Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system is a secure satellite-based system for tracking of ships by IMO Contracting Governments. In order to facilitate the effort of the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), IMO has established an Information Distribution Facility (IDF) that facilitates the suppression of piracy off the coast of Somalia and the wider Indian Ocean by providing LRIT information of ships to naval forces.

On 6 December 2010, the Secretariat issued Circular letter No.3134 advising SOLAS Contracting Governments that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) were associated with the IDF and inviting them to consider providing flag State LRIT information to the above-mentioned security forces by instructing their LRIT Data Centres accordingly and/or deactivating the above-mentioned exclusions.

Flag State LRIT information helps security forces in building a more accurate picture of the ships operating in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean and to deploy the available naval and military resources in a more effective and efficient way in order to enhance the protection of all shipping transiting the area.

The use of the IDF has proved to be efficient and both security forces have indicated their preference for receiving flag State LRIT information through the IDF only.

Those SOLAS Contracting Governments wishing to provide flag State LRIT information to any of the above-mentioned security forces through the IDF should instruct their designated national points of contact for LRIT-related matters to log into the DDP and delete the exclusion(s) added by the Secretariat on their behalf. The information contained in the annex provides guidance on deactivating the above-mentioned exclusions.

SOLAS Contracting Governments might also, depending on available arrangements, instruct their DC to ignore the exclusion added by the Secretariat on their behalf and to start transmitting flag State LRIT information to the security force(s) in question.

For further information on LRIT please click here: Long-range identification and tracking (LRIT)