Return to IMO Regulations

IEC 62616 – Scope

IMO (International Maritime Organization) Regulations

IEC 62616: Bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS)


This International Standard specifies the minimum performance requirements, technical characteristics and methods of testing, and required test results, for a bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS) as required by Chapter V of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), as amended. It takes account of the general requirements given in IMO resolution A.694(17) and is associated with IEC 60945. When a requirement in this standard is different from IEC 60945, the requirement in this standard takes precedence.

This standard incorporates the applicable parts of the performance standards included in IMO resolution MSC.128(75).

The purpose of a bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS) is to monitor bridge activity and detect operator disability which could lead to marine accidents. The system monitors the awareness of the Officer of the Watch (00W) and automatically alerts the Master or another qualified 00W if for any reason the 00W becomes incapable of performing the OOW’s duties. This purpose is achieved by a series of indications and alarms to alert first the 00W and, if he is not responding, then to alert the Master or another qualified 00W. Additionally, the BNWAS may provide the 00W with a means of calling for immediate assistance if required. The BNWAS should be operational whenever the ship’s heading or track control system is engaged, unless inhibited by the Master.