IMO MSC Approves Mandatory ECDIS - 11/12/2008
During the 85th session of IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), the proposal to make mandatory the carriage of ECDIS on SOLAS vessels from 2012 was approved. The proposal contained amendments to SOLAS regulation V/19 to make the carriage of Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) under SOLAS chapter V Safety of Navigation mandatory as proposed by NAV 54.
The MSC has considered issues arising from the reports of Sub-Committees and other bodies, including:
- a number of proposals on ships' routeing, ship reporting and other relevant measures all aimed at enhancing the safety of navigation in areas of identified navigational hazards and environmentally sensitive sea areas, which have been approved by the Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV 54);
- draft amendments to SOLAS regulation V/19 to make mandatory the carriage of Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) and Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System (BNWAS), under SOLAS chapter V Safety of Navigation, agreed at NAV 54 in July, submitted for approval, with a view to adoption by MSC 86 in May 2009;
- a draft strategy for the development and implementation of e-navigation, including a draft framework for the implementation process for the e-navigation strategy along with a timeframe, submitted for approval.
The matter will be pending until adoption during the 86th Meeting of MCS. This meeting will be held
from 26th May to 5th June 2009.
In addition to national and international rules, regulations, the IMO model course and performance standards, the IHO has published an online publication Facts about electronic charts and carriage requirements.
Another useful source of information on ECDIS is The Electronic Chart, 2nd edition, by Hecht, Berking, Büttgenbach, Jonas and Alexander (2006). This book describes the basic components, functionality and capabilities and limitations of ECDIS.
Reference should also be made to other Safety of Navigation Circulars (SN/Circs) issued by the Organization, in particular, SN/Circ.207/Rev.1 on Differences between RCDS and ECDIS; SN/Circ. 213 on Guidance on chart datums and the accuracy of positions on charts; SN/Circ.255 on Additional guidance on chart datums and the accuracy of positions on charts; and SN/Circ.266 on Maintenance of Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) software. These and other IMO guidance material can be downloaded from the IMO website.
Shipowners and operators should always refer to their national Administrations for the
latest information on ECDIS carriage and use.
Last updated: 11/12/2008