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IT issues on the table at MSC Featured

The IMO’s Marine Safety Committee (MSC) met in London last week for its 94th session, with several IT issues on the agenda, including Iridium’s proposed move to become a GMDSS satellite provider.

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The MSC decided that that the International Maritime Satellite Organisation (IMSO) should put together a panel of experts to produce a technical and operational assessment of Iridium, as it looks to join Inmarsat as a provider of GMDSS services.

Elsewhere, the MSC approved the e-navigation Strategy Implementation Plan (SIP), a roadmap of tasks required to give effect to prioritised e-navigation solutions, including improved bridge design, equipment, communications and reporting.

Cyber security was also on the agenda, with the Committee considering a proposal to develop voluntary guidelines on cyber security practices for ports, vessels and marine facilities.

The MSC agreed that cyber security was “an important and timely issue”, but that unilateral action should not be taken by the IMO without first consulting with other UN bodies and international organisations, such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

In other Committee business, China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System - the country’s equivalent of GPS - was recognised as a component of the World-Wide Radionavigation System (WWRNS), and approval was given to revised AIS guidelines, 406 MHz distress beacon guidelines, and a number of amendments to LRIT-related circulars.

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