The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) 7th session, which began on 13 January 2020 and concluded on 24 January 2020, has invited IMSO to conduct the technical and operational assessment of the BeiDou Message Service System (BDMSS) for recognition and use in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).
An application was originally submitted by China to the 99th session of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in 2018 and was referred to the NCSR Sub-Committee in order to evaluate the detailed information required for the pre-assessment of BDMSS.
Upon completion of this evaluation NCSR gave the green light for the assessment to begin. Following this development, IMSO had the honour to welcome representatives from both the Government of China and satellite service provider BeiDou, including Mr. Song Zhen, Vice-President of the China Transport Telecommunications & Information Centre (CTTIC), to have preliminary discussions regarding these matters, hosting meetings on Friday 17 January and Wednesday 22 January for this purpose. In these meetings IMSO Director General Captain Moin Ahmed introduced the process and was joined by Technical Officers from the directorate who expanded on the details of the technical and operational assessment which IMSO will conduct.
The process of thorough assessment will now begin in accordance with the existing requirements set out in IMO resolution A.1001(25) and a report will be submitted for consideration by the NCSR Sub-Committee. BeiDou, is the second new provider to undergo this assessment process, following Iridium, after the GMDSS system was expanded to allow recognition and use of more satellite service providers. They are working towards becoming the third provider of GMDSS services alongside Inmarsat and Iridium.