Improper testing of GMDSS

I know of a couple of vessels, one in particular that does an All Ships broadcast on their MF/HF DSC for a daily test. This has been going on for over a year at least. So every vessel that has GMDSS within a thousand miles has to silence their test. They have become a nuisance for hundreds of people on a regular basis.
STCW B-VIII, 17.2 "the distress and safety radio equipment by means of a test at least once each day but [B][U]without radiating any signal[/U][/B]l."
As far as STCW B-VIII, 17.1 (for weekly test transmissions) you can refer to ITU-R M.541-8, Annex 3 part 5; "Testing on the exclusive DSC and safety calling frequency 2187.5 KHz should be avoided as far as possible by using other methods.

“Test calls should be transmitted by the ship and acknowledged by the called coast station…”

The easiest way I’ve found is to do a DSC to a specific vessel, letting them know ahead of time, so you can verify functionality of the system. The other vessel can do the same in return and both ships will have verified their system for a weekly test.

Anyway if every boat did an All Ships call for a daily or even weekly test our equipment would probably explode along with our heads.
A daily test can be conducted by the Self Check or Self Test or Self Diagnostic function on the system.

Have you tried calling them or faxing over a copy of the regulation with “without radiating any signall.” underlined?

You should be able to take their MMSI number and look it up in the ITU publication (or under INMARSAT LOOKUP in our GMDSS Tools Section).

Might be worth a try for the sake of everyone’s sanity.


I’m a new seafarer. I was kinda confused a little regarding this mf/hf dsc routine call thing.

So basically, what I would like to ask is:
for the weekly live test call for mf/hf dsc, we are supposed to do a dsc routine call to the nearest coast station.
Does this test refers to the DSC safety test call to the coast station, or does this refers to an actual dsc call (category: routine) to the coast station.

We are currently in Amsterdam and the nearest coast station is in Den helder (JRCC) Netherlands coast guard. I did a DSC safety test call to them but got no acknowledgement.

I hope someone can enlighten me on what to do?

Thanks in advance.

For weekly tests… Are we supposed to do the safety test call to the nearest coast station? or, do a live call : DSC routine call via 2187.5kHz?

Im a little confused, we are currently in Amsterdam and I have been doing the safety test call to the Netherlands Coast guard (Den Helder JRCC) and they do not acknowledge.