General → Overview of GMDSS Test equipment available on the market

Nowadays there is a lot of test equipment designed for marine radio surveyors. The manufacturers from different pieces of the world eager to produce solutions to make a surveyor’s job more efficient and easy.

Some of them made as multifunctional solution, which provides possibility to test different equipment by one device. Others went other way round, offering surveyor companies to choose devices “a la carte”.

We have gathered the information about all these tools and offer it for your attention by groups.

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General → Radio Survey / Inspection

Radio survey is a set of testing services provided for a vessel to verify and confirm its readiness and safety for navigation in appropriate sea area. The condition of the ship and its equipment shall be maintained to conform with the provisions of the SOLAS regulations to ensure that the ship in all respects will remain fit to proceed to sea without danger to the ship or persons on board.

After Titanic disaster in 1912, the world’s community understood the necessity to bring maritime safety rules on international level. IMCO (Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization) gathered and elaborated the first International Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention in 1914. This convention had not luck to be applied because of World War I. In consequence, the SOLAS Convention was recast and updated in 1960 and 1974. Present days the consolidated redaction of 1974 with continuous amendments is in use.

Radio Survey

Radio Surveys should be carried out in accordance with SOLAS Convention, reference is made to the “IMO Resolution A997(25) - Survey Guidelines Under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification, 2007”.

It is stated that initial and annual radio survey, issuance, renewal and endorsement of Safety Radio Certificates Survey of radio installations on SOLAS ships should be carried out in accordance with the rules laid down in IMO resolution A.948(23).

The radio survey should always be performed by a fully qualified radio surveyor who has adequate knowledge of the IMO`s relevant Convention, particularly SOLAS and associated performance standards, and appropriate ITU Radio Regulations. The radio survey should be carried out using suitable test equipment capable of performing all relevant measurements required by these Guidelines.

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General → Performance Standards for GMDSS equipment

When we carry our the annual performance test of the GMDSS Test equipment the main task is to check whether the equipment operates as expected by predefined standards.

The GMDSS Equipment should be so constructed and installed that it is readily accessible for inspection during Annual Safety Radio Survey and onboard maintenance purposes.

If equipment is not operating and the faults are discovered during survey the ship can be delayed in port.


SOLAS IV/15.8 says:

«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 TV/4 malfunction of the equipment for providing the general radiocommunications required by regulation IV/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.»

Thus it is srtongly recommended to test GMDSS equipment and carry out performance tests to be sure it complies with following Performance Standards.

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General → How to Conduct a GMDSS Inspection (FCC version)

The GMDSS replaces the ship-to-ship safety system that used manual Morse code with a ship-to-shore safety system that uses satellite and automated terrestrial communications systems. The GMDSS requires ships to carry various types of communications equipment depending upon the voyages of the ship rather than the gross tonnage. The GMDSS also requires ships to comply with certain functional requirements.

The GMDSS rules are found in subpart W of Part 80 [Code of Federal Regulations, Title 47, Part 80] and are applicable to the appropriate tonnage and operational areas of Passenger and Cargo vessels.

Under the Communications Act, Fishing vessels are considered to be Cargo vessels and, all these vessels are the subject to Radio Inspection.

To provide a GMDSS inspection the engineer must obtain an appropriate license for Inspectors.

In the course of survey carrying, the inspector should draw-up a report of Inspection. 

A report of Radio Inspection provided can contain a Radio Technician's Remarks.

It is suggested that one copy of appropriate report be
left onboard and one copy be kept with the Surveyor.

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General → GMDSS Testers at POSIDONIA 2016

6th – 11th June 2016 GMDSS Test Equipment was represented at a booth on International Exhibition Posidonia 2016 in Athens, Greece.

Over 80 global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies participated at Posidonia 2016 this summer. Thus, GMDSS Testers representatives were pleased to accept numerous guests and to communicate with the old as well as with the recent customers and business partners.

GMDSS Tester at Posidonia 2016

The innovative device BEACON Tester Mini has great success. Previously our clients and customers had chance to learn about this device from video and advertising mailshot, and now the number of service authorities had chance to see and to try it in operation.

Greece is one of the strategic markets where GMDSS Test Equipment has a large number of our Radio Survey equipment users. We recollected a range of the feedback from service engineers (radio inspectors) that use test equipment in every day life and our engineer team will consider and strong up the quality and efficiency of our products and services for better customer satisfaction.

We appreciated much this possibility of meet-at-real with customers and partners, organized by Posidonia. And furthermore we would like to say “thank you” to all our visitors and guests at this event.

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Guidance on AIS devices agreed

The Sub-Committee endorsed a draft Safety of Navigation (SN.1) circular providing information to seafarers on the display of AIS-SART, AIS Man Overboard (MOB) and EPIRB-AIS devices, for submission to the MSC for approval.


GMDSS modernization on agenda

The modernization of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), e-navigation implementation and new and amended ships’ routeing proposals are among items on a busy agenda as the third session of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communication, Search and Rescue (NCSR) gets underway (29 February-4 March).