Port regulations


Article 1

Port areas and limits.

a.    Port of Reykjavík: The area for the Port of Reykjavík is along all the northern shoreline of the Reykjavík jurisdiction, from Gróttutangar in Seltjarnarnes to Kjalarnestangi. In this area, vessels approach the port areas along Engeyjarsund, Viðeyjarsund, Eiðsvík and Kollafjörður. The shoreline within the Mosfellsbær Municipality jurisdiction is not included here.

a.    Boundaries at sea are: A line bearing 37° true from Gróttuviti Lighthouse to Kjalarnestangi. Not included here are areas specified as net-laying sites [“netalög”].

b.    Boundaries of the inner harbour in Reykjavík in this regulation are: The Old Harbour within its breakwaters, Sundahöfn Port east of Laugarnestangi, Gufunes, Eiðsvík and the Eyjargarður quaylength. Other sea areas shall be counted as the outer harbour.

c.    Boundaries on land are: 

1.    The Old Harbour: The definition of the area boundaries is a line drawn from sea level at the seaboard of the landfill west of Fiskislóð, passing the round-about at Ánanaust and from there to the end of Mýrargata. The boundaries then lie along the eastern edge of Mýrargata and Geirsgata to a line lying 20 metres inside of Austurbakki from the street intersection of Pósthússtræti and Geirsgata to and inclusive of Faxagarður. Ingólfsgarður with access and land outside and east of Faxagata.

2.    Sundahöfn Port: The westernmost boundaries of the port area are at Laugarnes at the west part of Klettagarðar and from there to the sea. The area then runs along the north part of Sæbraut to Sundagarðar, down along the west part of Sundagarðar to the Vatnagarðar intersection and from there along the north-east part of Vatnagarðar to Holtavegur, and from there down Holtavegur to the Skútuvogur intersection and then along the east part of Skútuvogur to the north part of Kleppsmýrarvegur and along it across Gelgjutangi to the sea.

3.    Ártúnshöfði: The area is bounded by the northern part of Sævarhöfði street along the sites nos. 31 and 33 at Sævarhöfði to the limits of sites at Bryggjuhverfi, and from there to the sea.

4.    Gufunes: The area is land and sites at Gufunes owned by Associated Icelandic Ports sf.

d.    The main operational areas of the harbour in Reykjavík are: The Old Harbour, Sundahöfn Port – Klettasvæði, Sundahöfn Port – Vatnagarðar, Sundahöfn Port – Kleppsvík, Ártúnshöfði and Gufunes.

b.    Port of Akranes: Port boundaries follow the shoreline of the Akranes Municipality jurisdiction from Sólmundarhöfði in the south-east to Vestriflasartá.

a.    Boundaries at sea are: Vestriflasartá to Suðurflasarendi and from there to the Þjótarsker, whereas in the south and east the port is bounded by a straight line drawn from Þjótarsker to the west part of Sólmundarhöfði.

b.    Boundaries on land are: On the one hand, along the Akranes Municipality shoreline from the end of Faxabraut in the south-east, along the shore through Faxabraut, through a walking path above the Ferry Berth, along Halakotsbakki and through Akursbraut and Hafnarbraut and right to the sea at the end of Breiðargata 8. On the other hand, from the end of Lambhúsabryggja Repair Berth at Bakkatún, through Krókatún to Krókalón, west along Grenjar and out on to Vestriflasartá.

c.    Boundaries of the inner harbour: The port is divided into two parts; on the one hand, Lambhúsasund in the west, and on the other hand, within the Krossvík quayside in the east.

c.    Grundartangi Port: The port area at Grundartangi is bounded on land and at sea in the east by a line drawn from the boundaries of Katanes and Langholt towards the south-east, out to the middle of Hvalfjörður, and from there along the middle of Hvalfjörður to the western-most part of the harbour area in a line drawn from the western-most part of the land of Klafastaðir towards the south-east. In the north, the port area is bounded by the limits of the land owned by Associated Icelandic Ports sf.

d.    Borgarnes Port:

a.   Boundaries at sea are: Borgarnes Port is bounded in the east within a line imagined to be drawn from the southernnmost spits of Borgareyjar into Borgarfjörður, 200 metres away from the southernmost spits of Stóra-Brákarey and Borgarnes, in line with Kveldúlfshöfði, and a line at right angles to Kveldúlfshöfði; in the west within a line, which is imagined to be drawn from the westernmost spits of Borgareyjar into Borgarfjörður and Borgarvogur, 200 metres away from Dílatangi, and a line at right angles to the spit of land. In the south the port area is bounded by a line drawn right across the fjord, 400 metres within the northernmost spit of Borgareyjar.

b.   Boundariess on land are: The site no. 22 at Brákarbraut in Borgarnes, some 7,800 metres square in area, belongs to the port. As regards the boundaries of the site, reference is made in other respects to a public registration of a lease tenure contract, dated December 21 2001.

The land areas of the ports are divided into:

  1. Quays and piers.
  2.  Cargo stations and other service areas.
  3. Streets and open areas.
  4.  Sites, industrial- and back areas.

In an annex to the regulation is a table with coordinates of port boundaries on land and at sea. The coordinate tables define the Port of Reykjavík boundaries, the Old Harbour, Sundahöfn Port, Ártúnshöfði and Gufunes as well as the ports of Grundartangi and Akranes.

On the homepage of the Associated Icelandic Ports sf., drawings of the afore-mentioned port areas with coordinates may be accessed HERE.

Article 2

Port Management.

The ports are owned by Associated Icelandic Ports sf., a company jointly owned by the City of Reykjavík and the Municipalities of Borgarbyggð, Akranes, Skorradalshreppur and Hvalfjarðarsveit.

Supreme power in matters concerning Associated Icelandic Ports sf. is wielded by the Annual General Meeting and legally called meetings of owners in accordance with Company Articles. The management of the jointly owned company, called the Harbour Board, sees to company matters between Annual General Meetings. The Board has 8 representatives and equally many alternates, and in addition to this, Akranes Municipality may appoint an observer with the right to speak and make proposals. The division of seats on the board of the company follows current provisions in the Articles of the jointly owned company, Associated Icelandic Ports sf. Also, employees of Associated Icelandic Ports sf. may elect one representative for meetings of the Board, who shall have the right to speak and make proposals.

Article 3

Work and Scope of the Board.

The Harbour Board manages the finances, operations, maintenance and new constructions of Associated Icelandic Ports sf.

The Harbour Board decides upon the running of the ports, such as management of the facilities, inclusive of the renting out of accommodation and land owned by Associated Icelandic Ports sf.

The Harbour Board grants permits for operations in the port areas, and has the authority to prohibit or limit the use of the areas for operations the Board considers will make ordinary port activities difficult.

The Harbour Board makes proposals to the local government as regards planning matters in the port area. Construction in the port area shall be dealt with by the Board before being submitted to the local government.

Associated Icelandic Ports sf. may only decide upon the payment of a dividend to the owners when funds have been put aside for sufficient maintenance and renewal in the port.

Before a decision is reached on the payment of a dividend, the Port Director shall submit to the Board a written assessment as to the need for maintenance and renewal of company assets for the following two years.

Article 4

Work and Scope of the Port Director.

The Port Director is appointed by the Harbour Board and manages the daily running of the company on their behalf. The Director prepares matters to be submitted to the Board, receives business to be submitted to the Board and sees to the execution of their resolutions. The Port Director provides the Board with information on the business of the Associated Icelandic Ports sf. The Director sees to the budget being adhered to and is responsible for the company’s financial status. The Director is the head of all employees of the Associated Icelandic Ports sf., sees to their hiring and the termination of their employment.

Port Director shall execute his work in accordance with provisions in the Harbour Act and Harbour Regulations, as well as in this Regulation, and in other respects adhere to resolutions passed by the Board.

The Port Director sees to order being maintained in all harbour areas under Associated Icelandic Ports sf., both at sea and on land. Everyone must obey the Director’s instructions, or the ones entrusted with supervision and care by the Director.

Article 5

On Other Employees of Associated Icelandic Ports sf

Port employees supervising the assets of Associated Icelandic Ports sf., controlling the areas and rendering service to vessels, shall carry identification cards referring to their position and/or a uniform as decided by the Harbour Board.

Employees of the Associated Icelandic Ports sf. shall be tactful in all their work and their instructions shall be obeyed at once. Should somebody feel that they have not been treated fairly by employees of Associated Icelandic Ports sf., they can file charges with the Port Director.

Article 6

Pilotage and Other Service for Vessels

Service for vessels is rendered by employees of Associated Icelandic Ports sf. or those who have been entrusted with the task in accordance with an agreement by authority of the Port Director. Vessels shall on arrival and departure and under way in the harbour area keep their radio telephones open on the communications frequency of the harbour.

Pilotage is compulsory for any vessel longer than 60 metres (maximum length) and vessels carrying hazardous cargo when navigating into, out of or in the harbour areas of the Associated Icelandic Ports sf.

All vessels bound for any of the harbours of the Associated Icelandic Ports sf. requiring pilotage, shall inform a harbour pilot of this with at least a three hour notice. A pilot is then obliged to meet with the ship up to half a nautical mile outside the outermost limits of the port in question should the captain request this. In Reykjavík a harbour pilot is obliged to meet with a vessel up to one nautical mile out from Gróttutangar should the captain request this, and in Akranes at light buoy no. 11. Vessels bound for Grundartangi will receive a harbour pilot one nautical mile 250° from the light buoy at Brekkuboði.

A harbour pilot directs the vessel to the port and must not leave it without the consent of the captain until the ship is moored. A pilot, when he has not completed his work, may prohibit all people from coming on board, if they do not have legitimate business there. While on board, the vessel shall provide the pilot with victuals

The Port Director, having received due comment from the Harbour Master, may grant the captain of a ship, for which pilotage is compulsory in accordance with this Article, an exemption from having a harbour pilot on board. A prerequisite for this exemption is assessment of the Harbour Master as regards the competence of the captain to navigate in the harbour area of Associated Icelandic Ports sf. The exemption is only valid as regards navigating in the harbour area or harbour areas which the captain in question has regularly been to. Should the captain not have been actively engaged as a captain of a vessel for two years, the exemption is no longer in effect. Should the Port Director decline to grant an exemption, the applicant may refer this to the Harbour Board.

An exemption from compulsory pilotage obliges the captain in question to stay in contact with harbour pilots by means of a radio telephone and to follow their instructions in every way, or the exemption may be cancelled without further notice.

The Port Director may grant an exemption from compulsory pilotage under especial circumstances.

The vessels’ equipment and gear shall comply with international agreements, which Icelandic authorities have ratified, as well as with special guidelines of the Icelandic Maritime Administration. Those in charge of vessels shall present harbour employees, should this be requested, with certificates that their vessels are satisfactorily equipped.

The port provides, for instance as applicable, the service of tugboats, mooring service and the sale and delivery of water and electricity. A harbour pilot decides upon the use of tugs and workforce as called for by conditions at each time.

Tugboats from Associated Icelandic Ports sf. are in the service of and under the responsibility of the vessel they are assisting from the moment they receive the ship’s lines or instructions from the captain of the ship being assisted, and until the lines have been released or instructions given that assistance has come to an end.

Article 7

Law Enforcement in the Port Area, Traffic and Other Matters

The police in each jurisdiction carry out general law enforcement duties in harbour areas of the Associated Icelandic Ports sf.

Those who have no legitimate business in the port areas are not permitted to stay there if they obstruct loading or offloading or other operations being engaged in there. Unnecessary driving of any kind of vehicles and unnecessary pedestrian traffic on piers, quaysides, cargo stations and in other service areas in the port areas may be prohibited. People moving about in port areas are always there at their own risk and responsibility.

It is prohibited to fire from guns or other firearms near or within the ports of Associated Icelandic Ports sf. It is also prohibited to make use of fireworks in port areas withour permission.

Sand and gravel quarries and other similar activities are not allowed in port areas without permission from the Port Director. Fishing in port areas must not upset normal traffic and provision of services. It is prohibited to lay out fishing gear in general and/or especially marked navigational routes within port limits, and such fishing gear may be removed without any compensation.

The Port Director shall without delay be informed about all things salvaged from the harbours of Associated Icelandic Ports sf., and the Director submits a report to the police should he consider this necessary.

It is prohibited to practise swimming, go windsurfing or water-skiing or pursue such activities in the port area without permission, except in specially bounded areas. Diving is prohibited in the port areas without permission from the Port Director.

Article 8

Quays, Shipwrecks and Unattended Things

If a vessel hits shallows or sinks where the Port Director deems it interferes with the easy use of the port, it shall be removed as soon as possible by its owner, his appropriate agent or others concerned. If a delay occurs here, the Port Director may have the vessel removed at the responsibility and cost of the owner and/or his appropiate agent, and it shall then be moved to a safe place as the Director sees fit and appropriate.

The Port Director has the right to have the vessel in question sold to meet costs in full, in any way considered most practical, having first earnestly urged the owner and/or his appropriate agent to remove the ship without delay. The sale shall be conducted at the cost and responsibility of the owner and/or the appropriate agent for the ship.

Wrecks of ships must not be pulled ashore in the port area without permission from the Port Director.

If ships, boats, quays, transport vehicles on land or other equipment, owned by others and not by Associated Icelandic Ports sf., are left unattended in the port area and/or lead to a state of uncleanliness or constitute danger, the Port Director shall order the owner and/or the appropriate agent to make necessary improvements within a specified date. If such orders are not attended to, the item in question may be removed at the responsibility and cost of the owner and/or his appropiate agent and stored in a safe place as the Director deems fit and appropriate.

The Port Director may have the item in question sold in any way considered most practical to meet costs in full, having first earnestly urged the owner and/or his appropriate agent to remove the item without delay.

The sale shall be conducted at the responsibility and cost of the owner and/or his appropriate agent.

Article 9

Protection Against Pollution and Unclean Conditions

No waste or rubbish must be thrown into the harbours of Associated Icelandic Ports sf.

It is not permitted to pull, drive or move in another way into harbours, carcasses of whales, wrecks of ships or any other things which may lead to unclean conditions, traffic disturbances or discomfort in the harbours except with the permission of the Port Director.

All vessels, vehicles as well as factories and other businesses are strictly forbidden to pump or release into the harbours liquid fuel, fish oil, oil residue or other materials which may pollute.

Vessels that intend to take bunkers on board shall before that have resorted to measures to prevent fuel from flowing into the sea from their decks in case of an accident while bunkering. Parties providing service in this field are not allowed to deliver liquid oil to vessels which port employees have assessed not to have taken reasonable precautions against pollution.

As regards protection against sea pollution and penalties for pollution violations, current law applies at any given time.

Article 10

Request for Service and Conditions of Service

All those who request being provided with service for a vessel, the use of equipment or service in one way or another provided by the ports, shall apply themselves directly to employees of Associated Icelandic Ports sf. with a request for same.

The Port Director is authorized to decline providing assistance or service to parties who are in arrears with dues to Associated Icelandic Ports sf., and have not met with repeated challenge from the Port to settle overdue payments. In such a challenge, the consequences of being in arrears as they appear in subparagraph 1 of this paragraph shall be mentioned.

No vessel must be moored to a buoy or at anchor in the inner harbour except if the Port Director allows this.

Article 11

Who Shall Receive Instructions

Instructions in accordance with this Regulation shall be given to the captain of the vessel, but to the ship’s chief officer if the captain is not on board. Should that officer also be absent, instructions may be given to some other member of the crew, and this is equivalent to the captain himself having received the instructions. If none of the afore-mentioned may be reached, instructions may be directed to the owner or his agent.

Article 12

Liability for Damages

As regards liability for damages concerning the ones who pass through harbours or port areas of the Associated Icelandic Ports sf., because of damages to the port, its installations or equipment, general rules of damages apply.

If an agreement cannot be reached about the amount of damages, they shall be determined by the assessment of two court-appointed valuers, appointed by the Reykjavík District Court or the Vesturland District Court, depending on which jurisdiction the port belongs to. Both parties may request an appointment by a court in accordance with this Article. The cost of assessment shall be paid equally.

Both parties are entitled to demand reassessment within a month from the time when the assessment in accordance with Paragraph 2 was available and introduced to the parties. For the reassessment, a court shall appoint three valuers. The cost of the reassessment shall be paid by the party who demanded it, except if the reassessment is decided in his favour; then the cost shall be paid equally.

The conclusion of the court-appointed valuers, whether it is in accordance with Paragraph 2 or Paragraph 3, shall be the final one with respect to the amount of damages.

If a vessel causes damages in the port or the captain is in violation of a provision in this Regulation, it is not allowed to move the vessel out of the harbour until the matter is settled, unless a sufficient guarantee is placed for a payment as the Port Director sees it.

Article 13

The Right to Complain

The ones who make use of the harbours of Associated Icelandic Ports sf. have the right to appeal the decisions of the Harbour Board as regards this Regulation, except for the Board’s rate-fixing decisions, to the Icelandic Maritime Administration. The decisions of the Icelandic Maritime Administration may be appealed to the Minister for Communications. As regards procedure of such matters, they shall be subject to provisions in administrative law.

Article 14


Violations against this Regulation lead to fines except if a heavier punishment applies in accordance with other law. Court cases leading from violations against this Regulation shall be conducted in accordance with official court cases.

Article 15

Coming into Effect.

This Regulation, which is made in accordance with Article 4 of the Harbour Act no. 61/2003 and Article 17 of the Act no. 41/2003 on Maritime Traffic Service, is hereby ratified to come into effect without delay, and is published for all parties concerned to follow. At the same time a Harbour Regulation for the Port of Reykjavík no. 130/1986 will no longer be in force, as is also the case with a Regulation for the Port of Akranes no. 438/1988, and a Regulation for Grundartangi Port no. 214/1980, and a Regulation for the Port of Borgarnes no. 146/1975, all with their subsequent amendments.

At the Ministry of Communications, May 19 2009.

Kristján L. Möller.

Ragnhildur Hjaltadóttir.

B-series – Date of issue: September 24 2009

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