About Us



The Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) is a 501(c)(3) international non-profit scientific, professional and educational organization.  RTCM members are organizations (not individuals) that are both non-government and government.  Although started in 1947 as a U.S. government advisory committee, RTCM is now an independent organization supported by its members from all over the world.

We keep our members involved on regional and international maritime radio navigation and radio communication policy issues, regulatory changes, and technical standards development.

Our Special Committees provide a forum in which government and non-government members work together to develop technical standards and consensus recommendations in regard to issues of particular concern.

We are actively engaged in the development of international standards for maritime radio navigation and radio communication systems through our involvement in:

  • the International Maritime Organization (IMO)
  • Cospas-Sarsat
  • the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
  • the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI)
  • the International Loran Association (ILA)

 We also contribute to the relevant work of:

  • the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
  • the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)
  • the International Association of Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA)
  • the Comité International Radio-Maritime (CIRM)
  • the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA)
  • the Mobile Satellite Users Association (MSUA)


 RTCM has over 140 member organizations, including:

  • Manufacturers of radio navigation and radio communication systems,
  • Government agencies concerned with standards for maritime radio navigation and radio communication systems,
  • Government agencies and commercial entities involved in operation of maritime radio navigation and radio communication systems,
  • Associations with an interest in maritime radio navigation and radio communication systems and related public policy,
  • Ship owners and operators,
  • Educational institutions, and
  • Sales and service providers


The RTCM Annual Assembly Meeting and Conference, which is open to both RTCM members and non-members, is structured to provide attendees with an overall update on the changing world of maritime radio communications and radio navigation. The program includes a series of paper presentations, panel sessions, workshops, and RTCM Special Committee meetings dealing with issues of current concern to the maritime community. Other organizations such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA), the U.S. National GMDSS Implementation Task Force, and the NOAA SARSAT Beacon Manufacturers Workshop, also typically hold meetings in conjunction with the RTCM Assembly. All attendees are invited to participate in all sessions. Through the cooperation of RTCM members exhibitors, latest technology providing radio communications and radio navigation equipment capability capabilities and services are on display.


  • RTCM's 2024 Annual Assembly and Conference will be held in Atlantic Beach, Florida USA during the week of May 6-10, 2024.  
  • Please continue to check back on our website under the Meetings and Events Tab for details on how to register and for Session Details. 
  • If you are interested in presenting a paper or exhibiting please contact [email protected].  


 RTCM is chartered in the District of Columbia, USA, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit scientific and educational organization, focusing on all aspects of maritime radio communications, radio navigation, and related technologies. Founded in 1947 as a Federal Communications Commission advisory committee, it is now an independent non-profit membership organization. RTCM standards are incorporated by reference into U.S. Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Coast Guard regulations. They have been used as the basis for requirements in standards of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which are now mandatory under Chapters IV and V of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).

As part of the RTCM's 75th Anniversary Celebration, former President, Robert Markle presented "RTCM at 75" during the Annual Assembly and Conference held in Tampa, FL in May 2022.  Click the link below to see Bob's presentation on the history of RTCM.  Once viewing the presentation, you may click on the yellow speaker icon in the upper left corner to see Bob's detailed information with each slide.  

RTCM at 75


The Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services is a 501(c)(3).  If you would like to make a donation, you can donate to our organization via PayPal using the link below 

Donate to RTCM via PayPal:


 Thank you for your support!

Click Below to access the RTCM Interactive Guides:

GMDSS Interactive Guides