In NCSR 7, the IMO agreed to recognize the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) for the provision of positioning, navigation and timing services, while it finalized draft SOLAS amendments for the modernization of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).
The IMO’s Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue is taking place, having begun from January 15 until the 24th, continuing its ongoing work to review the GMDSS requirements, to enable the use of modern communication systems in the GMDSS, while removing requirements to carry obsolete systems.
IMO participates at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19), in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, 28 October – 22 November, highlighting that the integrity of maritime radio-communication services has to be protected.
According to the STCW Convention, officers must hold a valid certificate of competence to ensure they meet the minimum requirements of competence, seagoing service time, medical fitness and age. Also, ancillary certificates are required such as radar or ARPA, GMDSS, and those referring to safety duties onboard specific types of ships.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) has issued a circular updating the requirements for the revalidation of GMDSS General Operator Certificate (GOC) and Restricted Operator Certificates (ROC).
In a circular issued on 4 March, IMO announced that all information related to shore-based facilities for the GMDSS communicated to the organization is available to all registered public account holders through the new GISIS module on the Master plan of shore-based facilities for the GMDSS.
Maritime Administrations are responsible of making sure that companies offering a GMDSS Shore-Based Maintenance (SBM) service are acceptable according to the IMO Resolution A.702 (17). If a ship owner has chosen the radio equipment to be maintained through a Shore-Based Maintenance Agreement, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has agreed with a series of requirements that must be met by a company that seeks registration as a SBM provider.
Mr. Alberto Perez, Inmarsat Maritime, notes that the maritime industry has realized the benefits of digitalization. Among many, digital technologies offer transparency which is very important; In this regard, Mr. Perez cites the example of Inmarsat’s Fleet Data which can virtually connect to any sensor, giving full transparency on bills as connectivity costs are included in the service.
Inmarsat is migrating the GMDSS Services, Inmarsat C and Fleet 77, from the Inmarsat-3 satellite constellation to the Inmarsat-4 satellite constellation. During the migration manual intervention on Inmarsat Ship Earth Stations may be necessary. After each phase of the migration the coverage area of these GMDSS services will change.
Under SOLAS Chapter IV, some vessels are required to have ‘Ship Radio Stations’, which are to be licensed and the vessels must carry certain related documents and publications. The Republic of Marshall Islands updated the requirements of documentation regarding Ship Radio Stations for its vessels.
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