VDR Annual Performance Test (APT)


Our team of Radio Technicians consists of highly qualified Marine Electronics Engineers who possess extensive training, experience, and approvals from leading VDR Manufacturers. They are fully equipped to conduct the Annual Test & Inspection of Voyage Data Recorders (VDR) and Simplified Voyage Data Recorders (SVDR) as mandated by SOLAS regulation V/18.8 and IMO A.861 MSC 1222.

The annual performance test of a VDR/S-VDR is conducted to verify its operational status as specified by the manufacturer. Due to the nature of this equipment being a "black box," it is essential to have a document that clearly lists all the interfaces checked for compliance with the relevant International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) test standards. This transparency is crucial for surveyors, inspectors from flag Administrations, port States, or recognized organizations.

A Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) is a data recording system required for vessels to comply with the International Convention SOLAS Requirements (IMO Res.A.861(20)). It collects data from various sensors on board the vessel, digitizes, compresses, and stores it in an externally mounted protective storage unit. This unit is designed to withstand extreme shocks, impacts, pressures, and heat associated with marine incidents.

According to SOLAS regulations, certain ships are required to carry VDRs, including passenger ships constructed on or after July 1, 2002, ro-ro passenger ships constructed before July 1, 2002, passenger ships other than ro-ro passenger ships constructed before January 1, 2004, and ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and above constructed on or after July 1, 2002. VDRs must meet performance standards that are not inferior to those adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Under SOLAS chapter V, Regulation 18, VDR systems, including sensors, must undergo an annual performance test. This test is conducted by an approved testing or servicing facility to verify the accuracy, duration, and recoverability of the recorded data. It also includes tests and inspections to ensure the serviceability of all protective enclosures and devices that aid in locating the VDR. A certificate of compliance issued by the testing facility, stating the date of compliance and the applicable performance standards, should be retained on board the ship.

INMATECH is authorized to perform VDR Annual Performance Tests (APT) on behalf of various VDR manufacturers. Their technicians are highly qualified Marine Electronics Engineers approved by leading VDR manufacturers. The company ensures that the VDR systems are in order and capable of recording the required data, which is crucial for accident analysis and incident investigations.

During the annual inspection of VDR systems, INMATECH verifies the system configuration, software version, performs external inspections, checks connections and damages, downloads and analyzes 12-hour recordings, checks the validity of batteries, verifies sensor data arrival and correctness, conducts a 2-hour operation of the VDR on standby power supply, and issues APT and COC certificates within 30 days.

Voyage Data Recorders record and store voyage data from various external sources, including GPS sensors for date, time, and position; speed relative to water or ground; vessel course from a gyrocompass; radar images or AIS data; sound from microphones; depth from a fishfinder; alarms from the ship's control system; access control from door sensors, etc. The recorded data is digitized and stored in a capsule that can be either free-floating or fixed on the vessel's roof. The capsule stores data for at least the last 12 hours.

Cargo vessels must be equipped with a VDR according to SOLAS regulations. The installation deadlines depend on the vessel's gross tonnage and construction date.