The Directorate General of Shipping, India has issued a circular titled Testing and Maintenance of EPIRB, and Testing of Other GMDSS Radio Equipment by Approved Service Stations or Shore-based Maintenance Facilities.
The document was published on 16 March 2023.
SOLAS Regulation 7.1.5 requires every ship to be fitted with an EPIRB and Regulation 15.9 sets out the testing and maintenance requirements for EPIRBs. These requirements are indicated in this circular.
Testing and maintenance of EPIRBs should be carried out on board ships or at an approved testing station by suitably trained and approved personnel using appropriate test equipment in accordance with the guidelines in MSC Circulars MSC.1/Circ.1039,/Rev.1 and MSC.1/Circ.1040/Rev.2 at five-yearly and annual intervals.
Also, during annual and renewal safety radio surveys on board ships, it is observed that non-DG Shipping approved companies carry out testing, repair, and maintenance of EPIRBs and issue annual and five-yearly shore-based maintenance certificates (SBMC). And testing of other GMDSS radio equipment is carried out by radio technicians from these non-GD Shipping approved radio firms as well.
Unauthorized means of testing or any deviation from the standardized procedures and minimum performance levels for testing EPIRBs may result in serious operational complications and the risk of false alarms.
It is also emphasized that annual testing and maintenance of EPIRBs and testing of other GMDSS radio equipment on board ships during safety radio surveys should always be carried out by a DC Shipping approved service station or approved shore-based maintenance facility.
MMD/DGS and IRS surveyors are advised to ensure strict compliance with this circular during annual/periodical/renewal safety radio surveys of ships.
For more information, please see the documents below (available only to subscribers):
Testing and Maintenance of EPIRB, and Testing of Other GMDSS Radio Equipment by Approved Service Stations or Shore-based Maintenance Facilities
Guidelines on Annual Testing of Emergency Position-indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs)
Guidelines for Shore-based Maintenance of Emergency Position-indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs)
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