e-Navigation high on the agenda of IMO NCSR 4


The IMO NCSR considers technical and operational matters related to safety of navigation on board ships. The next meeting agenda will cover modernisation of GMDSS and e-Navigation as the two main topics.

The 4th session of IMO Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) - will be held from 6 to 10 March 2017 in London. BIMCO will attend the meeting. 

The NCSR considers technical and operational matters related to the obligations of governments and operational measures related to safety of navigation on board ships. It covers a large number of items such as hydrographic and meteorological and other services provided from shore; ships' routeing; operational requirements and guidelines relating to navigational safety and associated carriage requirements; performance standards and operational guidelines for the use of shipborne navigational equipment; obligations of governments and operational measures related to the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS); operational requirements and guidelines relating to radio communications and search and rescue.

The agenda

The agenda is extensive and mainly concentrates around two items: modernisation of GMDSS and e-navigation. 

The work on the GMDSS requirements aims to simplify, modernise, harmonise and integrate radio communication functions with relevant navigational functions, in line with e-Navigation principles. The e-Navigation Strategy Implementation Plan (SIP), which was approved by in November 2014, contains a list of tasks required to be developed:

  • improved, harmonised and user-friendly bridge design
  • means for standardised and automated reporting
  • improved reliability, resilience and integrity of bridge equipment and navigation information
  • integration and presentation of available information in graphical displays received via communication equipment
  • improved Communication of Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Service Portfolio.

The agenda for NSCR 4 includes the following important items:

  • Development of additional modules to the Performance Standards for Integrated Navigational Systems. The integration of received navigational information via communications equipment is on the top of this agenda item. 
  • The development of guidelines for the harmonised display of navigation information received via communications equipment is still at an early stage. Especially the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) is useful for this purpose.
  • The Guidelines and Criteria for Ship Reporting Systems are being modernised. This meeting will discuss the transmission of pre-arrival information by ships to the ports of call taking into consideration the Architecture for Interoperating Single Windows Systems and a new Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) feature to facilitate the use of Single Window Systems. 
  • The development of guidelines associated with multi-system shipborne radionavigation receivers dealing with the harmonised provision of Position, Navigation and Time (PNT) data and information will be continued. Under this agenda item, the minimum requirements will be established allowing the application of different methods and techniques for the provision of PNT data and related integrity information.
  • Amending the SOLAS Convention chapter IV and certain other related documents to accommodate new mobile satellite systems recognized for use in the GMDSS will be discussed.


Jeppe Skovbakke Juhl
in Copenhagen, DK


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