The GMDSS Manual provides, in a single comprehensive publication, an explanation of the principles upon which the GMDSS is based, the radio communication 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.
The 2019 edition includes:
- A description of the development and the concepts of the GMDSS
- A description of the components of the GMDSS, the carriage requirements and the operational procedures
- Excerpts from the relevant SOLAS regulations for the GMDSS
- Supporting resolutions and circulars relevant to the GMDSS
- The IMO performance standards and related ITU-R Recommendations, including technical details of the radio equipment
- Information on promulgation of maritime safety information (MSI) and the World-Wide Navigational Warning Service
- The NAVTEX Manual (2017)
- The International SafetyNET Manual (2017) and related amendments
- Interim guidance on technical requirements for Inmarsat Fleet Safety service
- Interim Iridium SafetyCast service manual
- The current GMDSS Master Plan giving the details of the coastal infrastructure and services provided by Member States
- Extracts from the ITU-R Radio Regulations giving the radio regulatory background.
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.