Viewing cable 07LONDON892
Title: INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION (IMO): REPORT OF THE

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07LONDON8922007-03-07 16:45:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy London
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RHEFHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS LONDON 000892 
 
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STATE PLEASE PASS TO IO/IOC FOR M. MORRISSEY 
 
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TAGS: IMO ITU IMSO AORC ASEC UK
SUBJECT: INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION (IMO): REPORT OF THE 
ELEVENTH SESSION OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE ON RADIOCOMMUNICATIONS AND 
SEARCH AND RESCUE (COMSAR), LONDON, 16-23 FEBRUARY 2007. 
 
¶1. SUMMARY: COMSAR 11 was attended by 70 administrations and 1 
Associate Member, 2 Specialized Agencies, and 19 non- 
governmental organizations. COMSAR considered the Global Maritime 
Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), Review of the ITU radio 
communications matters, Satellite Services (COSPAS-SARSAT and 
Inmarsat), matters concerning 
Search and rescue including those related to the 
1979 SAR Conference, Developments in maritime radiocommunication 
systems and technology, Revision of the International Maritime 
Search and Rescue (IMSAR) Manual, Revision of the performance 
standards for Search and Rescue Transponder (SART), Amendments to 
the Collision Regulations (COLREGS) Annex IV relating to distress 
signals, Guidelines on the control of ships in an emergency, 
Replacements for use of Narrow Band Direct Printing (NBDP) for 
maritime distress and safety communications in maritime MF/HF bands, 
Guidelines for uniform operating limitations of high-speed craft, 
Development of an e-navigation strategy, Work program and agenda for 
COMSAR 12, Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman for 2008. 
Captain Carlos Salgado of Chile was elected as Chairman of COMSAR 11 
to replace Mr. Halberg of Sweden who stepped down.  Mr. A. Olopoenia 
of Nigeria was re-elected to serve as Vice Chairman. Subsequently, 
both Captain Salgado and Mr. Olopoenia were both re-elected to serve 
in their respective positions for COMSAR 12 which will be held in 
April 2008.  END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2. GMDSS Navigational Area (NAVAREA) - As instructed by the GMDSS 
Working Group, a Drafting Group was established under the 
chairmanship of Mr. Peter Doherty (USA) and representative Mr. Keith 
Alexander (USA) to consider matters concerning progress in the 
implementation of GMDSS, namely provisions of maritime safety 
information services.  The Drafting Group considered COMSAR 11/3 
(International Health Organization, IHO), 11/3/2 (Joint 
IMO/IHO/WMO), COMSAR 11/3/3 (IHO), 11/3/4 (Norway) in relation to 
the promulgation of Marine Safety Information (MSI) and the 
extension of World-Wide National Warning Service (WWNWS) to Arctic 
waters.  With regard to COMSAR 11/3, the Chairman noted that the IHO 
Commission on the Promulgation of Radio Navigational Warnings 
(CPRNW) had received reports that there were occurrences of 
SafetyNET "C" codes being used incorrectly, i.e. not in accordance 
with the International SafetyNET Manual.  Accordingly, the Drafting 
Group discussed and analyzed the incorrect "C" codes promulgated via 
the Enhanced Call Group (EGC) SafetyNET system, and as a measure to 
improve its quality, generated a COMSAR Circular to be included as 
an annex in the final report.  Member Governments were invited to 
bring this circular to the attention of all concerned for 
information purposes and, in particular, to ensure that "C" codes 
are used correctly. 
With regard to COMSAR 11/3/3, the Chairman noted the revised list of 
NAVAREA Coordinators. Accordingly, the Drafting Group discussed and 
revised the list and recommended the issuance of a revision 
circular. This circular replaces COMSAR/Circ.30. and was included as 
an annex in the final report.  Member Governments were invited to 
bring the revised circular to the attention of all concerned for 
information purposes. 
With regard to COMSAR 11/3/2 and COMSAR 11/3/4, the Chairman 
introduced the Report of the Joint IMO/IHO/WMO Correspondence Group 
on Artic MSI Services and the Norwegian submission which identified 
specific NAVAREA boundary limits.  The Drafting Group, taking into 
account resolution A.706(17) as amended by MSC/Circ.685 and 
MSC/Circ.750, including the relevant decisions of COMSAR 10 and the 
joint IMO/IHO/WMO Correspondence Group on Arctic MSI Services, 
agreed to the following: 
  All new Arctic NAVAREAs should extend to 90 degrees North and be 
responsible for the promulgation of maritime safety information 
(MSI) in navigable waters; 
  Service shall be a 24/7 operation understanding that certain areas 
will not be navigable during certain times of the year; 
  There shall be five (5) new Arctic NAVAREAs with the following 
countries acting as NAVAREA Co-ordinators: Canada for NAVAREA XVII 
and NAVAREA XVIII, Norway for NAVAREA XIX, and the Russian 
Federation for NAVAREA XX and NAVAREA XXI; 
  Changes to the coverage areas under the WWNWS, to include the new 
Arctic NAVAREAs and other existing coverage gaps, shall be 
 
 
implemented at the same time; 
  Boundary limits for the five (5) new Arctic NAVAREAs were agreed 
and will be forwarded to IHO CPRNW for final approval; 
  Provision of SAR information within these new NAVAREAs will 
continue to be provided in accordance with currently agreed SAR 
regions; and 
  All WWNWS guidance and other relevant documents will be updated as 
part of the IHO WWNWS Guidance Document Review Correspondence 
Group. 
In discussions regarding Meteorological Area (METAREA) Issuing 
Services, the WMO representative informed the Drafting Group of the 
recent discussions that took place during the second session of the 
JCOMM/ETMSS meeting in Brazil in January 2007. Though discussions on 
the final identification of METAREAs Coordinators is still ongoing, 
the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Environment Canada and the 
Russian Federation have agreed in principle to assume those roles 
and responsibilities within the Arctic METAREAs. The WMO 
representative also informed the Drafting Group of the proposal to 
prepare an IMO Resolution on Metocean services similar to A.706(17) 
for navigational warnings. 
The Drafting Group also issued a revised Terms of Reference for the 
Joint IMO/IHO/WMO Correspondence Group on Arctic MSI Services with 
the approval to continue to address the expansion of MSI services 
and to progress the matter further through consideration of the 
following salient issues:  Who will act as METAREA issuing service? 
How will warnings be transmitted, and can they be monitored as 
required?  Systems other than Inmarsat (such as High Frequency [HF], 
Narrow Band Direct Printing [NBDP], NAVTEX and other satellite 
service providers) need to be considered.  How will Inmarsat system 
definition manual and existing SafetyNET terminals be updated to 
allow receipt of MSI within the new NAVAREAs? What required 
training, assistance, and support from IHO/CPRNW is necessary to 
support new NAVAREA co-ordinators and/or from JCOMM/ETMSS for 
METAREA issuing services? 
 
¶3. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Maritime 
Radiocommunication Matters - The group considered a liaison 
statement from ITU-R WP.8B to IMO on aural listening watch on 
distress calling frequencies and agreed that there was no need for 
listing in the GMDSS Master Plan coast stations maintaining 
listening watch on distress frequencies other than those used by 
Digital Selective Calling.  A list of these coast stations will be 
sent to the ITU which will include the list in its relevant 
publications. 
 
¶4. Developments in Maritime Radiocommunication Systems and 
Technology - The group agreed there was a need to develop a 
standardized Extensible Markup Language (XML) format for maritime 
services. The Group invited Member Governments and International 
Organizations to submit examples of existing messages and proposals 
to COMSAR 12. 
 
¶5. Revision of Performance Standards for SART - The group agreed 
that there is a need to ensure that definitions for Automatic 
Identification System-Search and Rescue Transponder (AIS-SART) and 
radar-SART were clear to avoid confusion. Performance standards for 
both should be a separate resolution. The group recognized that SART 
devices are not to be used for transmission of distress alerts. The 
group agreed the NAV Sub-Committee should be invited to consider a 
need for a presentation symbol for the SART. Furthermore, after the 
performance standards have been adopted, the ITU should be advised 
on the need for pre-configured text format for test purposes (SART 
UNDER TEST) and active state (SART ACTIVE). With full support of the 
United States delegation, the GMDSS Working Group supported the 
recommendation to adopt a performance standard for an Automatic 
Identification System Search and Rescue Transmitter (AIS SART) and 
amend SOLAS to recognize both radar and AIS SART.  AIS SART promises 
to be more effective and farther reaching than radar transponder 
SART. 
 
¶6. Revisions to the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) Code - The 
group prepared revised draft text of amendments to SOLAS regulations 
III/6.2.2, III/26.2.5 and IV/7.1.3 as set out in Annex 4. The 
 
 
Sub-Committee endorsed the revised text with a view for approval by 
the Committee at its 83rd session and adoption at its 84th session, 
and recommended that the Sub-Committee instruct the DE Sub-Committee 
to review amendments to the MODU Code and incorporate them when 
revising the MODU code. 
 
¶7. Replacements for the Use of NBDP (Radio Telex) for Maritime 
Distress and Safety Communications in Maritime MF/HF Bands - The 
group determined that while there might be a need to develop 
performance standards as an equivalent of HF-NBDP used in the GMDSS, 
it would be premature before the new recommendation from the ITU 
came into force. In light of this, the group recommended that member 
governments and international organizations consider the proposal by 
the United States and submit comments to COMSAR 12. The group 
prepared preliminary text of the draft MSC.1 circular Guidance on 
ceasing requirements for NBDP on radio telex installations for 
certain ships sailing in sea Area A3. Member Governments and 
International Organizations were invited to submit comments to 
COMSAR 12. 
 
¶8. Matters Concerning Search and Rescue, including those related to 
the 1979 SAR Conference and the implementation of the GMDSS - The 
U.S. delegation, with support from the Australian, Swedish, and UK 
delegations, submitted and had approved by the SAR Working Group for 
submission to MSC, the circular Matters Concerning Search and 
Rescue, Including Those Related to the 1979 SAR Conference and other 
International Instruments, a document that reminds Member States of 
their SAR obligations. 
With the full support of the United States delegation, the SAR 
Working Group reviewed and continued to endorse the International 
Cospas-Sarsat Program's plan to phase-out the 121.5/243.0 MHz 
signals set to occur on 01 February 2009.  The United States 
continues to be a key partner in the International Cospas-Sarsat 
Program, along with Russia, Canada, France, and 36 other 
participating nations. 
The United States delegation submitted, and was fully supported by 
the SAR Working Group, the paper SAR Services Issues Related to the 
Implementation of the Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) 
System, to encourage nations with both SAR and LRIT authorities to 
consider SAR related issues as LRIT is further developed and 
implemented internationally. 
With the full support of the United States delegation, the SAR 
Working Group supported the recommendation to continue the work of 
the ICAO/IMO Joint Working Group for the Harmonization on SAR.  The 
United States Coast Guard has been selected to chair this body of 
maritime and aeronautical SAR experts, whose next meeting is at La 
Reunion, 11-14 September 2007. 
 
¶9. E-Navigation and Long-Range Identification and Tracking of Ships 
(LRIT) - The Sub-committee (S/C) considered documents COMSAR11/14, 
11/14/1, 11/14/2, 11/14/3, 11/14/4, 11/14/5, 11/14/6 and 11/6/1 on 
E-Navigation and LRIT.  With regard to E-Navigation, the S/C 
concluded that SAR, data communications, and GMSS were the potential 
components of the proposed E-Navigation strategy and system 
architecture that fell within its remit.  The S/C decided that the 
GMDSS infrastructure could support E-Navigation but that broadband 
satellite technology would be necessary.  The views of the S/C will 
be forwarded to the NAV S/C. 
With regard to LRIT, the S/C noted the Marshall Islands paper 
regarding legacy shipborne equipment (i.e., certain older Inmarsat-C 
equipment) not being able to meet LRIT performance standards, and 
requested that this issue be brought to the attention of the 
Committee. 
The S/C forwarded a provisional matrix prepared by the Secretariat 
of those agreements which may be required to establish the LRIT 
system. 
The S/C thanked the US for its offer to host, build, and operate the 
International LRIT Data Center (IDC) on an interim basis, but did 
not feel that this was the time to debate or discuss the offer.  A 
number of delegations encouraged the US to re-submit this offer for 
consideration at MSC 83.  The Russian Federation informed the S/C 
that it intends to establish a National LRIT Data Center which could 
become a Regional or even the International LRIT Data Center, or 
 
 
serve as a backup for the IDC. 
The S/C considered various costing and billing options for LRIT. 
Formulas were developed for the calculation of four different 
overhead costs: LRIT Coordinator, International Data Center (IDC), 
International Data Exchange (IDE), and SAR.  Despite strong and 
repeated interventions by Greece, supported by Panama, Bahamas, and 
others, the MSC will be asked to note the S/C's opinion - led by a 
US intervention - that Contracting Governments that have established 
their own National, Regional, or Cooperative LRIT Data Centers 
should have to pay for the initial setup and recurring costs for 4 
reports per day for their respective flag ships.  The S/C 
recommended that Contracting Governments should be able to recover 
their costs associated with LRIT, but not be able to profit. 
The Ad Hoc WG on Engineering Aspects of LRIT met the week preceding 
COMSAR 11 to further develop technical specifications and to discuss 
costing and billing.  The Ad Hoc WG developed a consensus response 
(COMSAR 11/WP.4/Add.1 Annex 2) to 8 costing and billing policy 
questions raised at MSC 82 to which CIRM and US submitted similar 
proposed responses (COMSAR 11/14/2, 11/14/5).  Based on those 
discussions and the results of COMSAR 11, the Ad Hoc WG is expected 
to provide MSC 83 with various cost recovery mechanisms.  The US has 
been asked by the Ad Hoc WG to host its next meeting, tentatively 
8-10 May 2007, St. Petersburg Beach, FL, in conjunction with the 
Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) Annual 
Assembly. 
 
¶10. Satellite services (COSPAS-SARSAT and Inmarsat) 
Resolution A.888 and SOLAS IV Amendments - The group considered 
amendments to Draft Resolution A.888 (21) recognition and oversight 
of new GMDSS providers. The terms of reference were restricted to 
making only those changes necessary to reflect decisions by MSC 82 
that recognition and approval of new providers would be by MSC vice 
International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO). IMSO retains 
oversight. The group also proposed consequential amendments to SOLAS 
IV. The group accepted the IMO Secretariat's proposed changes to 
previously approved draft amended Resolution A.888 (21). To 
accomplish this limited purpose, the group also recommended change 
to SOLAS IV Regulation 4-1. This means that the MSC specifies the 
criteria, procedures, and arrangements for the evaluation, 
recognition, review, and oversight of the provision of mobile 
satellite communications services in the GMDSS. 
 
¶11. The U.S. Coast Guard Attachi to Malta, in concert with the 
delegation from Malta, lobbied those IMO member states present from 
Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East to send personnel from 
their respective countries to attend the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) 
Search and Rescue Training Center (SARTC).  This lobbying effort 
included an information paper, a presentation and numerous sidebar 
discussions.  The AFM is able to offer full scholarships (including 
travel and per diem) to 20 international students per year through 
generous funding from the U.S. European Command.  This lobbying 
effort resulted in Algeria, Cyprus, Mauritania and Tunisia 
committing to send two officers each to the March 2007 Search and 
Rescue Mission Coordinator (SMC) course.  Additionally, Nigeria, 
Morocco and Greece expressed interest in sending representatives to 
the June 2007 SMC class.  The International Lifeboat Federation will 
explore the possibility of having Kenya send students to attend 
future SMC classes in Malta as a result of the recent opening of the 
sub-regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Mombassa, 
Kenya. 
Two of the SARTC goals are to increase regional SAR capabilities in 
the Mediterranean and Africa, as well as assisting in the 
development of personal relationships among those same regional SAR 
authorities and personnel.  The U.S. Coast Guard Attachi to Malta is 
on the SARTC faculty and assists the AFM in teaching a four-week 
long SMC course to international and Maltese students. 
 
TUTTLE