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Transit Guide Suez Canal northbound transit

Updated 25.06.2004

Arrival Limit
Vessels entitled to 1st/ 2nd group
Operators instructions
Masters instructions
Documents required
First time transit
Tugs/ Imposed tugs
Mooring/ Projector
Special restrictions


Arrival limit
Updated 25.06.2004

1st Group (tanker group)
Fixed arrival limit: 0100 HRS North of latitude 29 42.8 N

In favourable navigational conditions, the limit time for arrivals from South is to be extended as shown below.

  1. When arriving between 0100 and 0300 hrs such ships can join the tanker group against the payment of a surcharge equal of 3% of the normal transit dues with a maximum of SDR 7000.
  2. When arriving after 0300 hrs and up to 0400 hrs such ships can still join the tanker group against the payment of a surcharge equal to 5% of the normal transit dues with a maximum of SDR 10500.
  3. Vessels arriving after 0400 hrs may join the northbound convoy, if traffic conditions permit, against the payment of a surcharge equal to 10% of the normal transit dues with a maximum of SDR 20000.

Movement of Group: From 0600 HRS to 1130 HRS

2nd Group (ordinary Ships)
Fixed arrival limit: 0300 HRS North of latitude 29 42.33 N

In favourable navigational conditions, the limit time for arrivals from North is to be extended as shown below.

  1. Vessels that are allowed to join the ordinary group can do so when arriving after 0300 and up to 0400 hrs against the payment of a surcharge equal to 3% of the normal transit dues with a maximum of SDR 7000.
  2. Vessels arriving after 0400 and up to 0500 can join the group against the payment of a surcharge equal to 5% of the normal transit dues with a maximum of SDR 10500.
  3. Vessels arriving after 0500 hrs may join the group, if traffic conditions permit, against the payment of a surcharge equal to 10% of the normal transit dues with a maximum of SDR 20000.

Movement of Group: Depending on number of vessels in first group



Vessels entitled to 1st and 2nd group
Updated 14.03.2002

1st Group includes following vessel types:
  • VLCC's in ballast
  • Vessels over 38 feet draft
  • LPG/LGN vessels loaded or not equiped with a gas free certificate
  • Vessels over 90.000 Suez Canal Gross Tonnage (SCGRT)
  • Loaded tankers carrying petroleum grade A or similar (Flash point below 23°C)
  • Heavy Lifters
  • Vessels carrying floating units of 300 SCRGT and over
  • Navy Ships
  • 3rd and 4th generation Container Ships
  • Vessels carrying chemicals in bulk not fitted with double bottom
  • Vessels carrying radioactives (Group 3)
  • Vessels carrying dangerous cargo
  • Vessels carrying deck cargo protruding more than half of the vessels breadth on any side
2nd group excludes following vessel types
  • Depending on number in vessels in 1st Group:
    Exludes all other vessels

Operators instructions
Updated 14.03.2002

Following information should be submitted to Leth Suez Transit, Norway in due time prior to vessel's arrival.

Ship's full particulars:

  • DWT
  • GRT
  • NRT
  • Flag
  • Call Sign
  • Draft
  • LOA
  • Beam

In addition any other relevant details, such as, coming from, bound for, master's name, number of crew, etc.
Full style/ address of operator.



Masters instructions
Updated 24.05.2002

VHF channels in use:
6, 8, (9 main control office, Ismailia), 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 71, 73 and 74.

7 / 5 days / 72 / 48 / 24 / 12 Hours ETA notice to:

Master should provide following in first ETA telex:
Full particulars of ship (scgrt, scnrt, dwt, draft, beam, loa, nationality, call sign, ex names, and date of last transit, type of cargo and quantity, or if in ballast, gas free or not and IMO class of any dangerous cargo).
If no changes since last transit, please state ‘’particulars no change’’.

Master should include following in his last ETA telex to the agent:
‘’No bamboats or others are allowed to board my vessel except the officials, pls advise port police accordingly "

Please note:
Information / instructions concerning all other matters should be directed to Leth Suez Transit, Norway, who will coordinate and authorize additional requirements.

Special information for master to avoid unexpected expenses:
Master should know that only authorized personnel are allowed to board his ship and he can always ask for their official license and/or identification card.


  • Do not sign any vouchers/invoices for services not rendered.
  • All vouchers/invoices should state amount and type of service requested.
  • Before signing any presented document, master should clarify necessity of particular service offered.
  • Service requested should be rendered and in a satisfactory manner before signing.
  • Do not sign/stamp any blank paper. No blank space below signature. ¨
  • Always keep a photocopy of signed papers onboard.
  • All spirits (incl. wines) and excess cigarettes must be properly manifested and together with any "x" rated materials to be placed in bonded store room prior to arrival and request / insist sealing by custom's officer.
  • Officers/crew to be warned to comply, or otherwise ship may be detained and may be charged for "smuggling".

For sake of good order, master should telex Leth Suez Transit (Egypt) when entering the canal advising name of ship handler and type of service rendered.
This also applies if no services have been requested/rendered during ships canal transit/port call.



Documents required
Updated 14.03.2002

The following documents and certificates should be on board ships passing the Canal:

  • Suez canal special tonnage certificate and calculation sheet issued by recognized classification society, (in absence of this certificate the SCA will charge toll on a provisional tonnage usually on grt).
  • Certificate of Registry, showing latest ship's name and present owners
  • GA/engine room/capacity plan
  • Statistical declaration
  • Copies of cargo manifests and bills of lading (Dangerous / radioactive cargo should be properly manifested and submit stow plan verified by a competent authority of loading port.)
  • Declaration concerning use of double bottom tanks and the lower parts of the high tanks.
  • Declaration concerning vessels in ballast
  • Declaration concerning state of navigability
  • Classification certificate
  • Piping plan and general arrangement for LPG/LNG tankers
  • Piping plan and general arrangement for LPG/LNG tankers
  • All other known documents / certificates which a seaworthy trading ship should have on board

Master is required to fill in various forms handed to him by the agent.



First time transit
Updated 25.03.2006

Following documents should be mailed to the agent in due time prior to transit.

  • 3 copies of Suez Canal certificate
  • 3 copies of GA plan
  • 3 copies of capacity plan
  • 3 copies of engine room plan

Forwarding address:
Leth Suez Transit
c/o Concord Shipping Agency
Memphis Street,
El Hegaz building, 1st Floor
Port Said

Please notify Leth Suez Transit, Norway with shipment details (flight details, AWB no) in order to follow up delivery.

Alternatively, plans can also be handed over by master directly to the SCA inspector on arrival.



Tugs and imposed tugs
Updated 01.06.2004

In laden:

  • Under 70.000 SCNT if SCA deem it necessary or if draft exceeds 47 ft, one tug escort
  • Between 70.000 - 90.000 SCNT, one tug escort
  • Over 90.000 SCNT, two tugs escort

In ballast:

  • Over 130.000 SCNT, one tug escort
  • Ships with beam 218 - 233 ft, one tug. If beam over 233 ft, two tugs
  • Towed scrap vessels 80.000 SCNT and over, one tug

LPG/LNG vessels from 25.000 SCNT will be escorted by one tug (except if gas free).
If tank on deck completely separated from cargo tanks with maximum tonnage 180 ts will be considered as Gas free. Exemptions from tug escort:

  • Laden if carrying other than LPG cargo.
  • Ballast (NGF) but after a laden voyage with cargo other than LPG.
  • If in ballast must present a Gas Free Certificate issued by a recognized class or locally authorized survey bureau.



Mooring and Projector
Updated 14.03.2002

All vessels transiting Canal must hire mooring boats from the Canal Mooring and Light company.
All boats are to assist ship to moor in the Canal ports, in case of need or emergency.
Ship must be equipped with lifting means of 4 Mts. capacity, with valid certificate and must be installed in a position well clear of the ship's propellers.
Ships with SCGRT up to 2.500 ts should hire one mooring boat.
If over 2.500 ts two mooring boats should be hired.
For the operation of mooring boats three crew (shore men) are boarding per boat.
Ships that cannot lift the Canal mooring boats are allowed to use their own life boats provided same is approved by the pilot.

Please note:
Ship's officers must supervise lifting/lowering of mooring boats ensuring that all safety measures have been properly taken. Ship remain ultimately responsible for any human accident or damage caused during operation for mooring boats and Canal projector.

Canal projector:
All ships passing the Canal must have onboard a canal projector placed on the axis of the bow, able to illuminate 1800 meters.
Vessels carrying petroleum products (or inflammable substances), LPG/LNG, should have their own "gastight" projector.
Also, ships with bulbous bow must have their own projector unless their bow is 10 ft below sea level, in order not to endanger lowering and lifting operations to eliminate high risk of accidents.
Vessels that have their own projector should be of approved type and have a certificate of type test issued by a pertinent recognized authority, being in accordance with the Canal rules.

Ship may be supplied with a portable projector, in which case special installation required.
The so called Floating projector weighs about 1,5 mts, and ship should provide capable means for lifting.

Please note:
Ships should supply uninterrupted electricity for smooth and continuous operation of the projector.
For safety reasons the electric cables and connections leading to the projector position, must be permanently fixed and installed. A gastight junction box must be permanently installed close to the projector.
Irrespective if own or hired projector, two shore electricians will board to operate the projector during transit.
Accommodation should be provided for them.
Ship should comply with above conditions, otherwise subject to transit during day time only. In addition, if the defects are not restored until third consecutive transit a fine of USD 4.300 is imposed.



Special restrictions
Updated 14.03.2002

High bridge airdraft 68 m
Length: No restrictions
Beam: Current maximum permissible beam 245 ft. Ships with beam over 245 ft may be allowed to transit the Canal under special request. If beam over 210 ft the beam wind should not exceed 10 knots. (See the draft/beam table for further information )
Draft: Ships can transit Suez Canal South or Northbound with up to maximum draft 62ft with beam 175 ft. For ships of larger beam exist a comprehensive table of SCA, which provides the draft a ship can transit.(See the draft/beam table for further information )
Ships passing Canal should not exceed draft of loadline (tropical).
Important: For updated information owners should always consult their agent on this subject.

Please note:
There are special regulations concerning floating units of SCGRT 300 Ts or more depending on type of on carrying ship (container/heavy lift/vehicle carrier etc.)

Vessels carrying Cement in bulk and/or in containers

are subject to external / internal hull / Cargo inspection and will be treated as regular vessels provided

  • Containerized cement do not exceed 20% of ship's GRT or 1.000 tons, whichever is less.
  • Containerized cement to be compactly stowed on ship's deck at highest level and must be precisely located
  • Containers must be labeled "containing" cement.

Vessels have to be inspected and checked (hull and deck) by a committee of different authorities prior to transiting the Suez Canal.
No circular is issued in this respect.

Arrival limit at anchorage for vessels carrying cement is at noon.

Container ships carrying containers "In Transit"
  • When calling at Port Said / Damietta / Alexandria then paying reduced port / light berthing / pilotage dues according to number of containers in transit with Max reduction 50%
  • If containers in transit are to be transported between Egyptian ports, 75% reduction on above dues shall apply
  • If handling containers at port of Damietta, not obliged to send compulsory 48 hours ETA notices for transit. Also, not paying 3% additional tolls when arrive between 19-21.00 or 03-04.00 hours to join 1st and 2nd convoy.

Conventional ships carrying deck cargo

Ships carrying deck cargo should stow it in a manner that will provide clear view from the bridge and will not affect visibility, otherwise the passage may be rejected or extra pilotage will be charged or Canal tug will be imposed. Vessels with deck cargo protruding from sides in excess of the fixed limits, are allowed to transit provided:

  • After inspection it is found that there is no problem in excess of the fixed limits.
  • Depending on the kind and packing condition of cargo on deck the chargeable Canal Tonnage may be increased.
  • Fixed limits.
  • The cargo or units on deck should not protrude more than the half of the vessel's breadth, on any side, with a maximum of 15 meters on each side, if the ship's beam exceeds the 30 meters.

Please note:
Cargo on deck, like cars, containers etc. may change classification of vessel to a more expensive Suez Canal toll.

VLCC Ships

SCA is open to applications to accept transit of VLCC partially loaded which will lighten part of their cargo at Suez and proceed northbound to reload at Port Said. SCA before reply will take into consideration all relevant parameters, having the operation always under supervision.

ULCC Ships

Ships with the maximum allowed beam of 230 ft - 233 ft may transit with special approval from SCA. Please contact Leth Suez Transit, Norway for further information.


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