As navigational and safety communications from ship to shore and vice versa, from ship to ship, and on
board ship must be precise, simple and unambiguous so as to avoid confusion and error, there is a need
to standardize the language used.
Under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for
Seafarers, 1978, as revised in 1995, the ability to use and understand the IMO SMCP is required for the
certification of officers in charge of a navigational watch on ships of 500 gross tonnage or more.