Technical Circular No: 130/2020

Subject: Barbados Bulletin reg. Ship Security Alert Systems (SSAS)

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  • Barbados Maritime Ship Registry (BMSR) has issued bulletin number 334 providing revised procedure for receiving Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) alerts.

  • Salient points of the bulletin are as below;

1. Direct SSAS alerts from the ships will no longer be received by the Administration and only the real alerts are to be forwarded by the company to BMSR at .

2. For the above purpose, Administration requires companies to designate either an internal appointee (preferably the Company Security Officer (CSO)) or Alternate Company Security Officer (ACSO) or an external, qualified third party to serve as the “Competent Authority” to receive all SSAS alerts and take appropriate actions. In all the cases, CSO to remain recipient of all SSAS alerts along with the Competent Authority designated/appointed by the Company.

3. Administration requires that to be considered qualified, a “Competent Authority” must meets the following requirements:

• Be available at all times (on a 24/7 basis) to receive and act upon SSAS alerts;

• Be able to accurately identify and react to real, test, or false alerts;

• Understand the SSAS requirements (Part A) and recommendations (Part B) of the ISPS Code and the Administrator’s SSAS requirements as mentioned in the attached bulletin;

• Maintain a current contact list of relevant authorities (Administrator, Maritime Rescue Coordination Centers (MRCCs), Coastal State Authorities, Information Sharing Centers) to be used in the event of an actual alert; and

• Participate in drills or exercises involving tests of the SSAS.

• The Competent Authority is to acknowledge and respond to all test messages directly, ensuring the proper functioning of SSAS equipment and verifying the accuracy of the transmitted data without the need for acknowledgement of receipt by the Administration.

4. In cases where third party Competent Authorities are appointed by company, direct alerts from the third party are not accepted by the Administration. In such cases, the third party is to inform company and in turn company is responsible to notify the Administration immediately for cases of real SSAS Alert.

5. SSAS alert messages must include the following ship information:

• Vessel Name;

• IMO Ship Identification Number;

• Call Sign;

• Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) Number;

• Date and Time (UTC);

• Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) position (latitude and longitude);

• Course and Speed;

• CSO 24/7 phone number; and

• Alternate CSO 24/7 phone number.

  • In view of above, companies are advised to ensure that the SSAS unit onboard is reprogrammed so that alerts are only transmitted to the designated Competent Authority and Administration’s email address is removed from the unit’s program.

  • SSAS is to be tested live with new settings after reprogramming of the SSAS unit to the satisfaction of the competent authority.

  • In this regard, any respective amendments to SSP is to be reviewed by the Recognized Organization/ Administration as applicable which will be verified during next scheduled ISPS code verification after 01 January 2021.

  • Owners/operators and masters of Barbados flagged ships are advised to be guided by above and ensure compliance.



This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority. 

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