1. Ship’s destination is one of the data that is required to be fed into the AIS at the start of each voyage and same is to be kept updated. Different names used for the same location creates confusion and difficulties in international trade and transport.
2. To avoid this it is required to have harmonization of data input by adopting an available universal protocol.
3. IMO sub-committee on Safety of Navigation agreed on guidance on the use of the UN/LOCODE in the destination field in AIS messages with circular SN.1/Circ.244/Rev.1 of 4th November 2016.
4. AIS field for the destination allows for “free text” of up to 20 characters. It is recommended to use the existing AIS destination field for entering both the port of departure and the next port of call (space for 20 characters of 6 bit ASCII is available), using the UN/LOCODE.
5. Vincent and the Grenadines maritime administration has issued circular No SOL 066 (Copy attached) based on above IMO circular and advised managing companies, owners/operators to include this requirement in safety management system and also ensure its implementation on board ships between 300 gt and 500 gt.
6. The Salient points recommended in use of the UN/LOCODE are copied below for your reference:
7. The recommended format is to indicate the port of departure at the first six positions of the data field followed by a separator and then the code for the next port of call.
"AE DXB>NL RTM"
Indicating a destination on the United States West Coast.
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.