The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), at its 106th session in November 2022, approved the circular MSC.1/Circ.1403/Rev.2 with a view to providing the revised NAVTEX Manual.
OLAS regulation IV/12.2 states that “Every ship, while at sea, shall maintain a radio watch for broadcasts of maritime safety information on the appropriate frequency or frequencies on which such information is broadcast for the area in which the ship is navigating”. At the request of the IMO Sub-Committee on Radiocommunications (COM), the NAVTEX Manual was first produced in 1988. Three subsequent editions have been produced, with the fourth edition published in 2005 containing amendments endorsed by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at its seventy-eighth session in May 2004 by MSC/Circ.1122.
The NAVTEX coordinator is responsible for the messages transmitted by each station under their control. This responsibility includes checking that the content of each message is in accordance with the Joint IMO/IHO/WMO Manual on Maritime Safety Information and also, that it is relevant to the NAVTEX service area of the transmitting station.
Thus, a user may choose to accept messages, as appropriate, either from the single transmitter which serves the sea area around their position or from a number of transmitters. Ideally, the user should select the station within whose coverage area their vessel is currently operating and the station into whose coverage area their vessel will transit next.
The NAVTEX coordinator must:
- act as the central point of contact on matters relating to NAVTEX transmissions for a given transmitter or number of transmitters
- be responsible for continuously ensuring quality control for the operation of the NAVTEX transmitting stations under its jurisdiction. This should be
achieved with the cooperation of the information providers to ensure that messages are always concise and can be transmitted within the designated 10-minute time slots assigned by the IMO NAVTEX Coordinating Panel.
- minimum power is used to achieve satisfactory range performance
- the coordinated service is operating satisfactorily