Since its establishment in 1959, the International Maritime Organization and its Member Governments, in close cooperation with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and with other international organizations, notably the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO), and with the Cospas-Sarsat partners, have striven to improve maritime distress and safety radiocommunications.
The culmination of this work was the entry into force and implementation of the global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS) in February 1999.
The intent of this Manual is to provide in a single comprehensive publication an explanation of the principles upon which the GMDSS is based, the radiocommunication requirements and recommendations for its implementation, the operational performance standards and technical specifications to be met by GMDSS equipment, and the procedures for and method of operation of the various radio services which form the GMDSS and the Master Plan for the GMDSS.
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Basic concept of the GMDSS
Part 3: Communications systems in the GMDSS
Part 4: GMDSS equipment carriage requirements
Part 5: Operational procedures for the GMDSS
Part 6: Shore-based SAR communication network and operation
Part 7: Master Plan for the GMDSS
Part 8: Maintenance of equipment in the GMDSS
Annex 1: Regulations of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, as amended, relevant to the GMDSS
Annex 2: IMO Assembly and MSC resolutions relevant to the GMDSS
Annex 3: Radio equipment (IMO Performance Standards and related ITU-R Recommendations)
Annex 4: GMDSS Service
Annex 5: GMDSS Master Plan
Annex 6: MSC Circulars relevant to the GMDSS
Annex 7: COM and COMSAR Circulars relevant to the GMDSS
Annex 8: Articles and appendices of Radio Regulations relevant to the GMDSS
About the Author
As a specialised agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.
In other words, its role is to create a level playing-field so that ship operators cannot address their financial issues by simply cutting corners and compromising on safety, security and environmental performance. This approach also encourages innovation and efficiency.
Shipping is a truly international industry, and it can only operate effectively if the regulations and standards are themselves agreed, adopted and implemented on an international basis. And IMO is the forum at which this process takes place.