Maintenance of Radio and Navigational Equipment

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Below are the requirements and recommendations for maintenance and inspection of safety equipment in a compact and practical tool for ship owners, operators and Surveyors. New maintenance requirements for such equipment are published irregularly and in various IMO documents and chapters which makes it cumbersome and time consuming to keep track of all changes.

Additional or more stringent requirements of manufacturers and the competent Administration are to be observed.


Certain maintenance procedures and inspections may be performed by competent crew members, while others shall be performed by specially trained persons. Which parts of the inspections and maintenance shall be completed by competent crew members or specially trained persons is indicated in the list.


As a general rule all inspections shall be carried out in accordance with the system manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions. If equipment is undergoing maintenance or testing then suitable arrangements shall be made

to ensure safety is not diminished through the provision of alternate equipment or other measures.

Records Records of the inspections shall be carried on board of the ship, or may be computer-based. In cases where the inspections and maintenance are carried out by specially trained persons other than the ship’s crew, inspection reports shall be provided upon the completion of the inspections. Some inspections required by SOLAS shall be

Testing of the automatic identification system (AIS)

RequirementRegulationShip TypeIntervalByRemark
 SOLAS V/18.9AllAnnuallyShore ServiceTest report shall be retained on board the ship.

Long range identification and tracking system (LRIT)

RequirementRegulationShip TypeIntervalByRemark
 SOLAS V/19-1 SOLAS V/16 MSC.1/Circ.1307AllAnnuallyService ProviderConformance Test Report shall be retained on board the ship.

Checking of radio battery

RequirementRegulationShip TypeIntervalByRemark
 SOLAS IV/13.6.2AllAnnuallyShore Service 

Satellite EPIRBs

RequirementRegulationShip TypeIntervalByRemark
Testing according to MSC.1/Circ.1040/Rev.1.SOLAS IV/15.9.1AllAnnuallyShore Service 
Testing according to MSC/Circ.1039.SOLAS IV/15.9.2All5-yearlyShore ServiceCertificate of Compliance shall be issued.

Standard magnetic compass

RequirementRegulationShip TypeIntervalByRemark
Determination of Magnetic Compass ErrorSTCW Code/Sec. A-VIII/2.34.2AllOnce a watchCrew 
Adjustment incl. Curve of Residual DeviationFlag State requirementsAllIndividual Flag State requirementsIndividual Flag State requirementsTable or Curve of residual Deviation to be available at all times and compass deviation book to be properly maintained will be checked annually during safety equipment surveys. Res.A.1053(27), item (EA)

Steering gear

RequirementRegulationShip TypeIntervalByRemark
TestingSOLAS V/26.1All12 hours before departureCrew 
Emergency steering drillSOLAS V/26.4AllQuarterlyCrew 

Voyage data recorder (VDR)

RequirementRegulationShip TypeIntervalByRemark
 SOLAS V/18.8AllAnnuallyShore ServiceCertificate of Compliance and maintenance report shall be retained on board the ship.

Maintenance of Other Miscellaneous Items

Lightweight survey

RequirementRegulationShip TypeIntervalByRemark
 SOLAS II-1/5.5 IS Code VIII/8.1.5Passenger ships5-yearlyShore Service or Crew Provided crew is properly trained.

Low-location lighting systems

RequirementRegulationShip TypeIntervalByRemark
Verify that the low-location lighting systems are functional by switching off normal lighting in selected locations.MSC.1/Circ.1432, para. 4.6Passenger shipsWeeklyCrew 
Test the luminance in accordance with the procedures in resolution A.752(18).MSC.1/Circ.1432, para. 9.5 Res.A.752(18)Passenger ships5-yearlyShore Service  

Medical oxygen

RequirementRegulationShip TypeIntervalByRemark
Replacement of oxygen.National pharmaceutical regulations, if applicableAllAccording to national pharmaceutical regulationsMaker 
Hydrostatic test and internal inspection of cylinders.Flag State, if applicableAllAccording to Flag State requirementsShore Service Scope of inspection specified by the Flag State and/or recognized international standards (e.g. ISO, EN) are to be observed.

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