The Republic of the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator has issued a marine safety advisory for updating Very High Frequency (VHF) radiocommunication equipment.
This safety advisory was published on 10 March 2023 and supersedes marine advisory MSA No. 47-17.
Through International Maritime Organization (IMO) Circular MSC.1/Circ.1460/Rev.3, the IMO has announced:
"...that incompatibility may exist between VHF radiocommunication equipment installed on ships and on shore, and the revised frequencies and channeling arrangements for the maritime VHF bands as contained in appendix 18 to the ITU Radio Regulations (RR) – Edition 2020.
The ITU World Radiocommunication Conferences made extensive changes to
appendix 18 of the RR. While these changes do not affect the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), they do affect the use of other frequencies used for VHF meteorological, navigational and urgent marine information broadcasts, port operations, and Vessel Traffic Service (VTS).
According to the Performance standards for shipborne VHF radio installations capable of communication and digital selective calling (resolution A.803(19), as amended), VHF radiocommunication equipment should comply with the RR.
The Guidance on procedures for updating shipborne navigation and communication equipment (MSC.1/Circ.1389) notes that updates to application software and firmware to meet changes in IMO and ITU regulatory requirements are needed.
To ensure GMDSS communication capability and the availability of appropriate GMDSS radiocommunication equipment, and without prejudice to the arrangements contained in appendix 18 of the RR, VHF radiocommunication equipment should be updated so that following the first radio survey after 1 January 2024, at the earliest, it meets the arrangements which will be in force by
The Maritime Administrator of the Republic of the Marshall Islands advises vessels to update their VHF equipment within the allotted timeframe. However, some manufacturers may not be able to meet the demand for new equipment or software updates in time.
For inquiries regarding the updating of radiocommunications equipment, please contact the Administrator at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please see the documents below (available only to subscribers):
Updating Very High Frequency (VHF) Radiocommunication Equipment
Guidance on the Validity of Radiocommunications Equipment Installed and Used on Ships
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