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Loss Prevention Circular No. 08-04
New reporting system in the Gulf of Finland

A new mandatory reporting system (GOFREP) will be implemented in the Gulf of Finland on 1st July 2004. This new reporting regime covers the international waters of Finland , Estonia and the Russian Federation . The national waters will continue to be covered by the respective vessel traffic service (VTS) systems.

The aims of GOFREP are to enhance the safety of navigation and to increase the protection of the marine environment. GOFREP is based on surveillance of vessel traffic (radar and AIS), navigational marks in the operational area and radio communication.

Three Traffic Centres; Tallinn , Helsinki , and St Petersburg , operate the system and exchange information received from vessel reports, and details on contraventions, accidents etc.

The Traffic Centres can provide information about traffic movements, safety, weather, ice, water levels etc. They will be able to assist vessels navigating in winter by advising them of the recommended routes through the ice and provide contact information for icebreakers.

Reporting requirements
All ships of 300gt and over are required to participate.

Vessels under 300gt are required to participate if they:
- are not under command or at anchor in the Traffic Separation Zone
- are restricted in their ability to manoeuvre
- have defective navigational aids onboard.

Reporting instructions
In general vessels are to:
- submit a full report at least one hour before crossing the reporting line when entering the area from the west.
- submit a full report when they depart from any harbour within the area.
- submit a position report to the area they are entering when crossing the reporting lines between the areas.

For detailed information about the reporting procedures and traffic channels, the printed GOFREP Masters Guide can be downloaded at http://www.fma.fi/e/functions/vts/(click on Gulf of Finland ) or be obtained from one of the traffic centres in the GOFREP area.

More information on the Gulf of Finland is available at the website for the Finnish Maritime Administration at www.fma.fi.