James Collett elected President of CIRM

Sperry Marine Managing Director will promote CIRM’s work in standards and regulation that support application of innovative technologies

Sperry Marine Managing Director James Collett has been elected President of the Comité International Radio-Maritime (CIRM), the organisation dedicated to developing and sharing global standards for marine electronics, digital ship operations, software supporting marine navigation and communication applications, equipment manufacture, installation and service and other matters relating to shipborne electronic equipment and systems.

Collett has served as a board member at CIRM since 2019 and chairs the subgroup reviewing the organization’s strategy. He has led Sperry Marine as Managing Director for the last five years, advancing the company’s position as a provider of advanced, safe and reliable navigation systems to commercial and navigation customers.

He joins the organisation at a time when its work on developing standards for interoperability and supporting regulatory development is increasingly important to advancing digitalisation in the maritime industry.

“I am honoured to have been elected President of CIRM, an organisation which plays a central role in helping the shipping industry safely adopt new digital technology,” says Collett. “The expertise within CIRM is world class, with a broad and deep knowledge base that will be increasingly important for the wider maritime community as it adopts new systems, procedures and practices.”

As the principal international association for standards and regulation, CIRM represents the interests of manufacturers, suppliers, system integrators, ship service providers, and other related business, acting as a consultative body at the International Maritime Organization.

“We are delighted to welcome James as President of CIRM; he has already proven to be an asset to the organisation and his skills are a great addition to our advocacy and strategy efforts,” says Frances Baskerville, Secretary-General, CIRM. “At a time when standards for data and system design are increasingly important to the industry, CIRM and its member companies have a critical role to play in ensuring the delivery of the highest quality, safest and reliable technology to the maritime environment.”

CIRM’s proposed PAS on Route Exchange (RTZ) approved

IEC Technical Committee 80 (TC 80) has recently approved CIRM’s proposed Publicly Available Specification (PAS) on Route plan exchange format (RTZ) for publication as an official IEC PAS.

Route plan exchange is based on standardising a route plan so that route plans may be shared between different systems on the ship and between the ship and shore. The original RTZ format is specified in ECDIS standard IEC 61174:2015.

A PAS is a technical specification published in response to an urgent market need, and it represents a consensus in an organisation and/or working group. The objective of a PAS is to speed up standardisation in areas of rapidly evolving technology

CIRM drafted the PAS to address numerous issues that have been uncovered in the original RTZ format, in recognition that some manufacturers have a pressing business need to implement an improved version of the RTZ format. The work was initiated in 2018 and was carried out by the CIRM ECDIS Working Group, comprising representatives from ECDIS manufacturers, service providers and data producers.

The CIRM PAS updates the original RTZ XML schema version 1.0 to revised version 1.2, which incorporates schema version 1.1 that was developed, implemented and tested by participants in the STM project. CIRM has also developed a comprehensive set of test route files based on RTZ v1.2, in order to assist implementers when conducting testing. The revised schema version and test dataset are available from the CIRM website: http://cirm.org/rtz/

Because the PAS is not part of an international standard, its publication will not result in any mandatory new requirements for equipment manufacturers or shipping companies. Rather, manufacturers that have identified a business need to support an improved version of the original route plan exchange format can implement the PAS in their equipment, in the knowledge that the PAS has been carefully developed by CIRM.

As the PAS makes support for both RTZ v1.0 and v1.2 mandatory, future compatibility is preserved between systems that have implemented the PAS and those that have not.

Implementation of the PAS will require a software upgrade to be performed on the equipment in service. It is assumed that the equipment’s existing hardware will be sufficient to facilitate the software upgrade.

Regarding the impact on the user, by using equipment that has implemented the PAS, mariners will be able to have confidence that routes created on ECDIS from different manufacturers can be exchanged successfully and without loss of data. The routes will be able to be exchanged between ECDIS from different manufacturers and between ECDIS and other equipment, both on ship and on shore. The current level of interoperability between existing ECDIS in the field and updated ECDIS supporting the RTZ 1.2 format will be preserved.

Register for the CIRM Annual Technical Workshop

The 2020 CIRM Annual Technical Workshop will be held virtually on 1 & 2 December 2020. The purpose of the online meeting is to progress CIRM’s technical agenda, discussing ongoing and future work.

The event follows highly successful physical Workshops in December 2018 and November 2019. For obvious reasons, the format of this year’s event is an online meeting.

The Workshop is open to all CIRM members. However in order to ensure a productive meeting, registrations will be limited to 100 individuals, so please register early if you want to attend.

For information and registration please see here.

IMO announces schedule for remote meetings

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has released its revised programme of meetings for the remainder of 2020.

Meetings of the IMO’s Committees that were postponed due to COVID-19 will now take place remotely in the last four months of the year, as follows:

  • 16 Sep 2020 – 18 Sep 2020 Extraordinary Session of all Committees (ALCOM)
  • 28 Sep 2020 – 02 Oct 2020 44th session of the Facilitation Committee (FAL 44)
  • 04 Nov 2020 – 11 Nov 2020 102nd session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 102)
  • 16 Nov 2020 – 20 Nov 2020 75th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 75)

The meetings will be conducted using the KUDO online conferencing system.

The CIRM Secretariat will be participating in all of the above meetings, and we will keep members updated as to the online meeting procedures/agendas/input papers (etc.).

CIRM launches standards guides

CIRM has launched two new web pages providing information on current and future standards applying to bridge navigation & communication equipment.

The CIRM Standards Guide contains an overview of the requirements that are currently in-force for nav/comms equipment. It is hosted on the publicly-accessible Services part of the CIRM website.

The CIRM Standards Roadmap provides an overview of future standards that are currently in development, covering IMO, ITU, IEC, ISO, and ETSI, among others. The page is hosted on MyCIRM and is only available to CIRM members.

The Standards Guide is intended to serve as a quick reference for anyone requiring information/guidance on the applicable requirements for bridge equipment. The Standards Roadmap is intended to provide CIRM members with insight into what is coming down the road of standardisation.

The launch of the new pages demonstrates CIRM’s continuing commitment to deliver value-added services to its members.

Both the Standards Guide and the Standards Roadmap will be regularly reviewed and maintained by the CIRM Technical Office.

Technical Steering Committee agrees CIRM Strategic Technical Plan

During its meeting on 25th February, the CIRM Technical Steering Committee agreed CIRM’s 2020 Strategic Technical Plan.

Formerly known as the “Executive Summary”, the Strategic Technical Plan identifies the technical matters that will be assigned highest priority by CIRM. The underlying work will be undertaken by the Technical Office supported by CIRM’s Working Groups.

Alongside long-standing subjects such as GMDSS Modernization, the Marine Equipment Directive and Shipboard Software Maintenance, the 2020 plan includes new subjects such as future maritime communications, participation in standards development and automated ship reporting.

Many of the changes made to the latest Strategic Technical Plan resulted from discussions held during the 2019 Annual Technical Workshop, meaning that CIRM members have directly influenced the content of CIRM’s high-level technical strategy.

The Strategic Technical Plan will be made available to CIRM members next week.

CIRM launches Cyber Risk Code of Practice

We are pleased to announce that today (4th Feb 2020) CIRM has published two important documents:

  • CIRM Cyber Risk Code of Practice for Vendors of Marine Electronic Equipment and Services
  • CIRM Guideline GL-002 – Implementing the CIRM Cyber Risk Code of Practice

Both documents are available on the Publications section of the CIRM website: http://cirm.org/publications/index.html

The Code and Guideline were developed over two years by the CIRM Cyber Risk Working Group and subsequently approved by the Technical Steering Committee. We are sincerely thankful to all of you who provided your valuable input.

The Code is intended to be used by Vendors of marine electronic equipment and services, including producers of shipboard Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) equipment, system integrators, service suppliers and Communications Service Providers in the marine electronics industry (collectively referred to as ‘Vendors’). The Code will enable them to implement effective and cost-efficient cyber security best practice derived from both the marine and other industries. As such, it represents CIRM’s view of cyber security best practice.

The Code consists of six guiding principles for Vendors to establish their role in the chain of trust for a secure digital maritime environment.

NCSR 7 outcomes: IRNSS, QZSS, VTS, VHF batteries, MSI symbology, etc.

The 7th session of the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR 7) was held from 15 to 24 Jan 2020.

CIRM had a large delegation in attendance at the meeting, and members joined both the plenary and Working Group sessions. The Communications Working Group was extremely busy this year, reflecting its busy agenda.

CIRM Member Safebridge makes a lunchtime presentation to delegates at NCSR 7 plenary

Outcomes of the meeting of interest to CIRM members include:

  • Preparation of a draft Circular on Recognition of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) as a component of the Worldwide Radionavigation System;
  • Approval of a draft MSC Resolution on Performance standards for shipborne QZSS receiver equipment, for adoption by the Committee;
  • Approval of a draft Assembly resolution on revised Guidelines for Vessel Traffic Services;
  • Agreement to invite interested parties to progress the work to update the E-navigation Strategy Implementation Plan (SIP) intersessionally;
  • Preparation of a draft Corrigendum to Circular SN.1/Circ.243/Rev.2 addressing portrayal of MSI symbology;
  • Establishment of a Correspondence Group on safety measures for non-SOLAS ships operating in polar waters;
  • Furtherment of the work to develop amendments to SOLAS chapters III and IV for the Modernization of the GMDSS, alongside consequential amendments to existing instruments;
  • Preparation of a liaison statement to ITU Working Party 5B on the revision of recommendation ITU-R M.585-7 on Assignment and use of identities in the maritime mobile service, for AMRD Group B using AIS technology;
  • Preparation of a liaison statement to CEPT ECC relating to the protection of L-band maritime satellite communications;
  • Approval of the draft terms of reference for the 16th meeting of the Joint IMO/ITU Experts Group on Maritime Radiocommunication Matters;
  • Agreement that expired primary batteries could be used for no other purpose than to examine and check the operation of two-way VHF radiotelephone apparatus;
  • Agreement that CIRM’s unified interpretation regarding the battery validity dates for survival craft portable two-way VHF radiotelephone apparatus should be addressed by amending resolution MSC.149(77), when it would be revised as part of the work related to the modernization of the GMDSS.

Draft documents prepared by NCSR 7 have been forwarded to the Maritime Safety Committee for approval.

A more detailed report of NCSR 7 will be circulated to CIRM members in due course.

CIRM prepares for a busy NCSR 7 meeting at IMO

From 15th – 24th January the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search & Rescue (NCSR) will meet for its seventh session at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

NCSR is the IMO body dealing with all matters related to navigation and communication, carriage requirements and performance standards for navigational and communication equipment, LRIT, and the development of e-navigation. It also deals with search and rescue matters and the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).

NCSR meets once per year and CIRM typically has a large presence at the meeting. NCSR 7 will be no different, and many members will come together as part of CIRM’s delegation.

Major items under consideration at NCSR 7 include, but are not limited to, application of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) and development of performance standards for receiver equipment, recognition of the Japanese regional navigation satellite system Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) and development of performance standards for receiver equipment, revision of the Guidelines for vessel traffic services (resolution A.857(20)), consideration of descriptions of Maritime Services in the context of e-navigation, and revision of SOLAS chapters III and IV for Modernization of the GMDSS. During NCSR 7 three Working Groups will be convened (Navigation, Communications, SAR) alongside one Experts Group (Ships’ Routeing) and one Drafting Group.

The CIRM Secretatiat will be present for the full duration of the meeting and will report to members on relevant outcomes following the close of the meeting.