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USCG Navigation Rules & Regulations Handbook

US Coast Guard


(2014 Edition UPDATED May 2, 2020)

Includes International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea, 1972 (72COLREGS) and U.S. Inland Navigation Rules.

Navigation Rules are regulations which aid mariners in safe navigation, just as driving laws aid vehicles in safe driving. Charts produced by the National Ocean Service show the COLREGS Demarcation Line, which denotes when mariners should follow the 72 COLREGS (outside the Demarcation lines) or the Inland Navigation Rules (inside the Demarcation Lines). Professional Mariners must be proficient in the Rules of the Road but all mariners should know and understand the Rules. The Rules are legally binding and application of them makes the waterways safer for everyone.