Foreign Tour Boats Must Now Inform Russia of Routes in Country's Arctic

© Sputnik / Vitaliy Ankov / Go to the photo bankThe port of Vladivostok
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Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a federal law on the rules of navigation of foreign tourist ships in the country's inland water and territorial sea, which obliges vessels to inform the Russian authorities of their routes in the Arctic and the Far East.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a federal law on the rules of navigation of foreign tourist ships in the country's inland water and territorial sea, which obliges vessels to inform the Russian authorities of their routes in the Arctic and the Far East.

The document was published on the legal information portal on Monday.

The lower house of the Russian parliament adopted the law on June 22. One week later, the law was adopted by the upper house of the country's parliament.

According to the law, vessels sailing under a foreign flag with tourists on board, which call in one or more ports and do not take other passengers and cargo on board, can navigate in inland water and territorial sea of the Russian Federation after border and customs control. It applies only to those ports that are open to foreign vessels, with the exception of areas that are restricted or temporarily dangerous for navigation.

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Such vessels should obtain a permit to conduct activities in the tourism industry from the Russian authorities.

The entry of foreign tourist vessels in areas of the Arctic zone and the Far Eastern Federal District is possible only in the ports or places from the list approved by the Russian government, with an indication of routes between those spots.

The law also increases the sum of limitation of shipowner and rescuer liability by 51 percent, bringing the Russian legislation in compliance with a resolution of the International Maritime Organization.

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