Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT)

Published: 8/24/2011, Updated: 10/10/2011

Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) is a global satellite-based system for identifying and tracking ships. The system that was introduced in Norway in 2009 is a closed system that is only used by the public authorities.

Reporting and equipment

  • All ships over 300 gross tonnes that are registered to operate in international waters are required to obtain an LRIT certificate (LRIT Conformance Test Report). Military and fishing vessels are exempt from this rule.
  • For the initial registration of new ships, and for a change in a ship's name, flag or LRIT system on board, the LRIT system must be checked by an Application Service Provider (ASP).
  • The LRIT certificate is in practice an approval that the LRIT equipment on board functions. This approval is based on tests carried out by an ASP (Application Service Provider) who quality assures that the LRIT equipment on board is able to transmit data over a period of 48 hours.
  • The Norwegian Maritime Directorate has approved eight ASPs in Norway. Link to sdir.no.

The UN's International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has decided that the ocean monitoring system LRIT shall be mandatory for passenger ships, cargo ships over 300 gross tonnes and mobile offshore drilling units in international trade.

Information from the ocean monitoring system LRIT is used by the public authorities for traffic monitoring, control and intervention in relation to ships that represent a hazard to safety at sea or a threat to the coastal state; for locating ships involved in accidents and ships in the surrounding area in connection with rescue operations; and for monitoring any ships involved in illegal, unreported or unregistered fishing or other illegal activities.

LRIT has been established internationally by law in Chapter V, 1974 SOLAS Convention, and was unanimously adopted in Resolution MSC.202 (81) on 19 May 2006.

Facts

  • The Norwegian Coastal Administration is the National Competent Authority (NCA) for LRIT in Norway and manages the Norwegian part of the LRIT database on behalf of the Norwegian authorities.
  • The Norwegian Coastal Administration registers, corrects and updates data on ships that sail under the Norwegian flag in the European LRIT database. The LRIT database is managed by the EU's Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in Lisbon.
  • Ships have equipment on board that automatically transmits information on the identity, date/time and position of the ship every six hours via satellite to the EU's LRIT database. 
  • The Norwegian Maritime Directorate has the authority to enforce that the LRIT regulations are observed on board.
  • LRIT is based on data from INMARSAT and IRIDIUM.
  • The Norwegian Coastal Administration administers access to the LRIT database on behalf of the Norwegian authorities and grants system access to public authorities that would like to use the data from the system in the performance of their administrative tasks.

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