The Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate (Marine and Fishery) has recently issued the following safety notice:
NSI has become aware of non-original GMDSS batteries being promoted, sold and installed on board SOLAS convention vessels for use in GMDSS equipment required by SOLAS. In particular these counterfeit batteries are being promoted, sold and installed for use in Jotron products type Tron 40S, Tron SART, Tron SART 20 and Tron TR-20 GMDSS.
The non-original batteries are apparently being manufactured in China, labeled with Chinese text and bearing CCS approval No. CQ07T00007.
It should be realized that the use of non-original (replacement) batteries in legally required GMDSS equipment on Dutch flag vessels is not allowed, as this is considered an infringement of the MED type approval. Original manufacturer batteries, i.e. those indicated on the MED module B certificate of the GMDSS equipment (e.g. EPIRB or SART), shall always be used.
Furthermore, non-original (replacement) batteries have been shown to be of inferior quality and the use of them may result in safety risk and/or the failure of the GMDSS equipment to function properly in a distress situation.
Cospas-Sarsat, who are responsible for approving EPIRB`s to operate within the Cospas-Sarsat satellite-system have also confirmed that the use of non-original manufacturer batteries for Tron 40S do not comply to Certificate/TAC.no 95 and therefore cannot be considered as a Cospas-Sarsat approved EPIRB."
Owners and operators of new and existing ships should bring this information to the attention of their members, crews, surveyors and other relevant employees and parties, and take any necessary corrective action.