The Department of Transport has issued Marine Notice No. 70 of 2022 on a new online ship radio licence and EPIRB registration system

The Department of Transport has issued Marine Notice No. 70 of 2022 on a new online ship radio licence and EPIRB registration system

The Department of Transport has issued Marine Notice No. 70 of 2022 to provide notification that a new online ship radio licence and EPIRB registration system will be implemented from 17 October 2022. This system will replace the existing paper form and email application processes and will be available at Irish Maritime Radio Licence System (IMRAD).

A ship radio licence is required under national and international legislation to certify that a vessel may operate approved radiocommunication equipment on specific maritime radio frequency bands and is also necessary for the assignment and recording of unique vessel radiocommunication maritime identifiers such as call signs and MMSI numbers.

The registration of EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) carried on board Irish vessels is also mandatory. These licencing and registration processes are coordinated internationally to protect maritime safety related communications worldwide and to facilitate and support distress, safety and search and rescue operations.  This new online system provides users with a convenient means to fulfil these licencing and registration obligations.

In addition to the regulatory requirements, the effectiveness of maritime radio equipment including EPIRBs for search and rescue communications depends   upon correct identification, encoding, programming, and registration of devices.

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The Irish Coast Guard rely upon the information contained in this system for search and rescue operations to quickly identify vessels and to obtain emergency contact information. This information is also used to quickly resolve inadvertent distress alert activations so that search and rescue resources are deployed effectively and not to false alerts. It is therefore essential that up-to-date and accurate vessel and contact details are recorded in this system.  The information is also provided to the ITU international MARS database system for notification to other maritime administrations worldwide.

Noting the above important safety and regulatory information, all vessel  owners, operators  and  existing  ships  radio  licence  holders  are  strongly  encouraged  to register and use this online system to ensure that their vessel’s details and contact information are accurate. New Online Ship Radio Licence and EPIRB Registration System

The following list outlines some of the features of the new online system:

– Ship radio licence applications, updates, transfers of vessel ownership and the registering of vessel EPIRB details can be made online using desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

– Existing licence holders can register online to access and update their vessel and contact information.

– The system, which is available in Irish and English, provides users with direct access to manage and easily update their vessel  details and emergency  contact information online at any time.

– The new system consolidates multiple information sources into a single database which is relied upon by the Irish Coast Guard to identify and contact vessels in the event of a distress alert.

– Licence holders can upload photos of their vessel.  Uploaded vessel photos will be available to the Irish Coast Guard.  This feature is intended to assist if required in vessel search scenarios.

– Temporary operational notes can be added to a vessel’s information using desktop, tablet and mobile devices.  This additional information will be available to the Irish Coast Guard and may assist them in resolving search and rescue operations.  For example, the intended passage and number of persons onboard can be added as an additional temporary note which will be available to the Irish Coast Guard.

– The online system includes application validation rules and guidance which will decrease the processing time for each application.

– Once an application is approved the ship radio licence will be immediately available to view and download by the licensee.

– All licence fee payments are facilitated securely online.

– The Irish Maritime Radio Licence System (IMRAD) website includes related guidance information, FAQs, useful documents, and links.

– The website also includes a licence calculator reference tool which can be used to provide a guidance on the radio operator qualification and radio equipment

– Requirements based on the vessel type and sea area of operation.

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