According to the ECDIS Guidance for Good Practice, it is important where an ECDIS is being used to meet the chart carriage requirements of SOLAS and also to be maintained so as to be compatible with the latest applicable International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) standards.
U.S. vessel owners/operators were encouraged to follow this guidance until end of August, before the commencement of CICs on navigation. However, these U.S. vessel owners/operators that have not met the recommended ECDIS IHO standards by Aug. 31, 2017 may wish to take the following steps when engaging on international voyages:
- Obtain and retain written confirmation which includes the intended service date to meet IHO standards from the respective ECDIS manufacturer and/or servicing company.
- Obtain and retain up-to-date nautical paper charts.
- If paper nautical charts are used, ensure navigation officers are fully competent in their use.
- Ensure ample advance notice of the situation is given to the Country’s Port State Control being visited.
In addition, for foreign flag vessels arriving into U.S. ports, vessel owners/operators must ensure they are in compliance with the aforementioned SOLAS Chapter V, Regulation 19.2.10 and Regulation 27.
It is also recommended that they are familiar with the guidance found in MSC.1/Circ.1503/Rev.1 – ECDIS Guidance for Good Practice.
USCG Port State Control Officers may verify compliance with SOLAS Chapter V: Safety of navigation, including functionality and operational requirements to ensure the vessel is navigating safely.
If there are any disparities with ECDIS equipment/software, the vessel’s master is encouraged to present the port state control officer with proper documentation from the respective flag Administration, equipment manufacturer and/or technical servicing company, USCG says.