The IMO Maritime Safety Committee made a number of decisions to ensure the timely implementation of the Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system. SOLAS regulation V/19-1 on LRIT entered into force on 1 January 2008 and will apply to ships constructed on or after 31 December 2008 with a phased implementation schedule for ships constructed before 31 December 2008. The LRIT system is intended to be operational with respect to the transmission of LRIT information by ships from 30 December 2008.
The MSC adopted a resolution on the Establishment of the International LRIT Data Exchange on an interim basis, confirming that the International LRIT Data Exchange will be provided temporarily by the United States at their own expense and that a permanent solution should be found as soon as possible. The MSC endorsed a financial model based on the "user pays" principle, agreeing that charges for the provision of LRIT information for the search and rescue of persons in distress at sea should, in all cases, be free of charge to the search and rescue service of the Contracting Government requesting such information.
The Committee adopted revised Performance Standards and functional requirements for the long-range identification and tracking of ships, to update previous versions, and agreed MSC.1 Circulars giving Guidance on the survey and certification of compliance of ships with the requirement to transmit LRIT information; Guidance on Search and Rescue Services in relation to requesting and receiving LRIT information; Guidance on the implementation of the LRIT system; and Interim revised Technical Specifications for the LRIT system
The International Maritime Satellite Organization (IMSO), acting as LRIT Co-ordinator, will authorize the integration, on an interim basis, of the Data Centres that have undergone and satisfactorily completed developmental testing, into the production LRIT system. Meanwhile, the ad hoc LRIT Group was authorized to consider and adopt amendments to technical specifications for the LRIT system on behalf of the Committee, during the period between MSC 84 and MSC 85 (meeting November-December 2008), and to develop, agree and adopt, the documentation for the testing and integration of the LRIT system.