LRIT National Data Centre

Long Range Identification and Tracking

1.   The Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) of ships was established as an international system on 19 May 2006 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as resolution MSC.202 (81). This resolution amends chapter V of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), regulation 19-1 and binds all governments which have contracted to the IMO. Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) was proposed by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks to track the approximately 50,000 large ships around the world. The LRIT regulations as laid down by the IMO came into force on 1 January 2008. LRIT which tracks vessels globally is also useful for tracking and monitoring ships in coastal areas.

2.   LRIT’s main purpose is for National & International: Search & Rescue, Security & Environmental protection. LRIT data is shared with the other Flag States & Flags own NAVY & COAST GUARD (Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centres) as they are mainly responsible for all the three aspects of the LRIT named above.

3.   The LRIT regulation will apply to the following ship types engaged on international voyages: All passenger ships including high speed craft, Cargo ships, including high speed craft of 300 gross tonnage and above, and Mobile offshore drilling units. These ships must report their position to their Flag Administration at least 4 times a day (at 6 hourly intervals). Most vessels set their existing satellite communications systems to automatically make these reports. Other contracting governments may request information about vessels in which they have a legitimate interest under the regulation.

LRIT requires the active, willing participation of the vessel involved, which is, in and of itself, a very useful indication as to whether the vessel in question is a lawful actor. LRIT is basically a two way communication system between the on board LRIT equipment & the shore based LRIT operator where polling commands can be given & frequency of position reporting can be modified from a minimum of 15 minutes to a maximum of 24hours. 

4.   Indian National Data Centre for LRIT:
4.1 The Indian National Data Centre for LRIT was set up & made operational at Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) Mumbai in July 2009. It is the repository of the LRIT information (i.e. ship positional data) and is connected to the wider International LRIT system via the International Data Exchange (IDE) using a specific LRIT communications protocol. There is a complete back up or a disaster recovery centre at DNCO New Delhi. The Data Centre (DC) at DGS is manned 24 x 7. The Indian Navy & Coast Guard are stakeholders besides the DGS. The National Data Centre (NDC) continuously monitors Indian ships on international trade all over the world. Foreign ships can be monitored upto 1000 nautical miles from the Indian coast when the LRIT Standing Orders are opened.

4.2 The Indian shipping companies (owners & managers) are also provided restricted access to LRIT monitoring through the web so that they can continuously monitor only their own vessels & report any shortcomings to the DGS. Further the shipping companies can update the data required by the DGS of their vessel & company details for maintaining the information accuracy of the vessels registered in the LRIT database.

4.3 Indian LRIT NDC provides LRIT services to Sri Lanka from October 2014.In future LRIT services are likely to be extended to neighboring countries.  

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