Expert Team on Maritime Safety (ET-MS)


Mr Nicholas Hughes - Vice-chair- ( Norway )
Yun Lu - Vice-chair- ( China )
Dr Anne Wiese - Core member- ( Germany )
Mr Keiji Hamada - Core member- ( Japan )
Mr Scott Weese - Core member- ( Canada )
Mr Thomas Biney - Core member- ( Ghana )
Ms Elizabeth Coleman - Core member- ( Ireland )

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Terms of Reference

Expert Team on Maritime Safety (ET-MS)
The Expert Team on Maritime Safety (ET-MS) serves to strengthen the interface between meteorological and oceanographic forecasting and users of these services. It is responsible for providing the technical expertise and advice to the WMO, and for assisting Members with marine meteorological and oceanographic forecasting to benefit the users of these services.
Terms of Reference
The ET-MS – as a team within SC-MMO, reporting to WMO – shall, through the WMO, work in close collaboration with counterpart technical bodies reporting to WMO’s partners such as the IMO and IHO. It is expected that the ET-MS provide advice to WMO for further dialogue and partnerships with WMO partners such as international organizations and other entities representing users’ interests, including the IMO, IHO, IOC, ICS, IMSO, IALA, IUMI and other concerned organizations and bodies on maritime safety, including the GMDSS. The ET-MS shall:
1. In support of marine meteorological forecasting (including extreme maritime weather, waves, sea ice and icebergs), oceanographic forecasting:

a. With the concurrence of the SC-MMO Chair and Vice-Chairs, establish task teams and demonstration projects, as appropriate, to undertake the work of the expert team.
b. Develop enhanced guidance on marine weather and oceanographic forecasts, warnings, and services, with a particular focus on extreme maritime weather;
c. Develop enhanced guidance on wave forecasts beyond wave height and sea state ranges (e.g., wave and swell height and direction, wave steepness, and rogue wave probabilities, etc.) in conjunction with IMO and the GMDSS/WWMIWS;
d. Conduct revision of Manuals and Guides for marine weather, waves, sea ice and icebergs (e.g WMO Nos. 471, 558, 584, 702, etc);
e. Coordinate and advise Members on products and services required by user communities in sea and lake ice areas, to support navigation, coastal and offshore activities, monitoring of the sea ice cover;
f. Develop technical advice and guidance material, software exchange, specialized training and other appropriate capacity-building activities with regard to sea ice observations, analysis and services, and provide assistance to Members as required;
g. Develop, coordinate feedback and coordinate version control on the IHO registries associated with marine weather alerts, observations, and forecasting.
h. Develop, in coordination with the International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG), and in accordance with existing standards (e.g., from IHO), graphical/numerical product specifications for floating ice (sea ice, glacier ice, lake and river ice) parameters in Electronic Navigation Chart Systems (ENCs);
i. Maintain and develop formats, nomenclatures and procedures for ice data and information exchange as well as relevant terminology, coding and mapping standards;
j. Keep under review and provide guidance as appropriate on the operations of the Global Digital Sea Ice Data Bank (GDSIDB);
k. Ensure effective coordination and cooperation on marine service provision topics to inform WMO’s discussions with the IMO and IHO;
l. Develop and enhance interfaces with representative user groups to monitor the strengths and weaknesses of existing meteorological and oceanographic services;
m. Support efforts by the Expert Team on MetOcean Requirements (ET-MOR) to review MetOcean requirements using the WMO Rolling Review of Requirements (RRR) process defined by the Manual on the Global Observing System (WMO-No. 544);
n. Maintain linkages with INFCOM expert teams [and IOC GOOS ETOOFS] and SC-DRR on relevant ice observing, modelling, and forecasting techniques;
o. Collaborate as needed with the WMO INFCOM Standing Committee on Data Processing for Applied Earth System Modelling and Prediction (SC-ESMP), the International Oceanographic Commission’s (IOC) Global Ocean Observing System Expert Team on Operational Ocean Forecasting Systems (GOOS-ETOOFS) and other relevant expert bodies/groups on ocean observations and forecasting in order to ensure user requirements for maritime safety forecasts and services are well understood;
p. Commence addressing the key recommendations from the WMO-IMO Symposium via the Standing Committee for Marine Meteorology and Oceanographic Services (SC-MMO) to prioritize these recommended actions, in partnership with the IMO, IOC and other relevant stakeholders as soon as possible;
q. In consultation with the IMO and in view of recommendations of the SC-MMO and WMO EC-72, prepare for a follow-on WMO-IMO Symposium as soon as is practical, to build on the important dialogues between the metocean and maritime communities, and to continue to progress on the recommendations outlined in the first Symposium Report.

2. In support of the National Marine Services Focal Points and Regional Associations:

a. Support the activities of the WMO to coordinate with focal points on matters relating to meteorological information and warnings within national waters and in the context of regions;
b. Identify regional marine service-related issues, needs and gaps that should be considered in WMO Marine Services action plans;
c. Assist the WMO Secretariat in fostering a liaison between Regional Associations and national focal points and national bodies that have responsibility for maritime safety, marine communications, port authorities, and other relevant maritime responsibilities on effective provision and/or use of marine services;

3. In support of Marine Climatology:

a. Enhance participation with the SC-CLI, to facilitate enhanced interaction between marine meteorologists and oceanographers to pursue to development of increasingly relevant integrated climate products and services;
b. Maintain linkages with projects and programmes related to the role of sea ice in the global climate system, including through the WCRP and the Global Cryosphere Watch;


The term of this Expert Team will be until the first SERCOM Session after Congress-19 (2023).
Partnerships: IMO, IHO, IMSO, ICS, SC-CLI, and SG-CRYO

ET-MS is responsible for the following publications:
• WMO 558 Manual MMS, 2018
• WMO 471 Guide MMS, 2018
• WMO 574 Guide Sea Ice information and services
• WMO TD 1215 Ice chart colour code standard
• WMO 259 Sea-Ice Nomenclature
• Various international codes for e-nav (S-411, S-412 etc)

ET-MS contributes to the following publications:
• WMO No. 485 GDPFS Manual: RSMC-MMS (led by INFCOM SC-ESMP)

The Chair Responsibilities are described at

The Expert Team will be supported by the Marine Services Division – the role of which is described at

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