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Note on a meeting of IMO NCSR: 16 – 25 January 2019

Posted By Kim Fisher, 21 February 2019

by Kim Fisher

The meeting of the sub-committee on Navigation, Communications, Search and Rescue was chaired by Ringo Lakeman of the Netherlands. Due to the extensive workload of this sub-committee, it had been agreed that the meeting would be extended exceptionally to 8 days for this and next year.

Some good progress was achieved.

The Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system was updated and revised Circulars prepared. Guidelines were completed for the standardization of user interface design for navigation equipment (also known a S-mode) together with a revision of the IMO Circular on navigation-related symbols, terms and abbreviations (SN.1/Circ.243) and the performance standards for the presentation of navigation-related information (Resolution MSC.191).

Considerable work was conducted on the harmonization of the format and structure of maritime services (previously known as maritime service portfolios) following the report of intersessional work in the IMO/IHO Harmonization Group on Data Modelling (HGDM). A guidance resolution was prepared together with a Circular describing 16 maritime services in detail. Work was completed on a Circular giving guidance for navigation and communication equipment for use on ships operating in polar waters.

The previous decision to accept the Iridium satellite system as a recognised service in addition to Inmarsat had led to the need to revise some IMO documents to make them more generic. Revisions were prepared to the SafetyNET manual, Resolution A.705 on the promulgation of maritime safety information, Resolution A.706 on the world-wide navigational warning service, and Resolution A.1051 on the world-wide met-ocean information and warning service. A Circular was prepared on technical requirements for the new Inmarsat Fleet Safety service. The issue of interoperability of the two systems in future was carried over to the next meeting.

Work continued on the revision of Chapter IV (Radiocommunications) of the International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and associated documents. This will be continued in a correspondence group led by the USA.

The IMO position was completed for the next International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference to be held later this year. Various liaison statements were prepared concerning autonomous maritime radio devices (AMRD), protection criteria and Automatic Identification Systems (AIS).

New standards were completed for Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB) to include the second generation Cospas-Sarsat satellites and a liaison statement sent to ITU.

New traffic separation schemes with precautionary areas were agree for the Sunda Strait and Lombok Strait Indonesia. The voluntary Dover Strait movement reporting system (MAREP) was terminated as it is now little used having been overtaken by the mandatory CALDOVREP.

The next meeting of NCSR is planned for 15 to 24 January 2020. A meeting of the Maritime Safety Committee is planned for 5 to 14 June 2019. A meeting of the Joint IMO/ITU Experts Group is planned for 8 to 12 July 2019. A meeting of the ICAO/IMO Joint Working Group is planned for 9 to 13 September 2019 in Chile.

Tags:  IMO  International Maritime Organization  maritime  navigation  search and rescue 

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Note of meeting of the International Maritime Organization Maritime Safety Committee IMO MSC100

Posted By Kim Fisher, 11 December 2018

Note of meeting of the International Maritime Organization Maritime Safety Committee IMO MSC100 – 3 to 7 December 2018

by Kim Fisher


This was a 5 day meeting of the Maritime Safety Committee under the chairmanship of Mr Bradley Groves (Australia) because the previous meeting this year had been an 8 day meeting in June. Since this was the 100th meeting, and also coinciding with the 70th anniversary of IMO, the opportunity was taken to hold some special events. A seminar was held on the first afternoon and Her Royal Highness Princes Anne was invited to address the meeting on the Wednesday,

The seminar dealt with the technology progression of maritime autonomous ships, the human element and smart marine ecosystems. Some impressive film was shown of a ferry making a totally autonomous voyage, berth to berth. These special events together with a long report from Ukraine on the issue of the capture by Russian forces of Ukrainian naval vessels somewhat restricted the time available for the meeting which consequently became rather rushed.

The substantive issue at the meeting concerned a regulatory scoping exercise for the use of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS). The previous meeting had set up a correspondence group to move the work forward and a report was available which showed just how complex the issue was. A Working Group at the meeting produced a simplified report and the work will now continue as a web based exercise for the next meeting. Since there is only one MSC meeting next year, a special 5 day intersessional meeting has been arranged for later in the year.

Another Working Group discussed the issue of safety measures for non-SOLAS ships operating in polar waters as an extension to the Polar Code but was not able to make much progress.

Much of the rest of the meeting concerned ship construction standards. New work items were agreed for the use of emergency personal radio devices in multiple casualty situations and for a revision of ECDIS guidelines for good practice.

At the end of the meeting the retirement was announced of Jo Angelo of the USA.

The next meeting of MSC is scheduled to take place from 5 to 14 June 2019. The intersessional meeting on MASS is scheduled to take place from 2 to 6 September 2019. A meeting of the subcommittee on navigation, communication, search and rescue (NCSR) is scheduled for 14 to 25 January 2019.



Tags:  IMO  International Maritime Organization  maritime  safety 

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Note of meeting of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee MSC99 – 16 to 25 May 2018

Posted By Administration, 05 June 2018

Note of meeting of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee MSC99 – 16 to 25 May 2018

Author: Kim Fisher

This was an 8 day meeting of the Maritime Safety Committee under the chairmanship of Mr Bradley Groves (Australia). The Maritime Safety Committee meets three times in a two year cycle nominally for 5 days but is permitted a longer meeting when the period between meetings exceeds 6 months.

A substantive issue at the meeting concerned a regulatory scoping exercise for the use of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS). This was new work which was progressed in a Working Group. A framework was developed including the aim and objective, the preliminary definition of MASS and degrees of autonomy, the list of mandatory regulations to be considered and the applicability in terms of type and size of ships. This will be further developed by a correspondence group for the next meeting.

A further Working Group discussed the issue of safety measures for non-SOLAS ships operating in polar waters as an extension to the Polar Code. This proved to be a difficult topic and will be further discussed at the next meeting. Meanwhile the Sub-committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) was tasked with developing recommendatory safety measures for fishing vessels over 24 m in length and pleasure yachts over 300 gross tonnage.

Limited changes to Chapter IV (Radiocommunications) of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) to replace references to “Inmarsat” by “recognized mobile satellite service” were adopted to enter into force on 1 January 2020. This facilitates the introduction of other satellite operators to provide Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) services. The Iridium system had been proposed for recognition and after some debate this was agreed. Further work on its implementation will be carried out by the International Maritime Satellite Organization (IMSO). An initial application for the BeiDou messaging service to be recognised as a further service was accepted.

New work items were agreed for the Japanese Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) to be considered as a future component of the World-Wide Radionavigation System (WWRNS) and for a revision of the guidelines for Vessel Traffic Services.

The workload of the Sub-committee on Navigation Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) was discussed as it has been proving difficult to achieve all the work. This resulted in a proposal to extend the length of the meeting from 5 to 8 days for the next two years.

The next meeting of MSC is scheduled to take place from 3 to 7 December 2018. A meeting of the Joint IMO/ITU Experts Group is planned for 3 to 7 September 2018 and a meeting of the ICAO/IMO Joint working group is planned for 17 to 21 September 2018. The meeting of the IMO/IHO Harmonization Group on Data Modelling (HGDM) is planned for 29 October to 2 November 2018. A meeting of NCSR is planned for 16 to 25 January 2019.

Tags:  IMO  Maritime  Report  Safety 

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