NAVTEX is an international automated service for radio broadcast delivery of navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts, as well as urgent maritime safety information.
The system provides a low-cost, automated means of receiving this information aboard ships at sea out to approximately 100 nautical miles offshore.
NAVTEX is part of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), which has been incorporated into SOLAS treaty to which the US is a party. USCG operates this system nationwide.
The Coast Guard is proposing to cease operating MF NAVTEX and instead making this information available via IMO recognized satellite services in waters under US responsibility.
The current MF NAVTEX equipment is in dire need of replacement. The equipment is antiquated and essential replacement parts are difficult to find and expensive, placing overall operation of MF NATEX at risk.
Any approved GMDSS satellite terminal will be able to receive this information.
The Coast Guard believes the transition from terrestrial broadcast to satellite will provide for more reliable delivery of NAVTEX information and allow better, more cost-effective products in the future. The Coast Guard also believes this change will have a low impact on the maritime public as satellite receivers have become more prevalent onboard vessels.
However, USCG is requesting comments on this proposal, in a bid to better understand how mariners would be affected if this change was made, particularly those mariners who use MF NAVTEX and do not currently have a GMDSS satellite terminal onboard their vessel.
The Coast Guard is also seeking comments on what types of maritime safety information products mariners would like to see added in the future if the NAVTEX information was provided via satellite.
Comments must be submitted to the online docket USCG-2019- 0702 via http://www.regulations.gov, on or before 12 November 2019.