GUIDANCE ON THE VALIDITY OF RADIOCOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT INSTALLED AND USED ON SHIPS
1 The Maritime Safety Committee, at its ninety-second session (12 to 21 June 2013),
taking into account the recommendation of the Sub-Committee on Radiocommunications and
Search and Rescue at its seventeenth session (21 to 25 January 2013), having recognized
concerns that incompatibility may exist between radiocommunication equipment installed
on ships, and the revised frequencies and channelling arrangements for the maritime HF
and VHF bands as contained in appendices 17 and 18 to the Radio Regulations (RR) –
Edition 2012, approved the Guidance on the validity of radiocommunications equipment
installed and used on ships (MSC.1/Circ.1460).
2 The Maritime Safety Committee, at its ninety-seventh session
(21 to 25 November 2016), while noting that a revision of this circular was anticipated in
parallel with the upcoming revision of SOLAS chapter IV, agreed to amend the date
from 1 January 2017 to 1 January 2024 (paragraph 8 below), with the intention of avoiding any
unnecessary updates of HF radiocommunication equipment that is already capable of
operating narrow band direct printing (NBDP).
3 The Maritime Safety Committee, at its ninety-eighth session (7 to 16 June 2017),
taking into account the recommendation of the Sub-Committee on Navigation,
Communications and Search and Rescue at its fourth session (6 to 10 March 2017), agreed
on paragraph 9 below, with the intention to treat MF radiocommunication equipment capable
of operating NBDP as well as VHF equipment in the same way as
HF NBDP radiocommunication equipment.
4 The World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 made extensive changes to
appendices 17 and 18 of the RR. Whilst these changes do not affect the GMDSS, they do
affect the use of other frequencies that would be used by services such as Port Operations
5 The RR provisions apply as from the dates of application indicated in article 59 and
resolution 98 of the RR. Timely action is required by ships to ensure that radiocommunication
equipment complies with the RR. Replacement of operating hardware may be necessary to
meet the changed requirements.
6 According to the Performance standards for shipborne VHF radio installations
capable of communication and digital selective calling (resolution A.803(19)), the equipment
should comply with the Radio Regulations.
7 Attention is drawn to MSC.1/Circ.1389, which contains Guidance on procedures for
updating shipborne navigation and communication equipment, and that updates to application
software and firmware to meet changes in IMO and ITU regulatory requirements were needed.
8 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.
9 To ensure GMDSS communication capability and the availability of appropriate
GMDSS radiocommunication equipment, MF radiocommunication equipment capable of
operating NBDP as well as VHF equipment, without prejudice to the arrangements contained
in appendix 18 of the RR, should be updated so that following the first radio survey
after 1 January 2024, at the earliest, it meets the arrangements which will be in force by then.
10 Member States are invited to bring this information to the attention of the appropriate
national authorities and all other parties concerned.