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SOLAS-74 Radio Equipment Regulations

Radio Equipment (SOLAS-74)

The regulations are contained in Chapter IV of SOLAS 74 as amended "Radiocommunications" and, as previously mentioned, are applicable to all ships to which SOLAS 74 applies and to cargo ships of 300 gross tonnage and upwards. However, it 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. This is because such ships are subject to special requirements relative to radio for safety purposes, as contained in the relevant agreement between Canada and the United States of America.

The principal requirement is for the provision of shipboard equipment to enable ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications under a system known as the "Global Maritime Distress and Safety System" (GMDSS). This system reflects the latest technological developments in satellite communication, making it possible for a ship to make distress calls direct to nearby shipping and to shore-based rescue coordination centers, using both manual and automated systems. The Shore base, on receipt of a distress call, is able to send advice to the ship and others as necessary in its vicinity. GMDSS also provides for the dissemination of marine safety information including navigational and meteorological warnings.

In general, GMDSS enables any ship irrespective of the area in which it operates, to perform those communication functions considered essential to the safety of the ship itself and other ships operating in the same area.

The regulations take full cognizance of the regulatory strategy at Section 3(15).

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