SOLAS Chpater V Safety of Navigation
Ship reporting systems
1 Ship reporting systems contribute to safety of life at sea, safety and efficiency of navigation and/or protection of the marine environment. A ship reporting system, when adopted and implemented in accordance with the guidelines and criteria developed by the Organization pursuant to this regulation, shall be used by all ships, or certain categories of ships or ships carrying certain cargoes in accordance with the provisions of each system so adopted.
2 The Organization is recognized as the only international body for developing guidelines, criteria and regulations on an international level for ship reporting systems. Contracting Government shall refer proposals for the adoption of ship reporting systems to the Organization. The Organization will collate and disseminate to Contracting Governments all relevant information with regard to any adopted ship reporting system.
3 The initiation of action for establishing a ship reporting system is the responsibility of the Government or Governments concerned. In developing such systems provision of the guidelines and criteria developed by the Organization** shall be taken into account.
4 Ship reporting systems not submitted to the Organization for adoption do not necessarily need to comply with this regulation. However, Governments implementing such systems are encouraged to follow, wherever possible, the guidelines and criteria developed by the Organization*. Contracting Governments may submit such systems to the Organization for recognition.
5 Where two or more Governments have a common interest in a particular area, they should formulate proposals for a co-ordinated ship reporting system on the basis of agreement between them. Before proceeding with a proposal for adoption of a ship reporting system, the Organization shall disseminate details of the proposal to those Governments which have a common interest in the area covered by the proposed system. Where a co-ordinated ship reporting system is adopted and established, it shall have uniform procedures and operations.
6 After adoption of a ship reporting system in accordance with this regulation, the Government or Governments concerned shall take all measures necessary for the promulgation of any information needed for the efficient and effective use of the system. Any adopted ship reporting system shall have the capability of interaction and the ability to assist ships with information when necessary. Such systems shall be operated in accordance with the guidelines and criteria developed by the Organization pursuant to this regulation.
7 The master of a ship shall comply with the requirements of adopted ship reporting systems and report to the appropriate authority all information required in accordance with the provisions of each such system.
8 All adopted ship reporting systems and actions taken to enforce compliance with those systems shall be consistent with international law, including the relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
9 Nothing in this regulation or its associated guidelines and criteria shall prejudice the rights and duties of Governments under international law or the legal regimes of straits used for international navigation and archipelagic sea lanes.
10 The participation of ships in accordance with the provisions of adopted ship reporting systems shall be free of charge to the ships concerned.
11 The Organization shall ensure that adopted ship reporting systems are reviewed under the guidelines and criteria developed by the Organization.
* Refer to the General Provisions on Ships' Routeing adopted by the Organization by resolution A.572(14)), as amended.
**This regulation does not address ship reporting systems established by Governments for search and rescue purposes which are covered by chapter 5 of the 1979 SAR Convention as amended.