Legal Basis

LRIT CDC - Legal Basis

The requirements concerning LRIT have been introduced into SOLAS, Chapter V ("Safety of Navigation"), Regulation 19-1. In accordance with Paragraph 8.1 of Regulation 19-1, "Contracting Governments shall be able to receive long-range identification and tracking information about ships for security and other purposes as agreed by the Organization". Such "other purposes" would for instance include Search and Rescue (SAR), as explicitly mentioned in the new SOLAS provisions, as well as maritime safety in general and marine environment protection purposes as agreed by Resolution MSC 242(83) adopted on 12 October 2007. The IMO LRIT requires that all passenger ships including high speed craft, cargo ships of 300 gross tonnage and above, mobile offshore drilling units should automatically transmit every 6 hours the identity of the ship, the position report and data and time of the position.

Furthermore, IMO also adopted on 19 May 2006, Resolution MSC 210 (81) amended and modified by MSC 254(83) which establishes performance standards and functional requirements for the LRIT of ships. This states that all LRIT Data Centres and the LRIT International Data Exchange should conform to functional requirements not inferior to those specified in the Annex to the Resolution.

The performance standards were then revised through Resolution MSC 263(84) adopted on May 2008 - Revised performance Standards and functional requirements for the LRIT of ships (this revokes MSC 210(81), MSC 254(83)). The system specifies that 4 position messages per day are stored and available for those actors entitled to access the LRIT information. The international LRIT system receives, stores and disseminates LRIT information on behalf of all Contracting SOLAS Governments.

The list of documents below provides an indication of some of the relevant legal texts. More information can be found on the relevant page of the IMO website:

 Reference  Title  Adopted
Circ. Letter No. 3306 LRIT-Addition of polling functionalities to the distribution facility to allow the security forces to identify the current position of ships approaching areas of high risk of piracy attack 03/09/2013
MSC.1/Circ.1259/Rev.5 Long Range Identification and Tracking System – Technical Documentation (Part I) 28/05/2012
MSC.1/Circ.1294/Rev.3 Long Range Identification and Tracking System – Technical Documentation (Part II) 28/05/2012
MSC.1/Circ.1376/Rev.1 Continuity of service plan for the LRIT system 28/05/2012
MSC.1/Circ.1412 Principles and guidelines relating to the review and audit of the performance of LRIT Data Centres and the International LRIT Data Exchange 28/05/2012
MSC.1/Circ 1338 Guidance to Search and Rescue Services in Relation to Requesting and Receiving LRIT Information 01/03/2011
Resolution MSC.298(87) Establishment of the International LRIT Data Exchange 21/05/2010
Resolution MSC.298(87) Establishment of a Distribution Facility for the Provision of LRIT Information to Security Forces operating in waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Western Indian Ocean to Aid their work in the repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships (The Distribution facility) 21/05/2010
MSC.1/Circ.12594/rev3 LRIT-Technical Documentation (Part I)  21/05/2010
MSC.1/Circ.1309  Information communicated to the organization in relation to the establishment of LRIT Data Centres  09/06/2009
MSC.1/Circ.1308  Guidance to SAR services in relation to requesting and receiving LRIT information (revoking MSC/Circ 1297)  09/06/2009
MSC.1/Circ.1307  Guidance on the survey and certification of compliance of ships with the requirements to transmit LRIT information (revoking MSC/Circ 1296)  09/06/2009
DDP-GN-01  LRIT DDP Guidelines  22/4/2009
MSC.1/Circ.1298 Guidance on the implementation of the LRIT system (revoking MSC/Circ 1256)  09/12/2008
MSC.1/Circ.1295 Guidance in relation to certain types of ships which are required to transmit LRIT information, on exemtions and equivalents and on certain operation matters  09/12/2008
2913rd TTE Council Meeting Council Resolution concerning the EU LRIT DC  09/12/2008


MSC. 276(85) 

Operation of the International LRIT Data Exchange on an interim basis  05/12/2008



Appointment of the LRIT Coordinator  05/12/2008



Establishment of the International LRIT Data Exchange on an interim basis  16/05/2008
Resolution MSC.263(84) Revised performance Standards and functional requirements for the LRIT of ships (revoking MSC.210(81), MSC.254(83)) 16/05/2008
Resolution MSC.242(83) Use of LRIT for Maritime Safety and Environment protection purposes  12/10/2007
2821st TTE Council meeting EU Council Resolution dated 2 October 2007 02/10/2007
Resolution MSC.202(81) Adoption of amendments to the international convention for safety of life at sea, 1974, as amended 19/05/2006
Resolution MSC.211(81) Arrangements for the timely establishment of the long-range identification and tracking system 19/05/2006
Resolution A.887(21) Establishment, updating and retrieval of the information contained in the registration databases for the global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS) 25/11/1999