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Public Use of Nautical Charts

Do you need permission to use nautical chart images for personal use or commercial products?

NOAA’s nautical charts are in the public domain, so you may use them for any purpose (with two exceptions*), free of charge.

We request a citation, but we do not require it. The preferred format for citation: “Provided by NOAA Office of Coast Survey, nauticalcharts.noaa.gov.”

For more information, check U.S. Government Works

*Chart use exceptions:

  1. Paper charts that fulfill chart carriage requirements for regulated commercial vessels under Titles 33 and 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations must be purchased from NOAA-certified vendors.

  2. Commercial printers must be certified by NOAA to sell navigational charts and publications that are “published by the National Ocean Service.” If you would like to obtain NOAA certification for paper chart production, please contact us.
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