The Republic of the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator has issued a marine notice on the requirements for Bridge Navigation Watch Alarm Systems.
This marine notice was published on January 1st, 2023.
It is addressed to all shipowners, operators, masters, and officers of merchant ships, and recognized organizations.
This notice supersedes the Rev.Mar/2015. Edits have been made to remove outdated information, including the Bridge Navigation Watch Alarm Systems (BNWASs) Compliance Table.
This notice provides the policy position of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Maritime Administrator (the “Administrator”) on the requirements for BNWASs.
This notice applies to RMI-flagged ships* fitted with BNWAS per SOLAS V/18.104.22.168.
*Self-propelled Mobile Offshore Units are required to be fitted with a BNWAS in accordance with SOLAS Chapter V. Refer to the RMI Mobile Offshore Unit Standards (MI-293) for these vessel types.
1.1 As permitted by SOLAS, the Administrator will accept BNWAS installed before 1 July 2011 that do not meet the performance standards contained in IMO Resolution MSC.128(75), upon recommendation from the ship's Recognized Organization (RO) provided that:
- .1 the system is manufactured for marine service;
- .2 audible alarms or visual indicators are provided in the wheelhouse and on the bridge wings; and
- .3 second and third-stage audible alarms are raised in locations deemed appropriate by the Classification Society of the vessel*.
*This is an RMI requirement.
1.2 Regardless of when installed, BNWAS, when fitted with motion detectors to serve as the reset function, must meet the following additional requirements:
- .1 The sensors cover only the area of the bridge forward of any bridge curtains;
- .2 The area of the bridge covered by the motion sensor does not include bridge chairs, unless the chair is integral to the primary conning position, such as in a cockpit-style operating position; and
- .3 Moving bridge curtains will not reset the BNWAS.
2.1 In accordance with SOLAS regulation V/22.214.171.124, BNWAS must be in operation when the ship is underway at sea*.
*For the purpose of this Marine Notice, “at sea” means the ship is under way outside of pilotage waters.
2.2 In their Safety Management System (SMS), vessel operators must address the operating situations under which the BNWAS operational modes (automatic, manual ON, manual OFF) should be used.
This must take into account that the automatic operational mode must not be used, if available until the performance standards contained in IMO Resolution MSC.128(75) are revised.
See MSC.1/Circ.1474 for additional guidance on the BNWAS auto function.
2.3 For systems fitted with motion sensors to serve as one of the reset functions, the SMS must include a procedure for the crew to check the system at least once a day to ensure it is operating correctly.*
*This is an RMI requirement.
BNWAS Interface with the Vessel’s Voyage Data Recorder
3.1 These are the Administrator’s requirements for connecting a BNWAS to a Voyage Data Recorder (VDR).
.1 For a BNWAS installed on or after 1 July 2011:
- a. If the VDR was installed on or after 1 July 2014, the BNWAS must be connected to it.
- b. If the VDR was installed before 1 July 2014, the BNWAS should, if practicable, be connected to it.
.2 If installed before 1 July 2011, the BNWAS should, if practicable, be connected to the VDR.
3.2 On receiving a recommendation from the ship’s RO, the Administrator will consider exemptions to these requirements.
For more information, please see the documents below (available only to subscribers):
Bridge Navigation Watch Alarm Systems
MSC.128(75): Performance Standards for a Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System (BNWAS)
MSC.1/Circ.1474: GUIDANCE ON THE BRIDGE NAVIGATIONAL WATCH ALARM SYSTEM (BNWAS) AUTO FUNCTION
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