VDR and AIS Regulations Go Into Effect

New regulations for certain size ships to carry voyage data recorders (VDRs) and automatic identification systems (AIS) entered effect on July 1, 2002.

The mandatory regulations are among a raft of amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS) entering into force on July 1, 2002. In addition, under its second phase of implementation, the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (ISM Code) became mandatory for most ships trading internationally on July 1, 2002 The revised SOLAS chapter V (Safety of Navigation), which was adopted in December 2000, includes a number of important new requirements for ships, including those relating to carriage of VDRs and AIS and acceptance of electronic charts as meeting the chart carriage requirements.

The following ships are required to carry VDRs. under regulation 20 of the new SOLAS Chapter V: passenger ships constructed on or after July 1, 2002; RoRo passenger ships constructed before July 1, 2002 not later than the first survey on or after July 1, 2002; passenger ships other than RoRo passenger ships constructed before July 1, 2002 not later than January 1, 2004; and ships, other than passenger ships, of 3,000 gt and upwards constructed on or after July 1, 2002.

The regulation requires AIS to be fitted aboard all ships of 300 gross tonnage and upwards engaged on international voyages, cargo ships of 500 gross tonnage and upwards not engaged on international voyages and passenger ships irrespective of size built on or after 1 July 2002. It also applies to ships engaged on international voyages constructed before July 1, 2002.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 14,  Aug 2002 Maryland

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