Tunisia made the application to join the EU LRIT Cooperative Data Centre in September 2017. After examining the application, the EU decided that it meets the criteria listed in the Council Resolution concerning the EU LRIT CDC, and was accepted.
After Croatia and Montenegro, Tunisia becomes the third country to join the EU LRIT Cooperative Data Centre. A similar request was received by Georgia in November 2018 and evaluation is ongoing.
The EU LRIT CDC aims to identify and track EU flagged vessels globally and integrate them into the wider international Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system.
The system was initially created to improve maritime security, but was soon extended for use in areas such as Search and Rescue (SAR), maritime safety and protection of the marine environment.
Namely, ships send automatic position reports every 6 hours, which are received by satellite, and securely transferred to data centres which manage LRIT information on behalf of flag States.
The European Union Cooperative Data Centre (EU LRIT CDC) then spreads LRIT information on EU-flagged ships around the world on behalf of all European flag States, and exchanges information with other data centres around the world.
Through its interconnection with other data centres, the EU LRIT CDC can provide Member State users, on request, with the LRIT information of any third country vessel bound to, or sailing within, EU waters.
This information is available to authorised users whenever a vessel is within 1,000 nautical miles of the coast of the flag State. The EU LRIT CDC is one of the largest data centres in the LRIT system. It tracks over 8,000 ships per day.