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IMO Reports

Unity for Safety at Sea




The following agenda has seen a number of items where no papers have been submitted. There are a few more where there is no need for IFSMA to present interventions or comments.
Following the trend of Sub-Committees held so far this year, there have been a reduced number of papers submitted to this session. However, some agenda items are likely to produce significant discussion and it is important that attention is paid to the staffing of the plenary throughout. Depending on resources consideration should be given to attending WG1 (Navigation).

It is anticipated that the following working and drafting groups will be established;

  • WG 1 – Navigation Working Group (agenda items 3, 6 and 22);
  • WG 2 – Communications Working Group (agenda items 7, 9 and 12);
  • WG3 – Search and Rescue Working Group (agenda items 15 and 18); and
  • DG 1 – Drafting Group on LRIT (agenda item 5)
Agenda Item 1 – Adoption of the Agenda
No substantive comment.
Agenda Item 2 – Decisions of Other Bodies

While nothing specific has been noted careful attention should be paid to the introduction of the papers and intervention made as appropriate.

Agenda Item 3 – Routeing Measures and Mandatory Reporting Methods

Six papers have been submitted under this agenda item. Nothing contentious has been identified and it is anticipated that all proposals will be approved.

Agenda Item 4 – Recognition of Galileo as a Component of the WWRNSS

One paper has been submitted under this agenda item by the European Commission and EU member states. There is no real progress to report on this issue and the paper has been submitted in order to keep the item on the agenda.

Agenda Item 5 – Updates to the LRIT System

Eight papers have been submitted under this agenda item. Although mostly routine, attention is drawn to paper NCSR 2/Inf.13 on the subject of charging for LRIT services. As an inf. paper the document may not be introduced but if it is, there is likely to be significant discussion.

Agenda Item 6 – E-navigation Strategy Plan

Attention is drawn to paper NCSR 2/6 submitted by Australia as the Correspondence Group co-ordinator. The Correspondence Group were tasked by NCSR 1 with combining three sets of guidance; the draft Guidelines on Human Centred Design for E-navigation Systems; the draft Guidelines on Usability, Testing, Evaluation and Assessment for E-navigation Systems; and the draft Guidelines on Software Quality Assurance in E-navigation.
These consolidated guidelines are intended to place an emphasis on the development of e-navigation products to ensure they better meet the end user’s needs. This is a laudable aim so the document should be supported in principle. It is important that careful attention is paid to discussions in plenary and also in the working group to ensure that focus is not diverted from the needs of the end user to the needs of the manufacturers, academics etc.
Intelligence suggests that some flag states may attempt to have discussions on this matter closed off in plenary and the document sent to a drafting group instead. As we are generally content with the content this proposal should not be opposed.

Agenda Item 7 – Performance Standards for Multi-system Shipborne Navigation Systems

Attention is drawn to paper 2/7 submitted by Australia et al. There is thought to be general support for the document but there is some confusion as to what exactly is being proposed when it comes to using multiple satellite systems to fix a position. Is the aim to combine separate signals to obtain a position or combine separate positions to obtain an average fix? An intervention may be necessary.
Attention is also drawn to paper 2/7/1 submitted by Germany. There is widespread feeling that this paper is too academic in nature and does not adequately consider the specific needs of the mariner. It is also thought that the development of the guidelines put forward in this paper go beyond the scope of the output. For these reasons it is anticipated that this paper will not be supported.

Agenda Item 8 – Analysis of Developments in Maritime Radio-communication Systems and Technology

There is one paper submitted under this item by France and Spain. This paper raises a number of issues, mainly to do with interoperability of different systems regarding the introduction of Iridium as a GMDSS provider. It is anticipated that this paper will receive support from several flag states and considerable discussion will follow. It is unlikely intervention will be necessary.

Agenda Item 9 – First Outline of the Detailed Review of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)

Attention is drawn to paper NCSR 2/9 submitted by the United States as Co-ordinator of the Correspondence Group. This paper should be supported in principle as some good proposals are made, particularly the proposal to close the conversation on the viability of the HF system.
Paper NCSR 2/9/2 submitted by Spain and France again raises their concerns regarding the interoperability of different GMDSS providers and who will be liable for the cost.

Agenda Item 10 – Further Development of the GMDSS Master Plan on Shore-Based Activities
No significant comment
Agenda Item 11 – Guidelines on MSI (Maritime Safety Information) Provisions
No significant comment
Agenda Item 12 – Response to matters related to the Radio-communication ITU R Study Group

Attention is drawn to papers NCSR 2/12 and 2/12/1 submitted by the Secretariat. These are liaison statements from the ITU-R working party and amongst other things, they propose the authorisation of expanded use of AIS for “novel applications”. These proposals are not expected to receive widespread support as there are concerns regarding spectrum congestion, varying capabilities of different devices that should be able to carry out the same task and the policing of these novel devices.

Agenda Item 13 – Response to Matters Related to the Radio-Communication ITU – R Study Group
No significant comment.
Agenda Item 14 – Analysis of Information on Developments in Inmarsat and COSPAS-SARSAT
No significant comment
Agenda Item 15 – Guidelines on Harmonized Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Procedures, Including SAR Training Matters
No significant comment
Agenda Item 16 – Further Development of the Global SAR Plan for the Provisions of Maritime SAR Services
No papers submitted
Agenda Item 17 – Procedures for Routeing Distress Information in the GMDSS
No papers submitted
Agenda Item 18 – Amendments to the IAMSAR Manual
No papers submitted
Agenda Item 19 – Unified Interpretations of Provisions of IMO Safety, Security, and Environment Related Conventions
No papers submitted
Agenda Item 20 – Biennial Agenda and Provisional Agenda for NCSR 3
No papers submitted
Agenda Item 21 - Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman for 2016

It is anticipated that the current Chair, Captain Carlos Salgado of Chile will step down and be replaced by Ringo Lakeman of the Netherlands.

Agenda Item 22 – Any Other Business

Attention is drawn to paper NCSR 2/22/3 submitted by the United States concerning protection of cable laying vessels. This paper can be supported in general.

Agenda Item 7 - Paper 2/7

Intervention 1

Good afternoon Chair. Firstly, we would like to thank the authors of these Papers. IFSMA representing shipmasters believes, given the current state of development of on-board systems, that two independent positions are capable of being obtained in order to provide redundancy when using multiple systems. Thank you Chair.