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Make Sure Your Electronic Navigational Chart(NOAA ENC®) is Up-to-date

On July 1, 2012, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) amendment to Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Chapter V regulation 19.2 will enter into force. This amendment will require ships engaged on international voyages to be fitted with an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS).

Timetable for ECDIS Carriage Requirements
Ship Type Size New ship Existing ship
Passenger >=500 gross tons July 1, 2012 No later than 1st survey after July 1, 2014
Tanker >=3,000 gross tons July 1, 2012 No later than 1st survey after July 1, 2015
Dry Cargo

>=50,000 gross tons

>= 20,000 gross tons (new ships)
20-50,000 gross tones (existing ships)

>=10,000 gross tons (new ships)
10-20,000 gross tons (existing ships)

3-10,000 gross tons

July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013


July 1, 2013


July 1, 2014

No later than 1st survey after July 1, 2016

No later than 1st survey after July 1, 2017


No later than 1st survey after July 1, 2018


No retrofit requirements to existing ships <10.000 gross tons

IMO ECDIS performance standards (IMO MSC 232[82]) define ECDIS:

Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) means a navigation information system which, with adequate back up arrangements, can be accepted as complying with the up-to-date chart required by regulation V/19 and V/27 of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, by displaying selected information from a system electronic navigation chart (SENC) with positional information from navigation sensors to assist the mariner in route planning and route monitoring, and by displaying addition navigation related information as required.

To use ECDIS for paperless navigation, the ship’s bridge must have a type-approved ECDIS and carry the appropriate up-to-date Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC)1 for the voyage. 

Sources for U.S. ENCs
NOAA is the sole producer of ENCs for United States waters. Obtain these ENCs from the web, at http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/enc/index.htm. You can also obtain ENCs from a Certified ENC Distributor (CED) or Certified Value Added Distributor (CEVAD) for SENC distribution.

Updates for U.S. ENCs
NOAA updates its ENC suite each week. The updates contain information published in the Local Notice to Mariner and the Notice to Mariner. NOAA also issues new editions of the ENC when it has made significant changes to the coverage area, such as a new hydrographic survey, shoreline modification or channel alignment.
ENCs are available as base cells (New Editions) or as update patches. ENC listings are at http://www.charts.noaa.gov/ENCs/ENCsIndvDole.shtml


In this example, NOAA issued edition 9 of US1AK90M on 5/2/2011, and issued the last ENC update on 5/17/2011. However, NOAA has certified that there are no pending actions to the ENC as of the latest Local Notice Date available (8/2/2011) and the latest US Notice to Mariner Available (8/13/2011). Although there are no recent updates issued, this ENC is considered up-to-date.

August, 2011


1 NOAA ENC® is a vector database of chart features built to the IHO's S-57 standard. NOAA's Office of Coast Survey, as the U.S. national hydrographic office, is exclusively responsible for production and authorization of NOAA ENC® data in U.S. waters.
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