Applicability: Shipowners, ship operators, ship managers, ship masters.

The IMO has recently published circular MSC.1/Circ.1222/Rev.1*. This updates its requirements for the annual performance tests of voyage date recorders (VDRs) and simplified voyage data recorders (S-VDRs), as required by SOLAS Regulation V/18.8. The revised circular also clarifies the requirements for the examination of VDR float-free capsules approved in accordance with IMO Resolution MSC.333(90).

VDRs installed on or after 1 July 2014, are required to be approved to the IMO Resolution MSC.333(90). This resolution also requires VDRs to be fitted with float-free capsules that comply with the requirements specified in Resolution A.810(19) - “Performance Standards for EPIRBs”.

What should owners and operators do now?

Owners and operators need to ensure that the annual performance testing of VDRs and S-VDRs are carried out in accordance with MSC.1/Circ.1222/Rev.1. And for VDR float-free capsules approved in accordance with IMO Res. MSC.333(90), annual performance testing includes an examination according to MSC.1/Circ.1040/Rev.1 - “Revised Guidelines on Annual Testing of Satellite EPIRBs”.

A useful summary table of SOLAS Requirements for Maintenance Servicing, Testing and Drills can be found here

MSC.1/Circ.1222/Rev.1 - Guidelines on annual testing of  VDRs and S-VDRs – changes highlighted.

For further information, contact your local Lloyd's Register office or