MSC 84 – Agreement on LRIT financial model

One highly controversial issue which was resolved at last week’s meeting of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 84) was the financial model, on which the timely implementation of the Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system was depending. MSC 84 was destined to resolve the issue, which it did. The financial model now agreed is based upon the user pays principle, i.e. flag, port and coastal states will pay for the LRIT information they request and receive.

 

Financial model

It was recognised that a pre-requisite for the LRIT system to function as intended was that governments should establish data centres, either national or regional, (NDC’s or RDC’s), and should monitor and assure their continuous functioning. But most importantly, all governments were encouraged for the purpose of safety, security and environmental protection to request, receive and pay for LRIT information as port and/or coastal states.

 

Those governments who do set up a data centre  should be able to seek to recover their expenditure, but not seek to make any profit or excess income. If the data centre has been subcontracted to a commercial entity, then it was found reasonable to expect a fair and reasonable profit to be generated by the entity for the services it provides. However, it is expected that governments who subcontract their data centre should regulate or adjust the level of profit to ensure the sustainable financial viability of the LRIT system.

 

Cost

It is expected that regular (mandatory) reports could be charged twice the ship-to-shore communication cost (estimated at USD 0.25 - 0.35) to cover overheads. All charges for additional requests, such as poll requests or archived information, should be borne by the requesting party, at a price to be set by the market.

 

Members are to be aware that provision of LRIT information for the purpose of Search and Rescue will in all cases be free of charge.

 

Shipborne equipment

In addition to the general requirements for shipborne radio equipment forming part of the GMDSS-system, the shipborne equipment should be able to:

 

1.        be capable of automatically and without human intervention on board the ship transmitting the ships LRIT information at 6-hour intervals to an LRIT data centre

2.        be capable of being configured remotely to transmit LRIT information at variable intervals

3.        be capable of transmitting LRIT information following receipt of polling commands

4.        interface directly with the shipborne global navigation satellite system equipment, or have internal positioning capability

5.        be supplied with energy from the main and emergency source of electrical power

6.        be tested for electromagnetic compatibility taking into account the recommendations developed by the IMO.

 

MSC 84 also considered a number of issues which had arisen as a result of the requirement of SOLAS V/19-1.6 which specifies that the shipborne equipment to be used for transmitting LRIT information should be type-approved by the Administration. It therefore produced a Guidance on the Survey and Certification of compliance of ships with the requirement to transmit LRIT information. A scanned copy of the draft may be accessed here

 

Contact: Fredrik Larsson