Posted on 12th May 2017
Out of almost 42,000 internationally trading vessels, over 60% are now ECDIS-ready: are you? If not, what’s holding you back? Are you unsure of the applicable regulations, or perhaps you have concerns about affordability? With the August ECDIS deadline now a stone’s throw away, we’re here to clear up your queries and give you everything you need to ensure compliance…it’s time to take action!
The compliance challenges associated with ECDIS are taking on greater prominence as the proportion of the global shipping fleet carrying ECDIS continues to grow (if you’ve already had ECDIS installed, our fool-proof guide to ensuring ECDIS compliance is a must-read.)
An important landmark was reached last year when the UKHO announced that half of all vessels subject to the SOLAS regulations on ECDIS carriage were ECDIS-ready, marking the first time that ECDIS-ready ships made up the majority of the global SOLAS fleet. Now, naturally this figure has grown, and the pressure is on for remaining vessels to take up ECDIS and get compliant in time for that all important August deadline.
We appreciate there’s a lot to remember when it comes to ECDIS regulations, but what are the key need-to-know facts? We’ll stick to the essentials…
Performance standards for electronic charts were adopted in 1995 and in 2000, IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), adopted a revised Chapter V (Safety of Navigation) of The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) which came into force on 1 July 2002.
Regulation 19 of the new Chapter V relates to carriage requirements for shipborne navigational systems and equipment and allows ECDIS to be accepted as meeting the chart carriage requirements of the regulation.
What does this all mean? Well, the latest regulation requires all ships, irrespective of size, to carry nautical charts and nautical publications to plan and display the ship’s route for the intended voyage and to plot and monitor positions throughout the voyage. In other words, you need ECDIS!
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the IMO’s sweeping changes to ECDIS Standards under IEC 61174, the Testing Standard for Type Approval of ECDIS, mean that ship owners must have ECDIS installed before August 2017. In the event of non-compliance, the implications are serious. A flag state inspection could lead to heavy fines, or even detention.
Don’t forget training too! Did you hear about the ship that was detained in Brisbane, due to the crew not being not adequately trained to use the ECDIS onboard? Read the full story and get further information about ECDIS training regulations here.
To lower navigational risk, performance standards for electronic charts were adopted in 1995, by IMO’s resolution A.817 (19), which was amended in 1996 by resolution MSC.64 (67) to reflect back-up arrangements in case of ECDIS failure.
Additional amendments were made in 1998 by resolution MSC 86 (70) to permit operation of ECDIS in Raster Chart Display Systems (RCDS) mode and if you’re looking for further information on using ECDIS in RCDS mode, then be sure to check out our all-encompassing ECDIS regulations guide.
Stripping it right down, the key information you need to know to ensure quick and easy compliance with the resolution, is that you must have a back-up arrangement in case ECDIS fails and installing a secondary ECDIS (known as a dual system) connected to an independent power supply and GPS position input will have you covered. It’s that easy!
One of the biggest concerns we’re hearing from potential customers today is the affordability of ECDIS – which is also the reason for many companies delaying their purchase until they have the money available. Unfortunately, this is not going to be an acceptable excuse upon inspection past the August deadline, but don’t panic! Help is at hand.
The iECDIS™ Compliance Package from Martek Marine is available on a hire-purchase agreement, meaning you can get your new system installed as quickly as possible, with zero initial capital outlay. There are no hidden fees or catches, and no ongoing maintenance costs.
Flexible payment solutions mean you can ensure your iECDIS™ is installed as soon as possible without waiting for your budget to allow for it. Implementing ECDIS really couldn’t be easier. Don’t you want to approach the deadline safe in the knowledge that you’re fully compliant? It’s time to stop burying your head in the sand and take action.
Market-leading iECDIS™ boasts top quality features such as; sophisticated new alarm functionality; unbeaten connection with VDRs; world-class integration with bridge equipment; quick and easy ENC updates; powerful and durable hardware. What’s more, iECDIS™ can be installed in just 2 days: important considering the August ECDIS deadline is almost upon us!
Buyers of the iECDIS™, benefit from 24/7 legendary customer support: Martek handle the whole process, from assistance specifying the right product to installation of it, providing ongoing after-sales support. Continual access to highly trained support staff, means that customers benefit from Martek’s ECDIS experts understanding of marine legislation, combined with vast experience, all of which will give you the foundations you need to feel confident and competent using ECDIS and gain that all important compliance in time!
Still got questions? Please call the Martek ECDIS experts today to find out more.