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Central Nautical Management

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

Duties and powers

The legal framework for this collaborative project established by the four municipalities is the Joint Arrangement Central Nautical Management North Sea Canal Area. 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.

General and daily management

The General Management Board of the CNB consists of members of the municipal councils and of the bodies of mayor and aldermen of the four port municipalities. A total of thirteen Board members have been appointed: six from Amsterdam, three from Velsen, two from Beverwijk, and two from Zaanstad. Daily management of the CNB is the responsibility of the Port Aldermen of the four municipalities together with a joint representative of Zeehaven IJmuiden NV and Tata Steel (the two private ports in the North Sea Canal Area). Chairman of the CNB is the Port Alderman of the municipality of Amsterdam. The Management Board of the CNB is supported by a Secretary whose function is embedded in the Joint Arrangement CNB. The CNB also has a Director who is responsible for the implementation of the tasks of the CNB. The Director of the CNB is the Harbour Master of Amsterdam. The CNB has its own budget and financial statements which are monitored by the Province of North Holland.

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 and 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 2012, drawn up by the CNB in 2012. 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.

The Joint Arrangement CNB is being updated at the moment so as to bring it more in line with current practice and legislation. It is expected that the update will be adopted by the four municipal councils in 2017.


Read more about the ports of the participating municipalities.

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

Central Nautical Management