Ship Security Alert Systems (SSAS) onboard Barbados flagged ships

Notice to: Ship Owners / Managers/ Operators / Surveyors / Masters

C23049 | 23 August 2023

This circular is issued to advise the procedures required by Barbados Maritime Authority Ship Registry with regard to onboard Ship Security Alert Systems, as detailed in their Bulletin No 334:

Key points are:

1) The Barbados Maritime Ship Registry (BMSR) does not receive SSAS alerts directly from any vessels

2)Shipping companies are required to designate either an internal appointee or an external, qualified third party to serve as the “Competent Authority” to receive all SSAS alerts and take appropriate action.

3)BMSR requires that to be considered qualified, a Competent Authority must:

  • Be available at all times (on a 24/7 basis) to receive and act upon SSAS alerts;
  • Be able to accurately identify and react to real, test, or false alerts;
  • Understand the SSAS requirements (Part A) and recommendations (Part B) of the ISPS Code;
  • Maintain a current contact list of relevant authorities (Administrator, Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs), Coastal State Authorities, Information Sharing Centres) to be used in the event of an actual alert; and
  • Participate in drills or exercises involving tests of the SSAS.
  • The Competent Authority is to acknowledge and respond to all test messages directly, ensuring the proper functioning of SSAS equipment and verifying the accuracy of the transmitted data without the need for acknowledgement of receipt by the Administration.

4) Only real SSAS alerts are to be forwarded by the Company to BMSR at:

5) Third party Competent Authorities are not to contact BMSR directly. All direct communication with BMSR must only be from the Company. Where a third party is appointed as Competent Authority, the third party is to inform the company and in turn the company is responsible to notify the Administration immediately – in cases of real SSAS alert.

6)SSAS alert messages must include the following ship information:

  • Vessel Name;
  • MO Ship Identification Number;
  • Call Sign;
  • Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) Number;
  • Date and Time (UTC);
  • Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) position (latitude and longitude);
  • Course and Speed;
  • CSO 24/7 phone number; and
  • Alternate CSO 24/7 phone number.

7) It is recommended that Companies ensure the SSAS unit is reprogrammed so that alerts are transmitted to the designated Competent Authority, and not to BMSR. BMSR’s email address should be removed from the unit’s program, if included.

8) The CSO remains a recipient of all SSAS transmissions along with Company designated Competent Authority.

9) Testing of any newly programmed SSAS settings must be conducted to the satisfaction of the Competent Authority and any respective SSP amendment in regards to reprogramming of SSAS must be reviewed and same will be verified during the next scheduled ISPS Code verification audit.

Act now

Ship Owners, Managers, Operators, Surveyors and vessel Masters should note the contents of the BMSR Bulletin, and be guided accordingly, ensuring that the SSAS alerts are configured and addressed as required.

Share this post:

Related Posts

February 21, 2024

Belize Policy on Tokyo MoU