New VHF rules for SOLAS ships
the IMO has introduced new rules for GMDSS-VHF devices with the guideline MSC.1/Circ.1460/Rev.3 (see attachment).
This concerns the VHF frequencies, the channel distance and rules for the number of digits being displayed on the VHF displays.
In addition to 10 new channels and an extended frequency range up to 161,600 MHz (previously up to 161,475 MHz), this also means that the channel spacing is reduced to 12.5 KHz instead of the 25 KHz used today. Furthermore, the VHF equipment must be able to display the 4 decimal places of the duplex channels accordingly.
SOLAS vessels will have to comply with the new MSC.1/Circ.1460/Rev. directive, as well as the new ITU radio regulations, from the first radio review after January 1, 2024.
According to our market knowledge, a high 5-digit number of devices will have to be replaced in Germany alone.
Considering the currently still prevailing supply chain issues, the order backlogs at the manufacturers, as well as the feedback from the market-leading manufacturers, it is in our opinion (as of 20.02.2023) not feasible to retrofit all ships by the first radio inspection after 01 January 2024.
In our opinion, an extension of the deadline is inevitable, but the feedback from the IMO is that the regulation will come into force as planned.
Considering the above-mentioned circumstances, we would like to ask you to contact us as soon as possible to check the possibilities for the VHF devices of your fleet. Please find the checklist that you can use to request the necessary information from your vessels in the links below.
Currently, only a few devices already comply with the new regulations: