Dipartimento Politica Marittima - Ufficio Politica Navale



The Navies of the Republic of Albania, of the Republic of Croatia, of the Republic of Cyprus, of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, of the Hellenic Republic, of the State of Israel, of the Italian Republic, of the Portuguese Republic, of Romania, of the Republic of Turkey, of the United Kingdom, of the United States of America, the Ministry of Defence of the French Republic, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Malta, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Montenegro, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia, the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Spain

(hereafter called the Participants)

Having regard to the results of the 5th Regional Seapower Symposium for the Navies of the Mediterranean and Black Sea, held in Venice on 12-15 October 2004, which highlighted a common aspiration in enhancing security and a more efficacious protection of the maritime activities in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and their approaches;

Having regard to the pilot project presented by the Italian Navy as part of an overall integrated combined interagency strategy to enhance security in the regional maritime environment;

Noting the intense flow of maritime traffic in the Mediterranean and Black seas and adjacent areas;

Noting that maritime activities evolve into a wide range of situations, including uncontrolled traffics and widespread illegalities, which nourish instability and give rise to a breeding ground supporting terrorism and trans-national criminality;

Wishing for a strengthening of the regional maritime security;

Desiring to implement the arrangements to establish a VIRTUAL REGIONAL MARITIME TRAFFIC CENTRE (V-RMTC);

Have reached the following understanding:

Section 1
General Principles and System’s Organisation

Each Participant will supply the information in accordance with its capabilities, its laws and regulations and in accordance with maintaining the security of its state and of its assets. No classified information will be exchanged in the framework of the V-RMTC.

Via commercial Internet a network will be established to enhance a common recognized maritime picture among the designated Operational Headquarters of the Participants. At least during the first stage of the Project the Italian Navy Fleet Operational Headquarters (hereafter called HQ CINCNAV) will play the role of Data Fusion Centre. A commercial fax network will be available as a back-up system.

At a later date the Participants will consider the possibility of establishing a dedicated link.

A V-RMTC Steering Group, composed of one delegate from each Participant will be established. This Steering Group will periodically meet to review the progress of the programme. Italy as the leading nation will coordinate.

All Participants may propose amendments to this Operational Arrangement. Such proposals will be addressed to the Italian Navy who will submit them to the other Participants for unanimous consent.

 Section 2
Area of Interest

The area of interest covers the Mediterranean Sea, including the Atlantic approaches, the Black Sea and the Northern Red Sea approaches.

Section 3
Classes of the System’s Ships of Relevance - Ports of Interest

The data of interest to be exchanged may consist of information about arrival and departure from national ports of the Participants, as well as the position at sea of all merchant units, excluding, at least in the initial phase, military sealift units, ferry-boats, cargo units with less than 300 tons tonnage and fishing vessels with any tonnage.

At a later date the Participants will consider the possibility of decreasing the tonnage and opening the range of vessels of interest, contingent on the approval of the V–RMTC Steering Group.

Each Participant will provide HQ CINCNAV with the list of its commercial ports and Operational Headquarters which will be engaged in the Project, in order to draw up the software as provided in section 4 paragraph 2.

Section 4
System’s Technical Requirements

Each Participant will set up, at its own expense, a dedicated computer workstation for transmission and reception of the system’s reports at its designated Operational Headquarters and will provide the internet connection and a browser of its choice satisfying the system’s requirements.

The Italian Navy will provide, free of charge, the software for the data handling to all Participants in order to enhance a common recognized maritime picture. The Italian Navy will also organise dedicated training for the operators of the Participants.

Section 5
Format and Contents of the Exchange

The agreed upon language for this project will be English.

The reports are made available as soon as possible by each Participant’s Operational Headquarters in accordance with the established format consisting of data concerning maritime shipping as listed in section 3.

The following information will be available as a minimum:

Ship’s name;
International Call Sign;
IMO number;
Arrivals: port of arrival and arrival’s date in ZULU time - port of origin with departure’s date in ZULU time; or
Departures: port of origin with departure’s date in ZULU time - port of destination with the estimated ZULU time and date of arrival; or
Position: in Latitude and Longitude (if underway or at anchor).
The data exchange will be potentially in near-real-time and will be in accordance with the security procedures outlined in section 7.

Section 6
V-RMTC architecture

In order to optimise the project’s architecture, the establishment of V-RMTC Parent Fusion Centres (PFC), each to be based on multilateral or bilateral arrangements and coordinated by a designated Parent Nation, is a useful option. Data could be exchanged among the Parent Fusion Hubs and the main V-RMTC Hub (HQ CINCNAV).

The above mentioned Parent Fusion Centres will keep open the option of exchanging their own data with the whole V-RMTC community or making a bilateral dedicated exchange with the main Data Fusion Centre (HQ CINCNAV). The degree of bilateral data exchange between the V-RMTC community and each Parent Fusion Centre will depend on the consent of all Participants .

The specific Understandings relating to the Parent Fusion Centres’ organisation will be determined agreed separately by the respective adhering Navies.

Section 7

The data exchanged within the V-RMTC will be available to all the Participants. Each of the Participant will use these data for National Defence purposes only, under their own exclusive responsibility, taking into account that access to and handling of information contained in the V-RMTC data base will be confined to the designated Operational Headquarters of the Participants which will actively contribute to the data base.

No Participant will be held responsible for any missed transmission or inaccurate information.

The transmitting Participant will bear no responsibility for the use of information by the receiving Paricipant.

The V-RMTC Data Fusion Centre (HQ CINCNAV) will be in charge of monitoring the data exchange, liaise on with relevant Operational HQ and, in case of prolonged inactivity, inform the whole community.

Information contained in the V-RMTC data base will not be released to a third Country or Organisation, unless authorized by the entire V-RMTC community.

Each designated Operational Headquarters will strictly comply with the security policy and specifications attached as an Annex to this Operational Arrangement.

Section 8
New Adhering Navies

The present Operational Arrangement is open to any other Participant intending to join the V-RMTC community. The application to join the V-RMTC community will be addressed to the Italian Navy who will submit it to the other Participants for unanimous approval.
Any new Participant will accept all the provisions of this Operational Arrangement.

Section 9
Final Provisions

This Operational Arrangement, drawn up only in English language, will come into effect on the date of the last signature and it will remain in effect until all the Participants decide otherwise.

Any Participant may:

withdraw from this Operational Arrangement by providing a three months’ prior notice to the other Participants;

propose amendments to any of the provisions of this Operational Arrangement.

Any such amendment will come into effect when accepted in writing by all Participants.

Any dispute arising from the interpretation or application of this Operational Arrangement will only be settled by consultations among the Participants.

Signed in venice on 12th October 2006 in seventeen originals, in the english languag, one for each partcipant plus one master copy to be archieved by Italian Navy.

Venice, 12th October 2006