Exemption for the carriage of full Global Maritime Distress & Safety Systems (GMDSS) radio equipments to tugs and vessels operating within the port limits.

NT/RADIO/ 01 /2008

No. 14-NT(4)/2004                                                                           Date : 5th May, 2008

SUBJECT : Exemption for the carriage of full Global Maritime Distress & Safety Systems (GMDSS) radio equipments to tugs and vessels operating within the port limits.

  1. Background:-
  2. Various ports and shipping companies have been requesting the administration for grant of exemption from full compliance of GMDSS radio equipments, under Merchant Shipping Distress & safety Radio Communication (MS DSRC) rules on certain types of vessels plying only within port limits.

  3. Justification:-
    1. GMDSS equipments are required to alert other vessels in the vicinity or coast station during distress, urgency & safety when assistance is required from the other vessels and from coast radio stations.
    2. Tugs and vessels deployed for operation within port limits, generally ply within 5-6 nautical miles from the shore. Such craft are under continuous surveillance and are in constant touch with the port signal stations. Other port craft are also available in the vicinity to provide assistance in case of an emergency. Hence the requirements of full GMDSS radio equipment as required for operations in Area A3 (70oN to 70'S) becomes superfluous on vessels operating within port limits only.
    3. Exemptions have been granted in the past on case to case basis for such vessels. On the basis of the past exemptions granted, and the satisfactory outcome of study of past experience it has been decided review the radio equipment requirement of such vessels and prescribe uniform application of radio equipments for all tugs and vessels operating within ports limits subject to compliance of conditions as specified here below:
  4. Condition for exemption:
    1. Exemption from full GMDSS radio equipment for vessel operating within port limits only are subject to the following conditions:
    2. The tugs and vessels shall be deployed within port limits only and be under continuous surveillance by port authority on VHF.
    3. Port signal station shall be manned round the clock
    4. Every tug and vessel so exempt shall however be equipped with following:
      1. VHF Radio          2 Nos. At least one of which to be flitted with DSC and work on batteries for 6 Hrs.
      2. EPIRB                1 No.
      3. SART                1 No.
      4. Navtex              1 No.
      5. AIS                    1 No.   Class "B" AIS
    5. The tug and vessel will be issued such exemption certificate along with the Radio Certificate after necessary inspection by MMD or recognized organization on behalf of MMD.
    6. Plying area of vessel should be clearly endorsed on safety radio certificate and record of radio equipment (Form R).
    7. During any voyage outside the plying area so endorsed, a specific voyage permission shall be obtained to determine if the vessel is in a position to undertake single voyage without or with additional radio equipment. In all such cases for the voyage permission applied may be referred to the Principal Officer, Mercantile Marine Department of the concerned district if the request is within his district. If the request is for a voyage terminating outside his district, the permission to be obtained from the Directorate.
  5. Placing the record of exemption:
  6. A copy of this circular shall be attached with 'Form-R' (i.e Record of equipments for the cargo ship safety radio Certificate).

  7. Procedure for applying and granting exemption:
  8. Subject to fulfillment of the conditions stipulated above and upon undertaking by the ports or shipping companies seeking exemption from carriage of full GMDSS radio equipments, the Directorate General of Shipping will consider and grant the above exemption under the provision of rule 3(2)(i) of MS DSRC rules (1995) in format enclosed as annexure 1.


    (Capt. J. S. Uppal)

    Dy. Nautical Adviser to the Govt. of India-Cum - Sr. DDG (Tech).

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