Vessel Operators
LRIT Conformance Test Price Includes:
  • FREE retests. No need to pay again should the vessel fail the first test.
    Our support team will work with you to ascertain the reason for failure and resolve.
  • FREE vessel tracking information provided for the duration of the test *
  • View entire fleet online from single interface in realtime (only upon request)
  • Conformance Test Report (CTR) if CTR is issued by Fulcrum Maritime Systems
* Please note this is not currently available for Iridium equipment tests.
Register ONLINE for LRIT Conformance Testing

Tel: +44 1708 788400      enquiries@fulcrum-maritime.com

Test Prices    Please note: the test price varies according to Flag State

** Please note for Iridium testing there is an additional charge added to the above charge (USD$90 | GBP50 | EUR€60)

LRIT information for ship owners

Obligations
LRIT Test Procedures
Conformance Test Reports or CTRs
Requirement in detail
Why LRIT?
AIS v LRIT
Who pays for LRIT?
What sea areas are covered by LRIT?
How is LRIT data transmitted? Is it different to AIS?
Exemptions from LRIT

Obligations

On contacting Fulcrum a ship owner will be asked to provide the following information for testing. (If you click on the link on the banner at the top of the page to 'Register online for testing', you can view the registration form, which asks for all the relevant information for testing).

  • Ship name
  • IMO number
  • MMSI number
  • Shipborne Equipment ID
  • Ship Owner Name
  • Ship Owner’s Company Name
  • Named contact for Ship (this is the person who will be contacted regarding the test)
  • Contact number and/or email for named contact

LRIT Test Procedures

In agreement with the Ship Owner or Appointed Contact, Fulcrum will send test commands to the ship's LRIT equipment. The test is carried out as per the strict test specifications and performance tolerances in MSC Circular 1307. (A copy of the exact test is found in this document on our Documentation page should you wish to look it up. The full test is detailed in the Annex on page 13).

The test lasts approximately 48 hours and at the end of a successful test, a Conformance Test Report is issued by Fulcrum or the Flag that the vessel is registered to.

At the end of the test, the shipborne equipment is reset and de-registered by Fulcrum to ensure that the equipment stops sending LRIT position reports. After the test, the ship will not start sending position reports for LRIT until it is integrated into the National Data Centre that is provided by the Flag to which it is registered. Once registered to the Data Centre, the cost of the position reports is borne by the Flag State and not by the vessel owner.

If you are unsure of the process, please contact a member of Fulcrum staff and we will explain the requirements and the known LRIT equipment requirements. If a vessel does not have the correct compliant equipment then we will advise how and where to arrange for LRIT equipment to be installed and we can recommend a list of LRIT compliant equipment.

Conformance Test Report

A successful test will result in the issue of a Conformance Test Report. This will be produced in an electronic format and provided to the named ship contact(s). The format for the report is compliant with the model defined by the IMO “Guidance on the survey and certification of compliance of ships” (MSC Circular 1307).

If a ship does not pass the test successfully, a feedback report detailing the test results will be provided. The feedback will state which particular item(s) of the test the shipborne equipment failed. If the equipment is not able to perform satisfactorily, Fulcrum will recommend that it is upgraded. We can advise on suitable devices for LRIT.

Requirements in detail

The obligations of ships to transmit LRIT information and the rights and obligations of Contracting Governments and of Search and rescue services to receive LRIT information are established in regulation V/19-1 of the 1974 SOLAS Convention.

According to the SOLAS V/19-1 Long Range Identification and Tracking regulation, shipborne equipment must comply to type approval by flag administrations. In order to facilitate this, Flag States should authorise Application Service Providers (ASPs) to test shipborne equipment on their behalf.

The LRIT regulations as laid down by the IMO came into force on 1 January 2008. These regulations apply to :

  • vessels (international voyages) constructed on or after 31 December 2008
  • Passenger ships including high speed passenger craft
  • Cargo ships including high speed craft of 300gt and upwards
  • Mobile Offshore Drilling Units
  • Ships constructed before 31 December 2008
  • Sailing in A1+A2+A3 First Radio survey after 31 December 2008
  • Sailing in A1+A2+A3+A4 First Radio Survey after 1 July 2009

Exemptions: Ships sailing exclusively in Sea Area A1 fitted with Class A AIS.

It should be noted that the LRIT systems are subject to type approval unlike SSAS systems.

Each ship operator is responsible for ensuring that each vessel qualifying for LRIT is fitted with ship-borne equipment capable of transmitting ship position which complies with the LRIT regulations.

Inmarsat C has been chosen as the main LRIT data transmission platform. This system is already used by merchant and fishing vessels for tracking by a vessel’s owner/operator. It has proven its capabilities in safety and security applications with extensive use for both GMDSS and Ship Safety Alert System (SSAS) and is in fact the only satellite system allowed for GMDSS use. Other equipment that can be used includes ISATM2M equipment and Iridium equipment. All equipment to be used must be capable of transmitting the following minimum information in an automatically generated position report (APR):

  • Ship identity
  • Ship position
  • Date and time of the position.

The LRIT equipment must also be able to respond to requests for immediate position reports and be able to change the time interval between reports. Reporting periods vary from every 24 hrs to a maximum frequency of every 15 minutes.

Each Flag State is required to test and certify the LRIT terminals for all qualifying vessels under their flag.

Why LRIT?

LRIT came about as a result of recent international terrorist activity. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) introduced the ISPS-code in 2003 and continued to talk about a system to receive daily position reports from ships at sea as an aspect of Marine Safety. LRIT is designed to ensure that ships provide daily position reports, at a basic rate of every 6 hours (i.e. 4 times a day). Contracting Governments are entitled to receive LRIT data from vessels up to 1000 nm from their coasts.

Who pays for LRIT?

Ship owners are not bearing the costs of transmitting the position reports required by LRIT but they are required to pay for the LRIT compliance test and the Conformance Test Report. (All vessels that are subject to LRIT must carry a valid LRIT Conformance Test Report onboard at all times.)

It is anticipated that most vessels will be equipped with an existing device that is compatible with LRIT, such as an Inmarsat C GMDSS or Mini-C SSAS system. In this case, the ship owner will simply need to provide the Inmarsat ID upon request and, in general, no additional equipment will be required. However, the choice of equipment to use is at the discretion of the different Flags and for this reason, some Flags have slightly different LRIT policies. In some cases there may be a requirement to purchase a new device solely for the purpose of LRIT, please check with the Flag regarding their LRIT policy. Additionally there may be a need for some software updates to existing devices (Fulcrum can advise on this), an occasional replacement of a earlier Inmarsat-C model or a new LRIT device on vessels where no compatible device is readily available.

The Flag States will pay for the transmission of the position reports and the international LRIT infrastructure.

What information must the ship-borne equipment transmit for LRIT?

The ship-borne equipment should comply with the following minimum requirements:

  • be capable of automatically and without human intervention on board the ship transmitting the ship’s LRIT information at 6-hour intervals to an LRIT Data Centre;
  • be capable of being configured remotely to transmit LRIT information at variableintervals;
  • be capable of transmitting LRIT information following receipt of polling commands;
  • interface directly to the ship-borne global navigation satellite system equipment, or have internal positioning capability;
  • be supplied with energy from the main and emergency source of electrical power3;
  • be tested for electromagnetic compatibility taking into account the recommendations4 developed by the Organization.

General requirements are contained in resolution A.694(17) on Recommendations on general requirements for ship-borne radio equipment forming part of the global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS) and for electronic navigational aids and MSC Circ 1 1307, which is available on this website.

What sea areas are covered by LRIT?

The ship-borne equipment should transmit the LRIT information using a communication system which provides coverage in all areas where the ship operates. All sea areas are covered by LRIT, including Sea Area 4.

How is LRIT data transmitted?

LRIT data is a position report that is sent by a vessel via secured communications links. The data is received by a single recipient, the Flag to which the vessel is registered. It is not available to any other recipient. This is a key difference between LRIT and AIS. The data may be requested by another Flag State that wishes to be notified of any LRIT vessel entering its territorial waters. In this circumstance, the data is sent via in a secured and encrypted format via the International Data Exchange, which is neutral and which is part of the international LRIT system. The International Data Exchange is only permitted to redirect data and is not permitted (or able) to view the content of the LRIT information that it handles, it is simply a redirector service. All data is protected legally by interferance from any Nation State.

The position report is sent from the LRIT equipment aboard by satellite to a Land Earth Station, from where it is transferred across a secure encrypted channel to an ASP or 'Application Service Provider'. The ASP relays the message to the National Data Centre, from where the vessel is monitored by the Flag to which it is registered.

When a ship is undergoing repairs, modifications or conversions in dry-dock or in port or is laid up for a long period, the Flag may reduce the frequency of the transmission of LRIT information to one transmission every 24-hour period, or may temporarily stop the transmission of such information. Vessel owners should communicate to the Flag if a vessel is to be laid up for any period of time.

Exemptions from LRIT

Exemptions from LRIT requirements are only possible in cases as follows:

  1. When the vessel is not engaged in international voyages or is operating exclusively within the territorial waters of a single country,
  2. When the vessel is operating exclusively in GMDSS sea area A1 and fitted with AIS,
  3. There is long term lay-up or conversion with all shipboard system non-operational and without shipboard power,
  4. Vessel will enter into long term lay-up or conversion with all shipboard systems non-operational and without shipboard power.

AIS v LRIT

What is the difference between AIS and LRIT?

AIS, which stands for Automatic Identification System, is a system that sends ship identification information via radio (VHF).

An electronic transmitter is installed on a vessel. It continuously transmits a VHF signal containing information such as the vessel name, call sign, vessel type, longitude and latitude. The information is broadcast and is publicly available. AIS transmitters are attached to navigational aids such as buoys and lighthouses to assist in navigation.

An AIS receiver mounted on another craft or on land is able to receive the information.

AIS works best over a range of a few miles as the AIS signal is more or less limited to line of sight to the horizon (up to 40 nautical miles and about 10-20 miles in practise).

Coverage is not complete or continuous. AIS receivers are only available in certain areas around the world, for example, Europe is well covered for AIS but Africa is not. AIS is mostly land based but there are some trials taking place now using AIS receivers placed on low orbiting satellites.

For now, AIS coverage is not global.

AIS is used by coast guards, maritime authorities, port states and other vessels to monitor maritime traffic. It is a valuable navigation device and is used by crew to determine course, speed and is used as an anti-collision tool. It is also used in Search And Rescue scenarios for pinpointing the location of a vessel.

As AIS data is visible and public, it is available to anyone to use and is free to anyone with an AIS receiver. This can be witnessed on the internet by accessing web sites that are supported by ship enthusiasts around the world: e.g. www.aisliverpool.org.uk or www.marinetraffic.com.

The end result is a public display showing all vessels transmitting an AIS signal within range of a VHF receiver.

The International Maritime Organization requires that all ships of 300 tonnes or more, and all passenger ships regardless of size, are fitted with AIS.

A good description about AIS can be found on the The Bosun's Mate website (Copyright 1987-2013 The Bosun's Mate). For technical details, take a look.

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LRIT, which stands for Long Range Identification and Tracking of vessels, is a secure system, where the data that is transmitted from the vessel is available and visible only to the Flag State to which the vessel is registered. As the data is transmitted via satellite there is a transmission cost involved, which is paid for by the Flag State.

The system is not a navigational aid but is intended to provide increased maritime domain awareness and therefore security.

The data is owned by the Flag State and is not available to any other party unless the Flag State makes it available. The data is provided free of charge to Search and Rescue Centres to assist in rescue scenarios. Some Flag States opt to provide the data to military forces patrolling high risk areas, such as the Indian Ocean, to assist in the prevention of piracy at sea. LRIT can also be used by the Flag State to assist in monitoring for pollution of the environment and protecting fishing grounds.

LRIT data coverage is global. LRIT position data is transmitted via satellite, giving full global coverage from any point on the earth’s surface (including sea area A4).

The data cannot be intercepted by a third party and the crew are not necessarily aware that the data is being transmitted and as such it is ‘invisible’.

The International Maritime Organization requires that all ships of 300 tonnes or more, engaged on international voyages are fitted with an LRIT transmitter. Vessels active only in Sea Area A1 and equipped with AIS are exempt. See our LRIT web pages for the full list of exemption criteria.


LRIT AIS
Satellite VHF
Global Only where AIS coverage is provided
Secure Data Public Data
Position, IMO Number, Date Time Position, IMO Number, Date Time, Vessel Type, Speed, Course
Unlimited range Line of sight, up to 40NM
Flag State Owns Data Anyone can see data
Maritime Security and Awareness Navigation and Anti collision Tool


Updated June 2012