DBS News

Carriage requirements for a Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System


SOLAS regulation V/19 as amended through IMO resolution MSC.282(86) and entered into force January 1, 2011 established and implemented schedule for the carriage of BNWAS for new and existing ships.

Following DBS Circular C12001 published on January 05, 2012 cargo ships of gross tonnage 3000 and above shall be fitted with a Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System (BNWAS) before July 1, 2012.

Based on IMO resolution MSC.282(86) as of July 01, 2013 all cargo ships with gross tonnage more than 500 but less than 3000 constructed before July 1, 2011 shall also be fitted with a BNWAS.

The purpose of a BNWAS is to monitor the bridge activity and detect operator disability which could lead to marine accidents. The system monitors the awareness of the Office of the Watch (OOW) and automatically alerts the Master or another qualified OOW if for any reason the OOW becomes incapable of performing the OOWs duties. This purpose is achieved by a series of indications and alarms to alert first the OOW and, if he is not responding, then the alert the Master or another qualified OOW.

DBS Surveyors shall verify the installation of BNWAS during the first upcoming survey of safety equipment (please refer to IMO MSC.1/Circ.1290 for the unified interpretation of the term "first survey"). The performance standards shall be in accordance with IMO MSC.128(75). It is important to note that as per IMO MSC.128(75), paragraph in vessels other than passenger vessels, the second and third stage remote audible alarms may sound in all the locations mentioned in paragraphs and at the same time. In case the second stage audible alarm is sounded in this way, the third stage alarm may be omitted.


Generally, all BNWAS already installed on vessels shall conform to MSC.128(75) and can be accepted when a copy of type approval certificate is submitted to DBS Head Office based on the following standards:

  • IMO resolution A.694(17), MSC.128(75), MSC.191(79), MSC/Circ.982
  • Test standards: IEC60945, 61162, 62288, 62616

According to IMO Resolution MSC.282(86) a BNWAS installed prior July 1, 2011 may be subsequently be exempted from full compliance with the MSC.128(75) as the discretion of the Administration. Therefore, ship Owners / Operators are encouraged to contact DBS Head Office in order review the flag-specific requirements for vessels flying their flag.

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