The Long Range Tracking and Identification (LRIT) is an international tracking and identification system incorporated by the IMO under its SOLAS convention to ensure a thorough tracking system for ships across the world.

It came into existence on the 19th May 2006 and was incorporated formally starting from January 2008. Based on these lines, those ships which were built on or following 31st December 2008 were required to have this system of vessel identification.

LRIT system forms a very important ambit in the SOLAS convention. LRIT was designed as per the recommendations of one of the Maritime Security Committee (MSC) resolutions. The ship tracking system has been specifically incorporated. This has been done so that the countries that fall under the purview of the SOLAS convention can share the necessary marine security information along with all other required information about the ships that sail through the countries’ coastal boundaries.

The Vessel Tracking System is a clear system that does not allow any confusion to creep in with respect to the existing UNCLOS. In a similar manner, the tracking of ships system does not interfere with the individual maritime operational laws of countries where it is applicable.

As per the LRIT requirements, the ships that come under its purview are:

  • All ships used for the purpose of passenger transportation. Such a criteria includes even the faster and speedier ships.
  • All offshore rigs used for the purpose of drilling oil in the high seas.
  • All ships used for the purpose of cargo-carrying. This criterion also includes speedier vessels as also ships with a weight of over 300 gross tons.