131/17/Gen.Inf. Statutory Alert: Clarification of requirements regarding Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) high frequency narrow-band direct printing

Applicability: All owners and operators of vessels equipped with high frequency narrow-band direct printing equipment

This is further to Class News 12/2016, which advised on new channelling arrangements for high frequency (HF) narrow-band direct printing (NBDP) in accordance with MSC.1/Circ.1460.

At IMO meeting MSC 97, amendments to the ‘Guidance on the validity of radiocommunication equipment installed and used on ships’ (MSC.1/Circ.1460) were proposed, with the intention of avoiding any unnecessary updates to equipment that is already capable of operating NBDP, in accordance with the outcome of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2012.

The IMO Committee has now agreed to amend the date in paragraph 6 of MSC.1/Circ.1460 from 1 January 2017 to 1 January 2024. The amended circular will be published as MSC.1/Circ.1460/Rev.1 ‘Revised guidance on the validity of radiocommunication equipment installed and used on ships’. The revised paragraph 6 will state:

“To ensure GMDSS communication capability, HF radiocommunication equipment capable of operating narrow-band direct printing (NBDP) should be updated so that following the first radio survey after 1 January 2024 it meets the channelling arrangements reflected in sections II and III of part B in appendix 17 of the RR.”

The IMO approved the detailed review of the GMDSS, which suggests that, in the future, NBDP will be removed as a carriage requirement.

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Thank you & Best Regards,

Eng. Dimitrios Nikolaos Spanos
Lead Maritime Auditor / Principal Surveyor
Member of IRCA, IIMS, ELINT, HELMEPA & Nautical Institute

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