Implementation for retro-fit S-VDRs and draft S-VDR performance standards

Following majority support by Member States, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 78) approved the proposed draft amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, Chapter V, Safety of Navigation, Regulation 20 – Voyage data recorders. Click here to view the amendments which state the final implementation dates for retro-fitting S-VDRs. In particular members are advised to note the two-year exemption for ships that will be taken out of service in the draft proposals.

In addition, the MSC took note of the comments made by the Sub-Committee on Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue (COMSAR 8) in relation to performance standards for shipborne simplified voyage data recorders (S-VDRs) that whilst there should not be a specific requirement for an S-VDR to include an EPIRB (Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon) float-free requirement, there should not be a requirement prohibiting such incorporation. If an S-VDR and EPIRB were combined into one device then the equipment should comply with performance standards for both S-VDRs and EPIRBs. Accordingly the Maritime Safety Committee agreed to draft S-VDR Performance Standards (click here to download a copy), with the aim of their being adopted at MSC 79 at the end of this year.

It is stressed however that at the time of writing the MSC is still in session and will not be concluded until the end of this week.

Follow-up confirmation will be issued in next week’s Weekly NEWS.

Contact: Howard Snaith