IMO ECDIS guidance for good practice

04 September 2015  |  C15029

The new guidance includes relevant guidance from seven previous IMO circulars in relation to ECDIS into a single, consolidated document aiming to assist smooth implementation of ECDIS and its ongoing safe and effective use on board ships.

NOTICE TO
Ship Owners / Managers / Operators  |  Flag Administrations  |  Masters  |  Deck Officers

ECDIS is a complex, safety-relevant, software-based system with multiple options for display and integration.  The ongoing safe and effective use of ECDIS involves many stakeholders including seafarers, equipment manufacturers, chart producers, hardware and software maintenance providers, shipowners and operators, and training providers.  It is important that all these stakeholders have a clear and common understanding of their roles and responsibilities in relation to ECDIS.

IMO has developed a single, consolidated document termed “ECDIS – Guidance for Good Practice” encouraging ship operators, masters and deck officers on ECDIS-fitted ships to use this guidance to improve their understanding and facilitate safe and effective use of the equipment.

The guidance has been adopted by IMO through MSC.1/Circ.1503 on July 24, 2015 and the full document can be found here.

The guidance has been laid out in seven sections, namely:

  1. Chart carriage requirement of SOLAS
  2. Maintenance of ECDIS software
  3. Operating anomalies identified within ECDIS
  4. Differences between raster chart display system (RCDS) and ECDIS
  5. ECDIS training
  6. Transitioning from paper chart to ECDIS navigation
  7. Guidance on training and assessment in the operational use of ECDIS simulators

Although the new guidance replaces seven IMO ECDIS-related circulars, there remain several other IMO circulars that also address ECDIS matters to varying degree and reference should also be made to these circulars where necessary.  The seven IMO ECDIS-related circulars that have been replaced are MSC.1/Circ.1391, SN.1/Circ.207/Rev.1, SN.1/Circ.266/Rev.1, SN.1/Circ.276, SN.1/Circ.312, STCW.7/Circ.10 and STCW.7/Circ.18.

 

applicability

ECDIS was mandated for carriage by High-Speed Craft (HSC) as early as July 1, 2008.  Subsequently, the mandatory carriage of ECDIS for ships other than HSC (depending on the ship type, size and construction date, as required by SOLAS regulation V/19.2.10) commenced in a phased manner from July 1, 2012 onwards.  For the overall applicability of ECDIS refer to the table below, already presented through Dromon Circular C15010 – download here.

 

Ship Type Gross Tonnage New Ships(Keel laying date) Existing Ships(Not New Ships)
Passenger Ships Greater than 500 July 1, 2012 Not later than the first survey* on or after July 1, 2014
Tankers Greater than 3,000 July 1, 2012 Not later than the first survey* on or after July 1, 2015
Others Greater than 50,000 July 1, 2013 Not later than the first survey* on or after July 1, 2016
Greater than 20,000 but less than 50,000 July 1, 2013 Not later than the first survey* on or after July 1, 2017
Greater than 10,000 but less than 20,000 July 1, 2013 Not later than the first survey* on or after July 1, 2018
Greater than 3,000 but less than 10,000 July 1, 2014 There is no necessity for retrofitting to existing ships of gross tonnage less than 10,000
*The first survey means the first annual, periodical or renewal survey, whichever comes first after the date indicated.  For passenger ships, this survey is the first passenger ship safety survey.  For cargo ships (i.e. tankers and others), this survey is the first cargo ship safety or cargo ship safety equipment survey.

 

act now

Ship operators, masters and deck officers on ECDIS-fitted ships are encouraged to use this guidance to improve their understanding and facilitate safe and effective use of ECDIS.

With respect to the retrofitting requirements of ECDIS onboard existing ships, Managers / Owners shall refer to Dromon Circular C15010 found here.

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