Manual on Maritime Safety Information (MSI Manual), 2015 Edition (IB910E)

Number of Pages:
Published Date:
November 2015
Book Height:
250 mm
Book Width:
210 mm
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This manual provides a practical guide for anyone who is concerned with drafting navigational warnings or with the issuance of meteorological forecasts and warnings under the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).

Maritime Safety Information (MSI) is promulgated in accordance with the requirements of IMO resolution A.705(17), as amended. Navigational warnings are issued under the auspices of the IMO/International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) World-Wide Navigational Warning Service (WWNWS) in accordance with the requirements of IMO resolution A.706(17), as amended. Meteorological forecasts and warnings are issued under the auspices of the IMO/World Meteorological Organization (WMO) World-Wide Met-Ocean Information and Warnings Service (WWMIWS) in accordance with the requirements of IMO resolution A.1051(27).

SOLAS regulation IV/12.2 states that “Every ship, while at sea, shall maintain a radio watch for broadcasts of maritime safety information on the appropriate frequency or frequencies on which such information is broadcast for the area in which the ship is navigating”.

At the request of the Sub-Committee on Radiocommunications, the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a joint document on the drafting of maritime safety information broadcasts was produced (the Joint IMO/IHO/WMO Manual on Maritime Safety Information). The document was circulated to IHO Member States under IHB CL 10/1994 and as COMSAR/Circ.4 by the Sub?Committee on Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue (COMSAR) after its first session in February 1996, which action was endorsed by the Maritime Safety Committee at its sixty sixth session in May/June 1996.

The publication contained sections from IMO resolution A.706(17), World-Wide Navigational Warning Service, as amended, and relevant sections of the WMO publication Manual on Marine Meteorological Services (WMO No. 558).

At its seventh meeting in September 2005, the IHO’s Commission on the Promulgation of Radio Navigational Warnings (CPRNW) established a working group to review all World-Wide Navigational Warning Service (WWNWS) documentation. The working group included representation from the WMO and prepared at first, revisions to IMO resolutions A.705(17), Promulgation of Maritime Safety Information, as amended, and A.706(17), World-Wide Navigational Warning Service as amended. The proposed revisions of the resolutions were circulated to IHO Member States under IHB CL 104/2007, endorsed by COMSAR at its twelfth session in April 2008 and subsequently approved by the Maritime Safety Committee at its eighty-fifth session in November/December 2008.

The IHO CPRNW working group then prepared the revised Joint IMO/IHO/WMO Manual on Maritime Safety Information incorporating the revised information from resolutions A.705(17), as amended, and A.706(17), as amended. The revised text of the Joint IMO/IHO/WMO Manual on Maritime Safety Information was circulated to IHO Member States under cover of IHB CL 70/2008, endorsed by COMSAR at its thirteenth session in January 2009 and subsequently approved by the Maritime Safety Committee at its eighty-sixth session in May/June 2009.

The WMO Executive Council, at its sixty-first session in June 2009, requested WMO to establish and develop, in collaboration with IMO, terms of reference for an IMO/WMO World-Wide Met-Ocean Information and Warning Service guidance document (WWMIWS), to complement the existing IMO/IHO World-Wide Navigational Warning Service guidance document (WWNWS), provided in resolution A.706(17), as amended. This new IMO/WMO guidance document is intended to provide specific guidance for the promulgation of internationally coordinated meteorological information, forecast and warnings services for the GMDSS, which does not apply to purely national services.

The WMO Executive Council adopted the WWMIWS at its sixty-second session in June 2010. It was submitted to IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee at the end of 2010, which requested its COMSAR Sub-Committee to review it before its approval at its eighty-ninth session in May 2011. It was officially adopted by the IMO Assembly at its twenty-seventh session in November 2011 and the WWMIWS is included in the regulatory publications as IMO resolution A.1051(27). Future amendments to this guidance document will be considered formally and approved by both WMO and IMO. Proposed amendments shall be evaluated by the JCOMM Expert Team on Maritime Safety Services (ETMSS), which includes an ex-officio representative of the IMO Secretariat, prior to any extensive WMO and IMO consideration.

The Committee was of the opinion that the widest possible use of the manual should be encouraged and invited Member Governments to bring the Joint IMO/IHO/WMO Manual to the attention of mariners and those involved in the promulgation of navigational warnings and meteorological forecasts and warnings.

Although this is an IMO publication, it is intended that the responsible organizations will maintain their respective sections of this Joint IMO/IHO/WMO Manual.

1 General information

2 Promulgation of maritime safety information

3 NAVAREA/Sub-area/national coordinators’ resources and responsibilities

4 Navigational warnings for the World-Wide Navigational Warning Service

5 The structure of navigational warnings

6 Message format of navigational warnings

Part 1 – Preamble

Part 2 – Warning

Part 3 – Postscript

7 Guidance and examples for navigational warnings by type of hazard

8 METAREA coordinator resources and responsibilities

9 Meteorological warnings and forecasts

10 Examples for meteorological warnings and forecasts

11 Search and rescue notification

12 Procedure for amending the Joint IMO/IHO/WMO Manual on MSI

A??s a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.

In other words, its role is to create a level playing-field so that ship operators cannot address their financial issues by simply cutting corners and compromising on safety, security and environmental performance. This approach also encourages innovation and efficiency.

Shipping is a truly international industry, and it can only operate effectively if the regulations and standards are themselves agreed, adopted and implemented on an international basis. And IMO is the forum at which this process takes place.

Number of Pages:
Published Date:
November 2015
Book Height:
250 mm
Book Width:
210 mm


Binding Format:
Publication Date:
November 2015