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NAV 46/WP.3
INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION
E
IMO
SUB-COMMITTEE ON SAFETY OF
NAVIGATION
46th session
Agenda item 9
NAV 46/INF.4
4 April 2000
Original: ENGLISH
&
RIJEKA COLLEGE OF MARITIME STUDIES
IMO STANDARD MARINE
COMMUNICATION PHRASES
(SMCP)
Rijeka, September 2000
NAV 46/WP.3
ANNEX
Page 2
FOREWORD
As navigational and safety communications from ship to shore and vice versa, ship to ship , and
on board ships must be precise, simple and unambiguous, so as to avoid confusion and error,
there is a need to standardize the language used. This is of particular importance in the light of
the increasing number of internationally trading vessels with crews speaking many different
languages since problems of communication may cause misunderstandings leading to dangers to
the vessel, the people on board and the environment.
In 1973 the IMO Maritime Safety Committee agreed at its twenty-seventh session that, where
language difficulties arise, a common language should be used for navigational purposes and that
language should be English. In consequence the Standard Marine Navigational Vocabulary
(SMNV) was developed, adopted in 1977 and amended in 1985.
In 1992 the IMO Maritime Safety Committee at its sixtieth session instructed the IMO SubCommittee on Safety of Navigation to develop a more comprehensive standardized safety
language than the SMNV, 1985, taking into account the changing conditions in modern seafaring
and covering all major safety-related verbal communications.
At its sixty-eighth session in 1997 the IMO Maritime Safety Committee adopted the Draft
Standard Marine Communication Phrases (SMCP) developed by the IMO Sub-Committee on
Safety of Navigation. The Draft SMCP, following international trials, was amended at the fortysixth session of this Sub-Committee and final consideration given at the IMO Maritime Safety
Committee at its [... ] session in the light of remarks received by the Organization. The SMCP
was adopted by the IMO Assembly in [ ... ]as resolution A.( [... ] ) .
Under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping
for Seafarers, 1978, as revised 1995, the ability to understand and use the SMCP is required for
the certification of officers in charge of a navigational watch on ships of 500 gross tonnage or
more.
NAV 46/WP.3
ANNEX
Page 3
IMO STANDARD MARINE COMMUNICATION PHRASES
CONTENTS
DESCRIPTION
PAGE
INTRODUCTION
9
1
2
3
4
5
Position of the SMCP in maritime practice
Organization of the SMCP
Position of the SMCP in Maritime Education and Training
Basic communicative features
Typographical conventions
GENERAL
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Procedure
Spelling
Message Markers
Responses
Distress / urgency / safety signals
Standard organizational phrases
Corrections
Readiness
Repetition
Numbers
Positions
Bearings
Courses
Distances
Speed
Time
Geographical names
Ambiguous words
GLOSSARY