IMO has issued guidance on how onboard radiocommunications equipment should be updated to comply with safety communications regulations. It requires owners to ensure that high frequency (HF) equipment, which is capable of operating narrow-band direct printing (NBDP), is updated and capable of using the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) in an emergency.
Owners must comply with IMO’s mandate following the first radio survey after 1 January 2017 to ensure the HF equipment meets the channelling arrangements reflected in an appendix of the 2012 Radio Regulations. According to Lloyd’s Register (LR) this addresses HF direct-printing telegraphy in Sections II and III of Part B in Appendix 17.
“Most existing equipment should already be compliant with the requirements,” said LR in a guidance note. “In a small number of cases, current software will have to be updated. If existing equipment is unable to comply with the Radio Regulations it will need to be replaced, and the newly installed HF NBDP equipment should be suitably type-approved.” LR recommended that owners and operators of vessels equipped with HF NBDP equipment ensure it is compliant in time for the first safety radio survey after 1 January 2017.