The Kerch-Yenikalskiy Channel, located in Kerch Strait, connects the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. It consists of 4 bends, and is 18.9 miles long, 120 meters wide, and the least depth is 8 meters. Kerch Merchant Sea port is in charge of the Kerch-Yenikalskiy Channel.
The Kerch-Enikalskiy Channel is accessible for ships of up to 215m in length, and up to 8 m in draft. The Harbour Master may permit bigger vessels to enter the channel on a case by case basis. Ships over 160 m in length and over 6 m draft should only navigate the channel during daytime. It is prohibited to enter Kerch Yenikalskiy Channel during periods of fog, snowfall, mist, heavy rain, and if wind speed is over 14 mps.
The VTC operates in Kerch Strait. For ships bound for ports in the Strait of Kerch and passing in transit through the Kerch-Yenikalskiy Channel, the services of the Vessel Traffic Control Center are compulsory.
Rules concerning Ship's maximum speed limits are as follows:
Throughout the entire Kerch-Yenikalskiy Channel: 10 knots for the ships with a draft of over 5m; 12 knots for smaller vessels.
Pilots of Kerch Sea Merchant port provide pilotage through the Kerch-Yenikalskiy Channel, and to all ports of the Sea of Azov.
Pilotage through Kerch-Yenikalskiy Channel is compulsory for:
All foreign flag ships; CIS ships with draft of over 4.5 m or length over 120m; damaged ships; oil-carries and ships carrying dangerous goods; nuclear-powered vessels; all other cases will be determined by the harbour Master.
Pilotage in the Sea of Azov is compulsory for: all foreign flag ships; damaged ships; oil-carries and ships carrying dangerous goods; nuclear-powered ships; all ships during the ice period of the Sea of Azov.
Pilotage in the Sea of Azov is optional for: ships with draft of not more than 5 m only if their Shipmasters have already sailed to the Ukrainian ports in the sea of Azov three times with a pilot onboard, and have the Harbour Master's written permission for navigation without pilotage; ships in transit passage only if their Shipmasters have the Harbour Master's permission to proceed through Kerch-Yenikalskiy Channel without pilotage.
The order for a pilot should be submitted to the VTC when notifying it about the ship's approach.
Ships bunkering. Bunkering service is offered 24 hours a day, unlimited quantity, to all sips passing through the Kerch Straight. Bunkering operations are held on the outer roadstead without the vessel's clearance. The order should be submitted at least 24 hours before approaching the anchorage place, with preliminary agreement.
24 hours a day Kerch Sea merchant port takes oil polluted, sewage, bilge water and garbage from the ships passing through the Kerch Straight.