Searchlights):
Projector is compulsory. Before transit, each vessel should be fitted with a searchlight, which should be placed on the bow at
the axis of the vessel to illuminate the canal clearly. Searchlight must be of approved type and accompanied by a certificate
for the "Type test" issued by a classification society. Switches, plugs, cables and sockets must be of first classmarine type (IP
55 or similar) and must be permanently fixed, insulated and gas tight. Searchlight must satisfy the surveyor as to their
proper performance. LPG/LNG vessels, bulbous bow vessels, deep draft/large vessels and vessels entering canal directly
must be provided with their own searchlight. Vessels without own projector can hire same locally but must provide their own
means and ropes for safe lifting and lowering (min. 1.5 tons weight). If electrical connections and/or searchlight not in
conformity with the above, vessel may be subject to delay. An additional due of L.E. 3.000 will be imposed from the third
transit and each following. In case two shore electricians are employed to operate the projector.
12. Pilot - Escort Tugs & Fines:
The S.C.A.'s regulations state that, it is compulsory to have a pilot onboard for transit changes of birth, entering or leaving
Canal (or ports) and for any movement whatsoever. Failure to comply with this regulation will face heavy fines as S.C.A.
Vessels facing accident, groundings, steering, problems, engine troubles etc., whilst transit may use an Escort Tug, imposed
by Suez Canal Authority.
Vessels unable to maintain the minimum transiting speed will be placed at the end of the convoy and/or may use an Escort
Tug, as well as extra tools or even miss the convoy.
13. Reductions Granted by S.C Authority:
For up-to-date information and rules, please contact us.
14. Canal Dues:
Suez Canal Rate of transit dues to be applied according to Suez Canal Authority Circular.
15. Change Crew, Spare Parts Parcels:
Bunkering, Provisions and any Ship's Supplies:
Please contact us for up to date information.
16. For Loading/Discharging Operations:
At any EGYPTIAN PORTS, please contact us for latest information and facilities available.
17. Suez Canal Characteristics:
Overall length: 192 km
From Port Said to Ismailia: 78 km
From Ismailia to Port Tawfik: 84 km
From the Fairway Buoy to Port Said Light house: 22.5km
Breadth at water level 300 m
Width Between buoys 180 m
Maximum permissible draught of ships 53 ft
Depth of the Canal 19.5/20 m
Cross Sectional area: 4000/4500 m2
Pilotage is compulsory for all vessels over 300 tons
Speed Limits: 11km/h -16km/h depending on Vessel type and tonnage of the vessel
Average transit time is 14 hours
18. Navigation in the Suez Canal:
* Navigation in the Suez Canal is around the clock.
* The Canal is a single lane Canal. Interspersed with four passing points.
* Ships transit the Canal, in Convoys. There are three convoys daily:
from Port Said: 0100
from Port Said: 0700
from Suez : 0600
* Pilotage is compulsory for all vessels over 300 tons.
* Two Roads pilots and two Canal pilot board the vessel and operate in successive sectors from the first light buoy at the port
of entry to the last light buoy at the port of exit.
* A speed limit is imposed in the Canal. This varies between 11km/h and 16km/h depending on the category and tonnage of
the vessel. In the Southern Sector, it varies between 11km/h and 16km/h depending on the velocity and direction of the tidal
* The average transit time is 14 hours.
VHF Working Frequency Range of (156-174 MHz)
VHF channels: 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14,15, 16, 71, 73, 74
Radio telex frequencies from Open Sea to contact Suez Canal Authority: 20000
Watch hours: 24 hrs
Radio telex frequencies to contact Suez Canal Authority while transiting: 20001
Watch hours: 24 hrs