IMO Working Group reports on Long Range Identification and Tracking

INTERTANKO attended an intersessional meeting of the IMO’s MSC (Marine Safety Committee) Working Group (WG) meeting this week on the subject of Long Range Identification & Tracking (LRIT). 

The background to this meeting and the preliminary discussions can be found here, whereas the outcome of this week’s meeting is described in the WG’s draft report MSC80.WP.7, which can be downloaded here. Readers should note that the report is in draft form as the WG has made some changes to the report and the final report is still pending. Readers should also be aware that square brackets round text in the draft report signify that the WG could not agree on the text - thus these aspects will be discussed further and hopefully agreed at MSC 81 next year.  

Following a long and intense debate this week, the salient points discussed concerned the applicability of LRIT, the distance this should be monitored off the coast, and who should be able to have access.  

However, the WG was unable to achieve a consensus regarding access to LRIT by coastal states - this was disappointing as one of the initial main concepts behind LRIT was for coastal states to be able to monitor vessels passing its coastline. This aspect of LRIT will be discussed further next year at the 81st session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 81).

The WG did, however, agree that: 

·          the costs of the LRIT coordinator would be borne by the SOLAS contracting governments using the service;

·          The proposed SOLAS regulation would state that the SOLAS contracting governments would pay for all LRIT information they requested and received;

·          The ship should not incur any charges for transmitting LRIT information. 

Bearing in mind our earlier comment (that text shown in square brackets remains to be agreed) the tentative implementation schedule for LRIT is shown in Annex 2 of the WG’s draft report.  

The report from the LRIT working group will be reviewed at MSC 81, which will be held at IMO in May 2006. 

Contact: Howard Snaith