Regulation 20 - Voyage Data Recorders

Summary

  • Ships on international voyages to be fitted with VDRs or S-VDRs according to timetables given.
  • Administrations may exempt existing ships (except ro-ro passenger ships) if fitting a VDR is unreasonable or impracticable. Unlikely in the case of UK ships.)
Regulation
1.

To assist in casualty investigations, ships, when engaged on international voyages, subject to the provisions of regulation 1.4, shall be fitted with a voyage data recorder (VDR) as follows:

1.1 passenger ships constructed on or after 1 July 2002;
1.2 ro-ro passenger ships constructed before 1 July 2002 not later than the first survey on or after 1 July 2002;
1.3 passenger ships other than ro-ro passenger ships constructed before 1 July 2002 not later than 1 January 2004; and
1.4 ships, other than passenger ships, of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed on or after 1 July 2002.

 

2.

To assist in casualty investigations, cargo ships, when engaged on international voyages, shall be fitted with a VDR which may be a simplified voyage data recorder (S-VDR)* as follows:

2.1 in the case of cargo ships of 20,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed before 1 July 2002, at the first scheduled dry-docking after 1 July 2006 but not later than 1 July 2009;
2.2 in the case of cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards but less than 20,000 gross tonnage constructed before 1 July 2002, at the first scheduled dry-docking after 1 July 2007 but not later than 1 July 2010; and
2.3 Administrations may exempt cargo ships from the application of the requirements of subparagraphs .1 and .2 when such ships will be taken permanently out of service within two years after the implementation date specified in subparagraphs .1 and .2 above.

 

3.

Administrations may exempt ships, other than ro-ro passenger ships, constructed before 1 July 2002 from being fitted with a VDR where it can be demonstrated that interfacing a VDR with the existing equipment on the ship is unreasonable and impracticable

* Refer to resolution MSC.163(78) - Performance standards for shipborne simplified voyage data recorders (S-VDRs).

MCA Guidance
1.

This regulation requires voyage data recorders (VDRs) to be fitted to all new ships of 3000 GT and over, and existing passenger ships, when engaged on international voyages.

It also requires simplified voyage data recorders (S-VDRs) to be fitted to cargo ships built before 1 July 2002 by specified dates. These equipment items (marine "black boxes"), record key navigational information, which can then be used to build up an accurate picture of events preceding an accident and enable investigators to establish the causes.

The requirement for S-VDRs to be fitted to older cargo ships came into force on 1 July 2006
[IMO Res.MSC 170(79)]

2. If equipment cannot be reasonably interfaced with a VDR on ships built before 1 July 2002, V/20.3 allows the Administration to grant an exemption. However, with the ready availability of commercial off-the-shelf interfaces it is considered unlikely that UK would allow such exemptions.
3. The EU requirements for VDRs on passenger ships on domestic voyages are contained in Annex 10.
4. Guidance Notes for VDRs and S-VDRs and the phase-in timetable for their fitting contained in Annex 10 should be referred to and should be read in conjunction with the full text of the regulation.
5.

Ownership and recovery of VDR and its data:

ANNEX 10 - Voyage Data Recorders contains MCA Guidance for VDRs and the IMO Guidelines on Voyage Data Recorder - Ownership and Recovery.

6.

Testing of VDRs and S-VDRs
ANNEX 20 - Inspection and Survey of Navigational Equipment provides guidance on inspection and survey of VDRs.
See also:
MSC.1/Circ.1222 - Guidelines on annual testing of VDRs and S-VDRs and
MGN 272 - VDR Performance Testing

 


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