On 6 November 2008, at the European Maritime Safety Agency(EMSA) headquarters in Lisbon, contracts were signed for thedevelopment of the European Union Long Range Identification andTracking Data Centre.
This step marks the end of a Europeanpublic procurement process started with the tender publication on11 June 2008. Willem de Ruiter, EMSA Executive Director,Christophe Vassal, CEO of CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellites)based in Ramonville, France and Isabelle Roussin, Executive VicePresident of Marketing for Highdeal S.A., based in Paris, Francemet to underline their dedication to setting-up a Data Centre forthe EU Member States as early as possible in 2009.
Mr. de Ruiter expressed his confidence in the two companies to set up a robustsystem for the collection and distribution of long range ship position reports. Mr.de Ruiter recalled that it was only on 2 October 2007 that the task of providing anEU LRIT Data Centre was given to the Agency by the European TransportMinisters. Substantial work has been carried out by a dedicated task force sincethis date.
He stated: "With the professional experience of these companies (CLSand Highdeal) I trust that a good European LRIT system will soon be available toserve over 10,000 vessels flying the flag of EU Member States and interestedOverseas Territories."
Two contracts have been signed with CLS for the development of the EuropeanUnion Data Centre and for the provision of ASP/CSP (Application/CommunicationService Provider) services. One contract has been signed with Highdeal for theprovision of an invoicing and billing system.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO adopted on 19 May 2006Resolutions of the Marine Safety Committee MSC 202 (81) and MSC 211 (81),which states amendments to the International Convention of Safety of Life AtSea, 1974 (SOLAS) and introduces the timely establishment of the Long-RangeIdentification and Tracking system (LRIT). Each Flag State should collect at leasta position report every 6 hours (4 times per day) of ships flying its flag.Information will be used for maritime safety, maritime security, environmentalprotection and Search and Rescue.
The Council Resolution of 2 October 2007, EU Member States decided to establishan EU LRIT Data Centre. The objective of the EU LRIT DC is the identification andtracking of EU Flagged ships which will be integrated in the wider InternationalLRIT system. All Member States will share an LRIT information repository, acommon interface to the International Data Exchange (IDE) for requesting LRITinformation on ships flying non-EU flags, and a common interface to LRITinformation.