Guidance On Extended Compliance Date Of VHF Radiocommunications Equipment

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Guidance on the Extended Compliance Date of VHF Radio Communications Equipment Installed and Used on Ships and Other Vessels. The purpose of this Marine Advisory is to inform shipowners, operators, recognized organizations and masters that the Maritime Safety Committee, at its 107th session (31 May to 9 June 2023), issued MSC.1/Circ.1460.rev.4 which replaces MSC.1/Circ.1460/Rev.3, which indicated that to ensure compatibility with the frequencies and channeling arrangements set out in Appendix 18 of the ITU Radio Regulations (RR) – Edition 2020, existing VHF radiocommunication equipment needed to be updated not later than the first radio survey after 1 January 2024. 

The Background

The ITU World Radiocommunication Conferences in 2012, 2015 and 2019 made extensive changes to appendix 18 of the ITU Radio Regulations (RR). While these changes do not affect the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), they do affect the use of other frequencies used for VHF meteorological, navigational and urgent marine information broadcasts, port operations and Vessel Traffic Service (VTS). According to the Performance standards for shipborne VHF radio installations capable of communication and digital selective calling (reference (b)), VHF radiocommunication equipment should comply with the RR. 

Requirements And Alternatives

MSC.1/Circ.1460.rev.4 extended the date that VHF radiocommunication equipment should be updated to ensure compatibility between VHF radiocommunication equipment installed on ships and on shore and the revised frequencies and channeling arrangements promulgated by the ITU for the maritime VHF bands. until the first radio survey after 1 January 2028, at the earliest. 

Prior to any passage the Radio Operator / Master should review radio channel / frequency requirements for the ships/vessel’s area of operation, ensuring the radiocommunication equipment has the required capability. Radio operators should refer to ITU List IV – List of Coast Stations and Special Service Stations or optionally the Admiralty List of Radio Stations (ALRS) to ensure that the on-board equipment is capable of operating on the frequencies necessary for the ship/vessel’s area of operation, e.g., to communicate with ports and coast stations. Please note that carriage on board of the ALRS is not mandatory for Liberian flagged ships/vessels. It should be noted that the vessel’s existing VHF radios will continue to work for safety, distress, and ship to ship communications. 

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Source: Liscr


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