Key decisions from MSC 83 on implementation of Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) System

Key decisions relating to the implementation of the Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) System were made by the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at its 83rd session.

MSC 83 accepted a contingency offer from the United States to host, build and operate, on an interim and temporary basis, the International LRIT Data Exchange (IDE), agreeing that a permanent location should be found for the IDE as soon as possible (within two years from 1 January 2008, subject to a further review by the MSC).

The LRIT system will consist of the shipborne LRIT information transmitting equipment, the Communication Service Provider(s), the Application Service Provider(s), the LRIT Data Centre(s), including any related Vessel Monitoring System(s), the LRIT Data Distribution Plan and the IDE. The LRIT Data Centres communicate with each other and exchange information and data though the IDE and thus the IDE has a key and pivotal role in the establishment and functioning of the system.

LRIT information will be provided to Contracting Governments and search and rescue services entitled to receive the information, upon request, through a system of national, regional, co-operative and international LRIT Data Centres, using, where necessary, the IDE.

The establishment of the interim IDE will allow the LRIT system to be launched on schedule with multiple LRIT Data Centres operating and joined through the IDE.


Schedule for implementation of the LRIT system

The schedule for the implementation of the LRIT system by 1 January 2008, which was agreed during MSC 81, remains in effect.


Use of LRIT information for safety and environmental protection purposes

The MSC adopted a resolution: 'Use of long-range identification and tracking information for safety and environmental purposes', which notes that such use of LRIT information would add significant value to existing systems by improving knowledge of ships' positions and identity. The resolution states that the MSC agrees that Contracting Governments may request, receive and use LRIT information for safety and environmental protection purposes.

SOLAS regulation V/19-1 on LRIT will enter into force on 1 January 2008 and will apply to ships constructed on or after 31 December 2008, with a phased-in implementation schedule for ships constructed before 31 December 2008. The LRIT system is intended to be operational with respect to the transmission of LRIT information by ships from 30 December 2008.


Members are requested to contact their Administrations to receive further information on how the implementation will affect their vessels.


Contact: Fredrik Larsson