Vessel tracking globally (LRIT)

On 19 May 2006, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) adopted Resolutions of the 81st Maritime Safety Committee - MSC 202(81) and MSC 211(81) - which made amendments to the International Convention of Safety of Life At Sea, 1974 (SOLAS) and introduced the establishment of the Long Range Identification and Tracking system (LRIT) for reasons related to national security.

The main purpose of the LRIT ship position reports is to enable a Contracting Government to obtain ship identity and location information in sufficient time to evaluate the security risk posed by a ship off its coast and to respond, if necessary, to reduce any risks.

At the 83rd Maritime Safety Committee the purpose and scope of LRIT was extended to include search and rescue (SAR), safety, and protection of the marine environment (MSC 242(83)). The LRIT system is mandatory for all passenger ships, high speed craft, mobile offshore drilling units and cargo ships of over 300 gross tonnes.