MARITIME - Modernization of Global Maritime and Distress System

On January 15, 2020, the IMO announced efforts of the Subcommittee on Navigation Communications and Search and Rescue to review requirements for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (“GMDSS”).  The GMDSS is an integrated satellite and land-based radio communication system that is mandatory under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (“SOLAS”).  IMO announced that the Subcommittee for Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue will finalize its suggestions and report to be submitted to the Maritime Safety Commission with proposed amendments to SOLAS that will be enforced in 2024.  This work by the Subcommittee is an effort toward continual modernization of SOLAS.

            The IMO Subcommittee is continuing its work to develop safety measures for vessels operating in polar waters that are not bound by SOLAS.  Further, the Subcommittee is expected to revise guidelines for vessel traffic services and ships routing measures.  Additionally, the Subcommittee will consider revisions to guidelines on Places of Refuge for Ships in need of assistance. 

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