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Central Nautical Management

In the early 1990s, the port municipalities of Amsterdam, Beverwijk, Velsen and Zaanstad decided to work together and to form a single point of access for the shipping industry. This resulted in the formation of the Central Nautical Management North Sea Canal Area (Centraal Nautisch Beheer Noordzeekanaalgebied or CNB) in 1994.

Nautische diensten

Duties and powers

The legal framework for this collaborative project is the Joint Arrangement Central Nautical Management North Sea Canal Area. Established by the four municipalities, this has been updated in March 2018 and the changes finalised. This formal agreement organises the cooperation with regard to the nautical management.

The task of the CNB is to ensure a safe, smooth and environmentally responsible flow of shipping traffic. The Central Government also participates in the management of shipping traffic in the North Sea Canal.

For this purpose, the Central Government has given a mandate to the Director of the CNB. The CNB, in its turn, has entrusted the Harbour Master's Division of the Port of Amsterdam with the implementation of this mandate.

The management area of the CNB runs from 12 nautical miles offshore from the IJmuiden Breakwaters (24 nautical miles for the IJ-geul deep water channel) up to the Oranjesluizen, the locks located in the eastern part of Amsterdam, and the ports and harbour basins connected to it.


The board of the CNB consists of the ‘aldermen responsible for the port’ of the four municipalities. The chair of the CNB is the alderman responsible for the port for the City of Amsterdam. There is also a CNB advisory board which includes a representative of Zeehaven IJmuiden NV and Tata Steel (the two private ports in the North Sea Canal Area).

The CNB has a director who is responsible for the implementation of the duties of the CNB. This is the harbour master of the City of Amsterdam. The CNB prepares its own financial statements and budget. These are subject to financial supervision by the province of North Holland.

Board meeting

At least twice a year, the board of the Central Nautical Management North Sea Canal Area meets for consultation.


Central Government

In order to establish a single point of access, the Central Government has mandated the CNB to set up vessel traffic services and traffic management for the North Sea Canal and the River IJ. This includes the operation of the IJmuiden lock complex. The CNB has also been designated as the competent authority by the Dutch Pilotage Act.



The CNB continuously works on products aimed at making working and working together in the North Sea Canal Area easier. One such product is the Regional Port Bye-laws for the North Sea Canal Area 2023. The Regional Port Bye-laws are a set of uniform rules for the four ports on the North Sea Canal.

The CNB also issues permits and exemptions and distributes announcements to shipping that are relevant to the CNB area. In addition to this, the CNB coordinates the activities around the Port Waste Plan and carries out Port Security Tasks in the North Sea Canal Area. For that reason, the Director of the CNB has been appointed as the Port Security Officer by the four CNB municipalities.


Read more about the ports of the participating municipalities.

Map CNB area

More information

Should you require more information, please contact the Secretary of the CNB via