1 - Introduction
1.1 The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974 (1974 SOLAS Convention), chapter V (Safety of Navigation), as amended, regulation 5 (Meteorological services and warnings), states:
"2 In particular, Contracting Governments undertake to carry out, in cooperation, the following meteorological arrangements:
.10 To endeavour to obtain a uniform procedure in regard to the international meteorological services already specified, and, as far as is practicable, to conform to the Technical Regulations and recommendations made by the World Meteorological Organization, to which the Contracting Governments may refer for study and advice any meteorological question which may arise in carrying out the present Convention."
1.2Resolution A.705(17), as amended, on the promulgation of maritime safety information, sets out the organization, standards and methods which should be used for the promulgation and reception of maritime safety information, including navigational and meteorological warnings, meteorological forecasts and other urgent safety-related messages broadcast to ships, as documented in the 1974 SOLAS Convention. The WMO Executive Council, at its sixty-first session (June 2009), requested WMO to establish and develop, in collaboration with IMO, terms of reference for the development of an IMO/WMO Worldwide Met-Ocean Information and Warning Service Guidance document (WWMIWS), to complement the existing IMO/IHO World-wide Navigational Warning Services Guidance document (WWNWS), provided in resolution A.706(17), as amended. In this context, this document is intended to provide specific guidance for the promulgation of internationally coordinated meteorological information, forecast and warnings services, which does not apply to purely national services.
1.3 The regulatory framework for the provision of marine meteorological services within the new WMO GMDSS Marine Broadcast System was developed from Recommendation 3 (CMM-XI) in 1993, endorsed by the WMO Executive Council at its forty-fourth session. This new system reflects the evolution since the advent of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), as adopted by the Conference of Contracting Governments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention on the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System in November 1988, effective on 1 February 1992. The WMO GMDSS Marine Broadcast System is an integral part of the WWMIWS.
1.4 Future amendments to this guidance document will be considered formally and approved by both WMO and IMO in accordance with the procedure set out in section 7. Proposed amendments should be evaluated by the Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) Expert Team on Maritime Safety Services, which includes an ex-officio representative of the IMO Secretariat, prior to any extensive WMO and IMO consideration.