February 2021 Long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) equipment testing
Background - LRIT requirements
Currently there are no New Zealand legal requirements for the installation and testing of LRIT equipment on board ships that undertake international voyages. The international requirements of SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 19-1, for New Zealand ships will only come into effect when SOLAS ships (or MOSS ships 300 gross tonnage or over) travel to a foreign port.
For this reason, all SOLAS ships and any MOSS ships 300 GT or over undertaking international voyages, are urged to install, test and certify LRIT equipment. Failure to do so may result in port state detention in the overseas port, and have implications relating to ship and port security.
Testing of LRIT
Maritime New Zealand has appointed a company called Pole Star as the LRIT Application Service Provider (ASP) for New Zealand. This company specialises in the services required for LRIT and the reporting required for the installation testing and periodical testing of New Zealand ships’ LRIT equipment.
For any enquiries relating to this testing or any problems experienced with LRIT please contact Pole Star, Asia Pacific.
On the successful testing of the LRIT system for a specific ship, Pole Star can send a “Conformance Test Report” to the owner. This test report should be requested and filed with the Safety Equipment documentation on the ship. A record of the satisfactory testing of the ship’s LRIT is also forwarded to Maritime New Zealand by Pole Star.
LRIT related enquiries
Certification of LRIT testing for SOLAS ships
LRIT equipment, although it is connected to several items of radio equipment, is officially an item of navigational equipment and detailed under the requirements of Chapter V of SOLAS. For this reason, on SOLAS ships, inclusion of LRIT equipment on board is recorded through the detail of the Ship Safety Equipment Certificate, or any harmonised safety certificate and the Form E that accompanies it.
Even though New Zealand maritime rules do not currently require LRIT equipment, any such equipment which is on board should comply with the requirements of Chapter V of SOLAS and be surveyed under that system. In New Zealand, the survey and certification of these ships is undertaken by the ship’s classification society.
Certification of LRIT testing for MOSS ships
The installation and testing of LRIT equipment is recommended for any MOSS ships of 300 GT or more operating overseas. A Maritime NZ recognised surveyor should be contacted in order to oversee this installation to the requirements of Chapter V of SOLAS, to review its testing by Pole Star, and then to add the details of the equipment to the Approved Safety Equipment List on board the ship.
At subsequent surveys of the ship, the Maritime NZ recognised surveyor will need to review the most recent test report for the LRIT to confirm it is working properly.
Precautions and procedures
If your ship is required to have LRIT equipment on board, it is recommended that:
- the LRIT equipment is installed in compliance with Chapter V of SOLAS
- Pole Star is contacted for any technical queries
- testing of the LRIT is scheduled with Pole Star
- the latest LRIT Conformance Test Report is kept on board
Original source content - Guidance Notice Issue 17, December 2009: Long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) equipment testing.