Shipboard navigation, communications and search and rescue at sea on the agenda at IMO

Monday 8 May 2023
Australia will play an active role in discussions starting this week at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) meeting on navigation, communications, and search and rescue.
pilot boat turning

Australia has a search and rescue region covering one-tenth of the Earth's surface, and is responsible for coordinating maritime and aviation search and rescue across the region. The IMO's sub-committee meeting at its London headquarters is an important opportunity to develop rules on matters related to the harmonisation of global aeronautical and maritime search and rescue services, as well as shipboard navigation and communications.

With a focus on safety at sea, some of the matters up for discussion include ships' routeing and reporting systems, improvements in navigation, communications and distress alerting equipment and their integration with global search and rescue systems, and delivery of maritime safety information to assist the safe passage of the world's shipping.

Australia looks forward to progressing some key issues, including:

  • Changes to the IMO rules, to strengthen the requirements for pilot transfer arrangements
  • Development of amendments to the safety of life at sea convention to introduce a very high frequency data exchange system
  • Development of digital maritime services
  • Amendments to electronic chart display and information system performance standards to facilitate a standardised digital exchange of ships' route plans. This is expected to improve situational awareness on ship bridges and enhance the safety and efficiency of shipping.
  • Developments in Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) services, including guidelines on maritime safety information.
  • Development of the global maritime search and rescue service, including harmonisation with the aeronautical search and rescue system.

Learn more about AMSA's safety and navigation capability here: Safety & navigation

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