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Central Nautical Management

In the early 1990s, the four port municipalities surrounding the North Sea Canal Area (Amsterdam, Beverwijk, Velsen and Zaanstad) decided to cooperate closely in order to provide one central contact point with regard to shipping traffic. This led to the formation of the Central Nautical Management for the North Sea Canal Area (Centraal Nautisch Beheer Noordzeekanaalgebied, or “CNB”).

Tasks and authorities

The statutory framework for this cooperative venture is established in the Joint Municipal Arrangement for the CNB, which arranges for the transfer of the tasks and authorities of the municipalities concerned with regard to shipping. The task of the CNB is to facilitate the safe, efficient and environmentally sustainable conduct of shipping. The CNB has delegated the performance of this task to the Nautical Sector of the Port of Amsterdam. The area managed by the CNB runs from 12 miles off the heads of the jetties at IJmuiden (including the IJ-geul, 24 miles) to the Oranje locks in Amsterdam and the port basins attached thereto.

General and daily management

The general management board of the CNB consists of members of the municipal councils and colleges of the four port municipalities. Its composition consists of six representatives from Amsterdam, three from Velsen and two each from Beverwijk and Zaanstad. The daily management body consists of the Port Aldermen of the four municipalities and a common representative of Zeehaven IJmuiden NV and Tata Steel, the two private ports in the North Sea Canal Area. The chairman of the CNB is the Port Alderman for the City of Amsterdam. The management board of the CNB is supported by a secretary, whose position is enshrined in the Joint Municipal Arrangement for the CNB. The CNB also has a director with responsibility for the implementation of the duties of the CNB. The CNB prepares its own financial statements and budget.

Central government

In order to establish one central point of contact, the central government decided to delegate nautical tasks (the operation of the lock system at IJmuiden and the guidance of shipping in the North Sea Canal and the IJ) to the CNB in 1994. An agreement has moreover been concluded between the Minister and the CNB. 


In addition to its management function, the CNB is also an authority that supplies products. In 2012, this included the formulation of the Regional Port Ordinance for the North Sea Canal Area 2012, collective regulations for the ports on the North Sea Canal. The CNB also issues licences and dispensations and announcements to shipping in relation to the area covered by the CNB. The CNB has jurisdiction for the purpose of the Pilotage Act. The Port security duties in the North Sea Canal region are also carried out by the CNB. The Director of the CNB is appointed by the four CNB municipalities as Port Security Officer for this purpose.


Further information on the ports of the participating municipalities can be found here:

Further information is also available from the Secretary of the CNB by e-mail to