By using this website and the NOAA Electronic Navigational Charts (NOAA ENC®) distributed here, you acknowledge that you have read, understood, and accepted the terms and conditions stated in this User Agreement. NOAA reserves the right to change this Agreement at any time and without notice. Your use of this website and/or the Electronic Navigational Charts available here shall constitute your agreement to be bound by any this Agreement and any changes.
Description of a NOAA ENC®
The NOAA ENCs distributed here are a geo-referenced database(s) of NOAA nautical chart features and their attributes, published by NOAA in the format of the International Hydrographic Organization S-57 Standard, "IHO Transfer Standard for Digital Hydrographic Data." NOAA updates the ENCs for Notice to Mariners on a weekly basis (timing of their availability is not guaranteed). NOAA ENCs are an official product of NOAA.
The NOAA ENC® files are intended for navigational use. They are intended to be used in their electronic form only. You may download, use, and redistribute them without restriction, and without payment to NOAA, except as noted herein. They may be used to meet federal chart carriage regulations published in the Code of Federal Regulations. On November 15, 2005, the regulations were as stated below. These regulations may change, and mariners are advised to check the Code of Federal Regulations for their current status.
On May 2, 2001, the United States Coast Guard amended the United States chart carriage regulations to permit government vessels to use electronic charting and navigation systems in lieu of paper charts.
On July 1, 2002, the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) amendments to chapter V of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) became effective after being accepted by the Contracting Governments to SOLAS (Jan 2002) and the IMOs Maritime Safety Committee (Dec 2000). These amendments, in part, allowed an electronic chart display system (ECDIS) using ENCs to be accepted as meeting chart carriage requirements of SOLAS Chapter V.
On August 15, 2002, the United States Coast Guard issued a statement of policy to bring its regulations into agreement with SOLAS Chapter V (as amended by the changes taking effect July 1, 2002). The policy statement said that, if a ship has an approved ECDIS using official ENCs and installed according to SOLAS, Chapter V, the ECDIS will be considered as meeting the ship's nautical chart carriage regulations. The ships that are affected are:
U.S.-flagged ships of 150 or more gross tons that engage on international voyages.
U.S.-flagged ships certificated solely for service on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
Foreign-flag ships to which SOLAS, Chapter V, applies that are operating on the navigable waters of the United States.
This policy is not applicable to U.S.-flag ships engaged only on domestic voyages. These ships must continue to comply with existing navigation equipment requirements until the chart carriage regulations are formally amended.
Limitations on Use
NOAA ENC® data used by the party downloading them are official and meet federal chart carriage regulations as explained herein. NOAA ENC® files may be redistributed, but redistributed ENCs are NOT considered an official NOAA ENC®, and do not meet federal chart carriage regulations for regulated vessels unless redistributed by a "Certified NOAA ENC® Distributor" or by a "Certified NOAA ENC® Value Added Distributor". Click here for further information on ENC Distributorships.
Copying of the NOAA ENC® files to any other server or location for further distribution is discouraged unless the following guidelines are followed:
If these NOAA ENC® files are incorporated into any other product in a form other than as provided by NOAA, the producer of that product assumes full liability.
Weekly updates to the ENCs are done on a "best efforts" basis. The timing of their availability is not guaranteed. You are responsible for ensuring that your ENCs are the most current edition and that the most recent updates have been applied.
While NOAA has accuracy standards for each step in the data collection and chart production process, much of the depth information found on NOAA charts is based on surveys conducted before 1940, the shoreline is more than 20 years old, and paper charts used to be compiled manually. Click here for more information regarding the accuracy of electronic charts.
Trademarks and Copyright
"NOAA®" and the NOAA® emblem are registered trademarks of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
NOAA ENC® is a registered trademark of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Clicking the link below signifies acknowledgement of having read and agree the above statement and the wish to proceed to the NOAA ENC® Downloads section.
Explanations of Download Section Column Headings
The image icon is provided as a simple reference to an NOAA ENC®'s general outline. Clicking on it creates a new window with a larger image and dates when the cell was cleared for Notice to Mariners corrections.
This is the NOAA chart number for the paper chart that corresponds to the location of the NOAA ENC®.
This is the title of the NOAA paper chart that corresponds to the location of the NOAA ENC®.
Stands for Edition Number. The edition number represents the number of Base cells that have been released since that cell was first made available for download. A "new" Base cell is produced when significant or numerous changes are made to an ENC.
Update Application Date
Is the date when a ENC Base cell became available for download. The filename extension for a Base cell is always 000.
Is the date that an Update Patch is made available. Update Patches can be made available many times during the edition life of an ENC. An Update Patch only contains the cartographic data associated with the critical change, and must be applied to the Base Cell. The filename extension for an Update Patch is the number of the update, e.g., 001, 002, etc. These numbers are sequential and without omission. The update sequence is not interrupted by a Reissue Cell.
The name of the NOAA ENC® cell is shown in this column. This corresponds to the name of the compressed file that contains the NOAA ENC®.
Clicking on the checkbox selects the NOAA ENC® for download. A "Review Selections" section follows the select process. When the "Download Selected NOAA ENC®s" button is pressed all of the selected NOAA ENC®s are placed into a new archive file for download. This archive file has a randomly generated name.
These cells are made available when there are many Update Patches available for an ENC. A Reissue Cell does not contain new cartographic changes. The Issue Date is the date that a Reissue Cell is available for download. A Reissue Cell is the currently available Base Cell with all the currently available Update Patches applied to it. The filename extension for a Reissue Cell is 000.
ENC Cell Naming Convention
ENC cells are 8 characters long (i.e., US3CA70M)
The 1st and 2nd fields are filled with the country or producer code.
The 3rd field is filled with the navigation purpose. The U.S. has five classifications.
# 1 is for overview charts with scales ranging from 1:1,500,001 or smaller
# 2 is for general charts with scales ranging from 1:600,001 - 1:1,500,000
# 3 is for coastal charts with scales ranging from 1:150,001 - 1:600,000
# 4 is for approach charts with scales ranging from 1:50,001 - 1:150,000
# 5 is for harbour charts with scales ranging from 1:50,000 or larger
The 4th and 5th fields are filled in the U.S. with the state, territory or region abbreviation.
The 6th and 7th fields are filled with an arbitrary number or letter.
The 8th is filled with the chart's unit of measurement. "M' is for metric.