IMO recently published Circular MSC.1 / Circ.1222 / Rev.1 *. It updates the requirements for annual operational testing of voyage data recorders (VDR) and simplified flight data recorders (S-VDR) as required by SOLAS Regulation V / 18.8. The revised circular also clarifies the requirements for the consideration of VDR free-floating capsules approved in accordance with IMO resolution MSC.333 (90).
VDRs established on or after July 1, 2014 must be approved in accordance with IMO Resolution MSC.333 (90). This resolution also requires VDRs to be equipped with free-floating capsules that meet the requirements specified in Resolution A.810 (19) - Performance Standards for EPIRB.
What should owners and operators do now?
Owners and operators should ensure that the annual VDR and S-VDR performance tests are conducted in accordance with MSC.1 / Circ.1222 / Rev.1. And for VDR free pop-up capsules, approved in accordance with the IMO Resolution. MSC.333 (90), annual performance testing includes audits in accordance with MSC.1 / Circ.1040 / Rev.1 - “Revised Guidelines for the Annual Testing of Satellite EPIRB”.
A useful summary table of SOLAS maintenance, testing, and training requirements can be found here .
* MSC.1 / Circ.1222 / Rev.1 - Manual for annual testing of VDR and S-VDR - changes highlighted.