SOLAS-74/78
CHAPTER IV
Radiocommunications
Part A - General
Regulation 1
Application
1. This chapter applies to all ships to which the present regulations apply and to cargo ships of 300 gross tonnage and upwards.
2. This chapter does not apply to ships to which the present regulations would otherwise apply while such ships are being navigated within the Great Lakes of North America and their connecting and tributary waters as far east as the lower exit of the St Lambert Lock at Montreal in the Province of Quebec, Canada.
3. For the purpose of this chapter:

1. the expression ships constructed means "ships the keel of which are laid or which at a similar stage of construction";
2. the expression a similar stage of construction means the stage at which:
2.1. construction identifiable with a specific ship begins; and
2.2. assembly of that ship has commenced comprising at least 50 tonnes or 1% of the estimated mass of all structural material, whichever is less.

4. Every ship shall comply with regulations 7.1.4 (NAVTEX) and 7.1.6 (satellite EPIRB) not later than 1 August 1993.
5. Subject to the provisions of paragraphs 4 and 7, the Administration shall ensure that every ship constructed before 1 February 1995:

1. during the period between 1 February 1992 and 1 February 1999:
1.1. ether complies with all applicable requirements of this chapter; or
1.2. complies with all applicable requirements of chapter IV of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, in force prior to 1 February 1992; however, passenger ships irrespective of size shall not be granted any exemption from the requirements of regulation 3 of chapter IV of that Convention; and
2. after 1 February 1999, complies with all the applicable requirements of this chapter.

6. Every ship constructed on or after 1 February 1995 shall comply with all the applicable requirements of this chapter.
7. Passenger ships constructed before 1 July 1997 shall, as appropriate, comply with the requirements of regulations 6.4, 6.5, 6.6 and 7.5 not later than the date of the first periodical survey after 1 July 1997.
8. no provision in this chapter shall prevent the use by any ship, survival craft or person in distress, of any means at their disposal to attract attention, make known their position and obtain help.
Regulation 2
Terms and definitions
1. For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings defined below:

1. Bridge-to-bridge communications means safety communications between ships from the position from which the ships are normally navigated.
2. Continuous watch means that the radio watch concerned shall not be interrupted other than for brief intervals when the ship's receiving capability is impaired or blocked by its own communications or when the facilities are under periodical maintenance or checks.
3. Digital selective calling (DSC) means a technique using digital codes which enables a radio station to establish contact with, and transfer information to, another station or group of stations, and complying with relevant recommendations of the International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR)*

* The name of the Committee was changed to "ITU Radiocommunication Sector" (ITU-R) due to Article 1 of the International Telecommunication Constitution, Geneva, 1992.
4. Direct-printing telegraphy means automated telegraphy techniques which comply with the relevant recommendations of the International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR)*
* The name of the Committee was changed to "ITU Radiocommunication Sector" (ITU-R) due to Article 1 of the International Telecommunication Constitution, Geneva, 1992.
5. General radiocommunications means operational and public correspondence traffic, other than distress, urgency and safety messages, conducted by radio.
6. INMARSAT* means the Organization established by the Convention on the International Maritime Satellite Organization adopted on 3 September 1976.
* The name of the Organization was changed to "International Mobile Satellite Organization" (Inmarsat) by virtue of amendments to its Convention and Operating Agreement adopted by the tenth (extraordinary) Assembly (5 to 9 December 1994)
7. International NAVTEX service means the co-ordinated broadcast and automatic reception on 518 kHz of maritime safety information by means of narrow-band direct-printing telegraphy using the English language.*
*Refer to the NAVTEX Manual approved by the Organization (publication IMO-951E)
8. Locating means the finding of ships, aircraft, units or persons in distress.
9. Maritime safety information means navigational and meteorological warnings, meteorological forecasts and other urgent safety related messages broadcast to ships.
10. Polar orbiting satellite service means a service which is based on polar orbiting satellites which receive and relay distress alerts from satellite EPIRBs and which provides their position.
11. Radio Regulations means the Radio Regulations annexed to, or regarded as being annexed to, the most recent International Telecommunications Conventions which is in force at any time.
12. Sea area A1 means an area within the radiotelephone coverage of at least one VHF coast station in which continuous DSC alerting is available, as may be defined by a Contracting Government.*
*Refer to resolution A.801(19) concerning provision of radio services for the global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS).
13. Sea area A2 means an area, excluding sea area A1, within the radiotelephone coverage of at least one MF coast station in which continuous DSC alerting is available, as may be defined by a Contracting Government.*
*Refer to resolution A.801(19) concerning provision of radio services for the global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS).
14. Sea area A3 means an area, excluding sea areas A1 and A2, within the coverage of an INMARSAT geostationary satellite in which continuous alerting is available.
15. Sea area A4 means an area outside sea areas A1, A2 and A3.
2. All other terms and abbreviations which are used in this chapter and which are defined in the Radio Regulations shall have the meanings as defined in those Regulations.
Regulation 3
Exemptions
1. The Contracting Governments consider it highly desirable not to deviate from requirements of this chapter; nevertheless the Administration may grant partial or conditional exemptions to individual ships from the requirements of regulations 7 to 11 provided:

1. such ships comply with the functional requirements of regulation 4; and
2. the Administration has taken into account the effect such exemptions may have upon the general efficiency of the service for the safety of all ships.

2. An exemption may be granted under paragraph 1 only:

1. if conditions affecting safety are such as to render the full application of regulations 7 to 11 unreasonable or unnecessary;
2. in exemptions circumstances, for a single voyage outside the sea area or sea areas for which the ship is equipped; or
3. prior to 1 February 1999, when the ship will be taken permanently out of service within two years of a date prescribed by regulation 1 for the application of a requirement of this chapter.

3. Each Administration shall submit to the Organization, as soon as possible after the first of January in each year, a report showing all exemptions granted under paragraphs 1 and 2 during the previous calendar year and giving the reasons for granting such exemptions.
Regulation 4
Functional requirements*
*It should be noted that ships performing GMDSS functions should use the Guidance for avoidance of false distress alerts adopted by the Organization by resolution A.814(19).
1. Every ship, while at sea, shall be capable:
1. except as provided in regulations 8.1.1 and 10.1.4.3, of transmitting ship-to-shore distress alerts by least two separate and independent means, each using a different radiocommunication service;
2. of receiving shore-to-ship distress alerts;
3. of transmitting and receiving ship-to-ship distress alerts;
4. of transmitting and receiving search and rescue co-ordinating communications;
5. of transmitting and receiving on-scene communications;
6. of transmitting and, as required by regulation V/12(g) and (h), receiving signals for locating;*
*Refer to resolution A.614(15) concerning carriage of radar operating in the frequency band 9,300-9,500 MHz.
7. of transmitting and receiving* maritime safety information;
*It should be noted that ships may have a need for reception of certain maritime safety information while in port.
8. of transmitting and receiving general radiocommunications to and from shore-based radio systems or networks subject to regulation 15.8; and
9. of transmitting and receiving bridge-to-bridge communications.
Part B - Undertakings by Contracting Goverments
Regulation 5
Provision of radiocommunication services
1. Each Contracting Government undertakes to make available, as it deems practical and necessary either individually or co-opertion with other Contracting Governments, appropriate shore-based facilities for space and terrestrial radiocommunication services having due regard to the recommendations of the Organization.*
*1.Each Contracting Government is not required to provide all radiocommunication services.
2.The requirements should be specified for shore-based facilities to cover the various sea areas.
These services are:
1. a radiocommunication service utilizing geostationary satellites in the Maritime Mobile-Satellite Service;
2. a radiocommunication service utilizing polar orbiting satellites in the mobile-satellite service;
3. the maritime mobile service in the bands between 156 MHz and 174 MHz;
4. the maritime mobile service in the bands between 4,000 kHz and 27,500 kHz; and
5. the maritime mobile service in the bands between 415 kHz and 535 kHz* and between 1,605 kHz and 4,000 kHz.
* Refer to resolution A.617(15) concerning implementation of the NAVTEX system as a component of the World-Wide Navigational Warning Service.
2. Each Contracting Government undertakes to provide the Organization with pertinent information concerning the shore-based facilities in the maritime mobile service, mobile-satellite service and Maritime Mobile-Satellite Service, established for sea areas which it has designated off its coasts.*
*The Master Plan of shore-based facilities for the GMDSS based on information provided by Contracting Governments is circulated to all concerned by means of GMDSS circulars.
Part C - Ship requirements
Regulation 6
Radio Installations
1. Every ship shall be provided with radio installations capable of complying with the functional requirements prescribed by regulation 4 throughout its intended voyage and, unless exempted under regulation 3, complying with the requirements of regulation 7 and, as appropriate for the sea area or areas through which it will pass during its intended voyage, the requirements of either regulation 8, 9, 10 or 11.
2. Every radio installation shall:
2.1. be so located that no harmful interference of mechanical, electrical or other origin affects its proper use, and so as to ensure electromagnetic compatibility and avoidance of harmful interaction with other equipment and systems;
2.2. be so located as to ensure the greatest possible degree of safety and operational availability;
2.3. be protected against harmful effects of water, extremes of temperature and other adverse environmental conditions;
2.4. be provided with reliable, permanently arranged electrical lighting, independent of the main and emergency sources of electrical power, for the adequate illumination of the radio controls for operating the radio installation; and
2.5. be clearly marked with the call sign, the ship station identity and other codes as applicable fort he use of the radio installation.
3. Control of the VHF radiotelephone Channels, required for navigational safety, shall be immediately available on the navigation bridge convenient to the conning position and, where necessary, facilities should be available to permit radiocommunications from the wings of the navigation bridge. Portable VHF equipment may be used to meet the latter provision.
4. In passenger ships, a distress panel shall be installed at the conning position. This panel shall contain either one single button which, when pressed, initiates a distress alert using all radiocommunication installations required on board for that purpose or one button for each individual installation. The panel shall clearly and visually indicate whenever any button or buttons have been pressed. Means shall be provided to prevent inadvertent activation of the button or buttons. If the satellite EPIRB is used as the secondary means of distress alerting and is not remotely activated, it shall be acceptable to have an additional EPIRB installed in the wheelhouse near the conning position.
5. In passenger ships, information on the ship's position shall be continuously and automatically provided to all relevant radiocommunication equipment to be included in the initial distress alert when the button or buttons on the distress panel is pressed.
6. In passenger ships, a distress alarm panel shall be installed at the conning position. The distress alarm panel shall provide visual and aural indication of any distress alert or alerts received on board and shall also indicate through which radiocommunication service the distress alerts have been received.
Regulation 7
Radio Equipment: General
1. Every ship shall be provided with:
1.1. a VHF radio installation capable of transmitting and receiving:
1.1.1. DSC on the frequency 156.525 MHz (Channel 70). It shall be possible to initiate the transmission of distress alerts on Channel 70 from the position from which the ship is normally navigated1 , and
1) Certain ships may be exempted from this requirement (see regulation 9.4).
1.1.2. radiotelephony on the frequencies 156.300 MHz (Channel 6), 156.650 MHz (Channel 13) and 156.800 MHz (Channel 16);
1.2. a radio installation capable of maintaining a continuous DSC watch on VHF Channel 70 which may be separate from, or combined with, that required by subparagraph 1.11
1) Certain ships may be exempted from this requirement (see regulation 9.4),
1.3. a radar transponder capable of operating in the 9 GHz band, which:
1.3.1. shall be so stowed that it can be easily utilised; and
1.3.2. may be one of those required by regulation III/6.2.2 for a survival craft;
1.4. a receiver capable of receiving international NAVTEX service broadcasts if the ship is engaged on voyages in any area in which an international NAVTEX service is provided;
1.5. a radio facility for reception of maritime safety information by the Inmarsat enhanced group calling system1 if the ship is engaged on voyages in any area of Inmarsat coverage but in which an international NAVTEX service is not provided. However, ships engaged exclusively on voyages in areas where an HF direct-printing telegraphy maritime safety information service is provided and fitted with equipment capable of receiving such service, may be exempt from this requirement2 .
1) Refer to resolution A. 701 (17) concerning carriage of Inmarsat enhanced group call SafetyNET receivers under the GMDSS.
2) Refer to the Recommendation on promulgation of maritime safety information adopted by the Organisation by resolution A.705(17).
1.6. subject to the provisions of regulation 8.31 a satellite emergency position-indicating radio beacon (satellite EPIRB)1 which shall be:
1) Refer to resolution A.616(15) concerning search and rescue homing capability.
1.6.1. capable of transmitting a distress alert either through the polar orbiting satellite service operating in the 406 MHz band or, if the ship is engaged only on voyages within Inmarsat coverage, through the Inmarsat geostationary satellite service operating in the 1.6 GHz band1 ;
1) Subject to the availability of appropriate receiving and processing ground facilities for each ocean region covered by Inmarsat satellites.
1.6.2. installed in an easily accessible position;
1.6.3. ready to be manually released and capable of being carried by one person into a survival craft;
1.6.4. capable of floating free if the ship sinks and of being automatically activated when afloat; and
1.6.5. capable of being activated manually.
2. Until 1 February 1999 or until such other date as may be determined by the Maritime Safety Committee, every ship shall, in addition, be fitted with a radio installation consisting of a radiotelephone distress frequency watch receiver capable of operating on 2182 kHz.
3. Until 1 February 1999, every ship shall, unless the ship is engaged on voyages in sea area A1 only, be fitted with a device for generating the radiotelephone alarm signal on the frequency 2182 kHz 1
1) Refer to resolution A.421 (XI) concerning operational standards for radiotelephone alarm signal generators adopted by the Organisation.
4. The Administration may exempt ships constructed on or after 1 February 1997 from the requirements prescribed by paragraphs 2 and 3.
5. Every passenger ship shall be provided with means for two-way on-scene radiocommunications for search and rescue purposes using the aeronautical frequencies 121.5 MHz and 123.1 MHz from the position from which the ship is normally navigated.
Regulation 8
Radio Equipment: Sea Area A1
1. In addition to meeting the requirements of regulation 7, every ship engaged on voyages exclusively in sea area A1 shall be provided with a radio installation capable of initiating the transmission of ship-to-shore distress alerts from the position from which the ship is normally navigated. operating either:
1.1. on VHF using DSC; this requirement may be fulfilled by the EPIRB prescribed by paragraph 3, either by installing the EPIRB close to, or by remote activation from, the position from which the ship is normally navigated; or
1.2. through the polar orbiting satellite service on 406 MHz; this requirement may be fulfilled by the satellite EPIRB, required by regulation 7.1.6, either by installing the satellite EPIRB close to, or by remote activation from, the position from which the ship is normally navigated; or
1.3. if the ship is engaged on voyages within coverage of MF coast stations equipped with DSC, on MF using DSC; or
1.4. on HF basing DSC; or
1.5. through the Inmarsat geostationary satellite service; this requirement may be fulfilled by:
1.5.1. an Inmarsat ship earth station1 ; or
1)This requirement can be met by Inmarsat ship earth stations capable of two-way communications, such as Inmarsat-A, Inmarsat-B (resolution A.808(19)) or Inmarsat-C (resolution A.807(19)) ship earth stations. Unless otherwise specified, this footnote applies to all requirements for an Inmarsat ship earth station prescribed by this chapter.
1.5.2. the satellite EPIRB, required by, regulation 7.1.6, either by installing, the satellite EPIRBclose to, orby remote activation from, the position from which the ship is normally navigated.
2. The VHF radio installation, required by regulation 7.1.1, shall also be capable of transmitting and receiving general radiocommunications using radiotelephony.
3. Ships engaged on voyages exclusively in sea area A1 may carry, in lieu of the satellite EPIRB required by regulation 7.1.6, an EPIRB which shall be:

3.1. capable of transmitting, a distress alert using DSC on VHF Channel 70 and providing for locating by means of a radar transponder operating in the 9 GHz band;
3.2. installed in an easily accessible position;
3.3. ready to be manually released and capable of being carried by one person into a survival craft;
3.4. capable of floating free if the ship sinks and being automatically activated when afloat; and
3.5. capable of being activated manually.

Regulation 9
Radio Equipment: Sea Areas A1 and A2
1. In addition to meeting the requirements of regulation 7, every ship engaged on voyages beyond sea area A1, but remaining within sea areaA2, shall be provided with:

1.1. an MF radio installation capable of transmitting and receiving, for distress and safety purposes, on the frequencies:
1.1.1. 2187.5 kHz using DSC; and
1.1.2. 2182 kHz using radiotelephony;
1.2. a radio installation capable of maintaining a continuous DSC watch on the frequency 2187.5 kHz which may be separate from, or combined with, that required by sub paragraph.1.1 ; and
1.3. means of initiating the transmission of ship-to-shore distress alerts by a radio service other than MF operating either:
1.3.1. through the polar orbiting satellite service on 406 MHz; this requirement may be fulfilled by the satellite EPIRB, required by regulation 7.1.6, either by installing the satellite EPIRB close to, or by remote activation from, the position from which the ship is normally navigated; or
1.3.2. on HF using DSC; or
1.3.3. through the Inmarsat geostationary satellite service; this requirement may be fulfilled by:
1.3.3.1. the equipment specified in paragraph 3.2; or
1.3.3.2. the satellite EPIRB, required by regulation 7.1.6, either by installing the satellite EPIRB close to, or by remote activation from, the position from which the ship is normally navigated.

2. It shall be possible to initiate transmission of distress alerts by the radio installations specified in paragraphs 1.1 and 1.3 from the position from which the ship is normally navigated.
3. The ship shall, in addition, be capable of transmitting and receiving general radiocommunications using radiotelephony or direct-printing telegraphy by either:

3.1. a radio installation operating on working frequencies in the bands between 1605 kHz and 4000 kHz or between 4000 kHz and 27500 kHz. This requirement may be fulfilled by the addition of this capability in the equipment required by paragraph 1.1 ; or
3.2. an Inmarsat ship earth station.

4. The Administration may exempt ships constructed before 1 February 1997, which are engaged exclusively oil voyages within sea area A2, from the requirements of regulations 7.1.1.1 and 7 .1.2.provided such ships maintain, when practicable, a continuous listening watch on VHF channeI16. This watch shall be kept at the position from which the ship is normally navigated.
Regulation 10
Radio Equipment: Sea Areas A1, A2 and A3
1. In addition to meeting the requirements of regulation 7, every ship engaged on voyages beyond sea areas A3 and A2, but remaining within sea area A3, shall, if it does not comply with the requirements paragraph 2, be provided with:

1.1. an Inmarsat ship earth station capable of.
1.1.1. transmitting and receiving distress and safety communications using direct-printing telegraphy;
1.1.2. initiating and receiving distress priority calls;
1.1.3. maintaining watch for shore-to-ship distress alerts, including those directed to specifically, defined geographical areas;
1.1.4. transmitting and receiving general radiocommunications, using either radiotelephony or direct-printing telegraphy; and
1.2. an MF radio installation capable of transmitting and receiving, for distress and safety purposes, on the frequencies:
1.2.1. 2187.5 kHz using DSC; and
1.2.2. 2182 kHz using radiotelephony; and
1.3. a radio installation capable of maintaining a continuous DSC watch on the frequency 2187.5 kHz which may be separate from or combined with that required by subparagraph .2.1; and
1.4. means of initiating the transmission of ship-to-shore distress alerts by a radio service operating either:
1.4.1. through the polar orbiting satellite service on 406 MHz; this requirement may be fulfilled by the satellite EPIPB, required by regulation 7.1.6, either by installing the satellite EPIRB close to, or by remote activation from, the position from which the ship is normally navigated; or
1.4.2. on HF using DSC; or
1.4.3. through the Inmarsat geostationary satellite service, by an additional ship earth station or by the satellite EPIRB required by regulation 7.1.6, either by installing the satellite EPIRB close to, or by remote activation from, the position from which the ship is normally navigated;

2. In addition to meeting, the requirements of regulation 7, every ship engaged on voyages beyond sea areas A1 and A2, but remaining, within sea area A3, shall, if it does not comply, with the requirements of paragraph 1, be provided with:

2.1. an MF/HF radio installation capable of transmitting and receiving, for distress and safety purposes, on all distress and safety frequencies in the bands between 1605 kHz and 4000 kHz and between 4000 kHz and 27500 kHz:
2.1.1. using DSC;
2.1.2. using radiotelephony; and
2.1.3. using direct-printing telegraphy; and
2.2. equipment capable of maintaining DSC watch on 2187.5 kHz, 8414.5 kHz and on at least one of the distress and safety DSC frequencies 4207.5 kHz, 6312 kHz, 12577 kHz or 16804.5 kHz; at any time, it shall be possible to select any of these DSC distress and safety frequencies. This equipment may be separate from, or combined with, the equipment required by subparagraph. 1; and
2.3. means of initiating the transmission of ship-to-shore distress alerts by a radiocommunication service other than HF operating either:
2.3.1. through the polar orbiting satellite service on 406 MHz; this requirement may be fulfilled by the satellite EPIRB, required by regulation 7.1.6, either by installing the satellite EPIPB close to, or by remote activation from, the position from which the ship is normally navigated; or
2.3.2. through the Inmarsat geostationary satellite service; this requirement may be fulfilled by:
2.3.2.1. an Inmarsat ship earth station; or
2.3.2.2. the satellite EPIRB, required by regulation 7.1.6, either by installing the satellite EPIRB close to, or by remote activation from, the position from which the ship is normally navigated; and
2.4. in addition, ships shall be capable of transmitting and receiving general radiocommunications using radiotelephony or direct-printing telegraphy by an MF/HF radio installation operating on working frequencies in the bands between 1605 kHz and 4000 kHz and between 4000 kHz and 27500 kHz. This requirement may be fulfilled by the addition of this capability in the equipment required by subparagraph.1.

3. It shall be possible to initiate transmission of distress alerts by the radio installations specified in paragraphs 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 2.1 and 2.3 from the position from which the ship is normally navigated.
4. The Administration may exempt ships constructed before 1 February 1997, and engaged exclusively on voyages within sea areas A2 and A3, from the requirements of regulations 7.1.1.1 and 7.1.2 provided such ships maintain, when practicable, a continuous listening watch on VHF Channel 16. This watch shall be kept at the position from which the ship is normally navigated.
Regulation 11
Radio Equipment: Sea Areas A1, A2, A3 and A4
1. In addition to meeting the requirements of regulation 7, ships engaged on voyages in all sea areas shall be provided with the radio installations and equipment required by regulation 10.2, except that the equipment required by regulation 10.2.3.2 shall not be accepted as an alternative to that required by regulation 10.2.3.1 , which shall always be provided. In addition, ships engaged on voyages in all sea areas shall comply with the requirements of regulation 10.3.
2. The Administration may exempt ships constructed before 1 February, 1997, and engaged exclusively on voyages within sea areas A2, A3 and A4, from the requirements of regulations 7.1.1.1 and 7.1.2 provided such ships maintain, when practicable, a continuous listening watch on VHF Channel 16. This watch shall be kept at the position from which the ship is normally navigated.
Regulation 12
Watches
1. Every ship, while at sea, shall maintain a continuous watch:

1.1. on VHF DSC Channel 70, if the ship, in accordance with the requirements of regulation 7.1.2, is fitted with a VHF radio installation;
1.2. on the distress and safety DSC frequency 2187.5 kHz, if the ship, in accordance with the requirements of regulation 9.1.2 or 10.1.3, is fitted with an MF radio installation;
1.3. on the distress and safety DSC frequencies 2187.5 kHz and 8414.5 kHz and also on at least one of the distress and DSC frequencies 4207.5 kHz, 6312 kHz, 12577 kHz or 16804.5 kHz, appropriate to the time of day and the geographical position of the ship, if the ship, in accordance with the requirements of regulation 10.2.2 or 1.1.1, is fitted all MF/HF radio installation. This watch may be kept by means of a scanner receiver;
1.4. for satellite shore-to-ship distress alerts, if the ship in accordance with the requirements of regulation 10.1.1, is fitted with an Inmarsat ship earth station.

2. Every ship, while at sea, shall maintain a radio watch for broadcasts of maritime safety information on the appropriate frequency or frequencies on which such information is broadcast for the area in which the ship is navigating.
3. Until 1 February 1999 or until such other date as may be determined by the Maritime Safety Committee, every ship while at sea shall matron, when practicable, a continuous listening, watch on VHF Channel 16. This watch shall be kept at the position from which the ship is normally navigated.
4. Until 1 February 1999 or until such other date as may be determined by the Maritime Safety Committee, every ship required to carry, a radiotelephone watch receiver shall maintain, while at sea, a continuous watch on the radiotelephone distress frequency 2182 kHz. This watch shall be kept at the position from which the ship is normally navigated.
Regulation 13
Sources of Energy
1. There shall be available at all times, while the ship is at sea, a supply of electrical energy sufficient to operate the radio installations and to charge any batteries used as part of a reserve source or sources of energy for the radio installations.
2. A reserve Source or sources of energy shall be provided on every ship, to supply radio installations, for the purpose of conducting distress and safety radiocommunications, in the event of failure of the ship's main and emergency sources of electrical power. The reserve source or sources of energy shall be capable of simultaneously operating the VHF radio installation required by regulation 7.1.1 and, as appropriate for the sea area or sea areas for which the ship is equipped, either the MF radio installation required by regulation 9.1.1, the MF/HF radio installation required by regulation 10.2.1 or 11.1, or the Inmarsat ship earth station required by regulation 10.1.1 and any of the additional loads mentioned in paragraphs 4, 5 and 8 for a period of at least:
2.1. 1 h on ships provided with an emergency source of electrical power, if such source of power complies fully with all relevant provisions of regulation 11-1/42 or 43, including the supply of such power to the radio installations; and
2.2. 6 h on ships not provided with an emergency source of electrical power complying fully with all relevant provisions of regulation 11-1/42 or 43, including the supply of such power to the radio installations.1
1) For guidance, the following formula is recommended for determining the electrical load to be supplied by the reserve source of energy, for each radio installation required for distress conditions: 1/2 of the current consumption necessary for transmission + the current consumption necessary for reception + the current consumption of any additional loads.
The reserve source or sources of energy need not supply independent HF and MF radio installations at the same time.
3. The reserve source or sources of energy shall be independent of the propelling power of the ship and the ship's electrical system.
4. Where, in addition to the VHF radio installation, two or more of the other radio installations, referred to in paragraph 2, can be connected to the reserve source or sources of energy they shall be capable of simultaneously supplying. for the period specified, as appropriate, in paragraph 2.1 or 2.2, the VHF radio installation and:

4.1. all other radio installations which can be connected to the reserve source or sources of energy at the same time; or
4.2. whichever of the other radio installations will consume the most power, if only one of the other radio installations can be connected to the reserve source or sources of energy at the same time as the VHF radio installation.

5. The reserve source or sources of energy may be used to supply the electrical lighting required by regulation 6.2.4.
6. Where a reserve source of energy consists of a rechargeable accumulator battery or batteries:
6.1. a means of automatically charging such batteries shall be provided which shall be capable of recharging them to minimum capacity requirements within 10 h; and
6.2. the capacity of the battery or batteries shall be checked, using an appropriate method1 , at intervals not exceeding 12 months, when the ship is not at sea.
1) One method of checking the capacity of an accumulator battery is to fully discharge and recharge the battery, using normal operating current and period (e.g. 10 h). Assessment of the charge condition can be made at any time, but it should be done without significant discharge of the battery when the ship is at sea.
7. The siting and installation of accumulator batteries which provide a reserve source of energy shall be such as to ensure:

7.1. the highest degree of service;
7.2. a reasonable lifetime;
7.3. reasonable safety;
7.4. that battery temperatures remain within the manufacturer's specifications whether under charge or idle; and
7.5. that when fully charged, the batteries will provide at least the minimum required hours of operation under all weather conditions

8. If an uninterrupted input of information from the ship's navigational or other equipment to a radio installation required by this chapter is needed to ensure its proper performance, means shall be provided to ensure the continuous supply of such information in the event of failure of the ship's main or emergency source of electrical power.
Regulation 14
Performance Standards
1. All equipment to which this chapter applies shall be of a type approved by the Administration. Subject to paragraph 2, such equipment shall conform to appropriate performance standards not inferior to those adopted by the Organisation1.
1) Refer to the following resolutions adopted by the Assembly of the Organisation.

1.1. Resolution A.525(13): Performance standards for narrow-band direct-printing telegraph equipment for the reception of navigational and meteorological warnings and urgent information to ships.
1.2. electronic navigational aids.
1.3. Resolution A.808(19): Performance standards for ship earth stations capable of two-way communications and resolution A.570(14): Type approval of ship earth stations.
1.4. Resolution A.803(19): Performance standards for shipborne VHF radio installations capable of voice communications and digital selective calling.
1.5. Resolution A.804(19): Performance standards for shipborne MF radio installation capable of voice communication and digits] selective calling.
1.6. Resolution A.806(19): Performance standards for shipborne MF/HF radio installations, capable of voice communication, on, narrow-band direct-printing and digital selective calling.
1.7. Assembly resolution A.696(17): Type approval of satellite emergency position indicating radio beacons. (EPIRBs) operating on the COSPAS-SARSAT system).
1.8. Resolution A.802(19): Performance standards for survival craft radar transponders for use in search and rescue operations.
1.9. Resolution A.805(19): Performance standards for float-free VHF emergency. position-indicating radio beacons.
1.10. Resolution A.807(19): Performance standards for Inmarsat-C ship earth stations capable of transmitting and receiving direct-printing communications and resolution A.570(14): -type approval of ship earth stations.
1.11. Resolution A.664(16): Performance standards, for enhanced group call equipment.
1.12. Resolution A.812(19): Performance standards for float-free satellite emergency, position-indicating radio beacons operating through the geostationary Inmarsat satellite system 1.6 GHz
1.13. Resolution A.662(16): Performance standards for float-free release and activation arrangements for emergency radio equipment.
1.14. Resolution A.699(17): System performance standard for the promulgation and co-ordination of maritime safety information using high-frequency narrow-band direct-printing.
1.15. Resolution A.700(17): Performance standards for narrow-band direct-printing telegraph equipment for the reception of navigational and meteorological warnings and urgent information to ships (MSI) by, HF.
1.16. Resolution A.811(19): Performance standards for a shipborne integrated radiocommunication system (IRCS) when used in the GMDSS.

2. Equipment installed prior to the dates of application prescribed by regulation 1 may be exempted from full compliance with the appropriate performance standards at the discretion of the Administration, provided that the equipment is compatible with equipment complying with the performance standards, having due regard to the criteria which the Organisation may adopt in connection with such standards.
Regulation 15
Maintenance Requirements
1. Equipment shall be so designed that the main units can be replaced readily, without elaborate recalibration or readjustment.
2. Where applicable, equipment shall be so constructed and installed that it is readily accessible for inspection and on-board maintenance purposes.
3. Adequate information shall be provided to enable the equipment to be properly operated and maintained, taking into account the recommendations of the Organisation1.
1) Refer to the Recommendation on general requirements for shipborne radio equipment forming part of the global maritime distress and safety system and electronic navigational aids adopted by the Organisation by resolution A.694(17) and to resolution A.813(19) on general requirements for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) for all electrical and electronic ship's equipment.
4. Adequate tools and spares shall be provided to enable the equipment to be maintained.
5. The Administration shall ensure that radio equipment required by this chapter is maintained to provide the availability of the functional requirements specified in regulation 4 and to meet the recommended performance standards of such equipment.
6. on ships engaged on voyages in sea areas AI and A2, the availability shall be ensured by using such methods as duplication of equipment, shore-based maintenance or at-sea electronic maintenance capability, or a combination of these, as may be approved by the Administration.
7. On ships engaged on voyages in sea areas A3and A4, the availability shall be ensured by using a combination of at least two methods such as duplication of equipment, shore-based maintenance or at-sea electronic maintenance capability, as may be approved by the Administration, taking into account the recommendations of the Organisation1.
1) Refer to resolution A. 702(17) concerning radio maintenance guidelines for the global maritime distress and safety system related to sea areas A3 and A4.
8. While all reasonable steps shall be taken to maintain the equipment in efficient working order to ensure compliance with all the functional requirements specified in regulation 4, malfunction of the equipment for the general radiocommunications required by regulation 4.8 shall not be considered as making a ship unseaworthy or as a reason for delaying the ship in ports where repair facilities are not readily available, provided the ship is capable of performing all distress and safety functions.
Regulation 16
Radio Personnel
1. Every ship shall carry personnel qualified for distress and safety radiocommunication purposes to the satisfaction of the Administration1. The personnel shall be holders of certificates specified in the Radio Regulations as appropriate, anyone of whom shall be designated to have primary responsibility for radiocommunications during distress incidents.
1) Refer to resolution A.703 (17) concerning training of radio personnel in the global maritime distress and safety system
2. In passenger ships, at least one person qualified in accordance with paragraph 1 shall be assigned to perform only radiocommunication duties during distress incidents.
Regulation 17
Radio Records
A record shall be kept, to the satisfaction of the Administration and as required by the Radio Regulations of all incidents connected with the radiocommunications service which appear to be of importance to safety of life at sea.
Radio Officer 2002 Edition
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