Long range identification and tracking

Australia can request and receive information on vessels travelling within 1000 nautical miles off its coast.

An amendment to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974 (SOLAS) introduced mandatory position reporting obligations for SOLAS ships.

Long–range identification and tracking (LRIT) is a system requiring vessels to automatically transmit their identity, position and the date/time every six hours.

SOLAS contracting governments bear the costs of the system.

The SOLAS amendment came into force on 1 January 2008 with compliance required from 31 December 2008.

Implementation of LRIT

LRIT of ships was officially implemented on 1 July 2009.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) provides relevant resolutions and circulars on its website.

Port State control inspection relating to LRIT

From 1 July 2009, marine surveyors may verify LRIT compliance at routine port State control (PSC) inspections.

The main purpose of these inspections is to establish:

  • that a vessel required to have LRIT equipment has it fitted
  • where LRIT equipment is fitted, whether or not the equipment has a statement of conformity or conformance test report as required
  • where LRIT equipment is fitted, it is switched on and operational.

Any identified deficiencies will be discussed with the ship’s master for resolution.

LRIT and other ship reporting systems

Participating in LRIT does not prevent the use of existing ship reporting systems. The IMO states 'Services should note that the LRIT system does not replace any existing or new ship reporting system.' (IMO MSC.1/Circ.13081)

The reporting process cost is borne by us.

Related information

Last updated: 22 April 2021