18 December 2017 | C17053
The new guidance includes relevant procedures into a single, consolidated document from several previous IMO circulars aiming to assist smooth implementation of ECDIS and its ongoing safe and effective use on board ships.
Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators | Flag Administrations | Surveyors
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.
The 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 revised by IMO through MSC.1/Circ.1503/Rev.1 and the full document can be found here.
The guidance is laid out in seven sections, namely:
- Chart carriage requirement of SOLAS
- Maintenance of ECDIS software
- Operating anomalies identified within ECDIS
- Differences between raster chart display system (RCDS) and ECDIS
- ECDIS training
- Transitioning from paper chart to ECDIS navigation
- Guidance on training and assessment in the operational use of ECDIS simulators
Although the guidance replaces several 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 The IMO ECDIS-related circulars that have been revoked are MSC.1/Circ.1391, MSC.1/Circ.1503 and Corrigenda 1, SN.1/Circ.207/Rev.1, SN.1/Circ.266/Rev.1, SN.1/Circ.276, SN.1/Circ.312, STCW.7/Circ.10 and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.
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 01/07/2012 onwards.
For the overall applicability of ECDIS refer to the table below.
|Gross Tonnage||New Ships
(Keel laying date)
Existing ships (Not New Ships)
|Passenger Ships||Greater than 500||July 01, 2012||Not later than the first survey* on or after July 1, 2014|
|Tankers||Greater than 3,000||July 01, 2012||Not later than the first survey* on or after July 1, 2015|
|Others||Greater than 50,000||July 01, 2013||Not later than the first survey* on or after July 1, 2016|
|Greater than 20,000 but
less than 50,000
|July 01, 2013||Not later than the first survey* on or after July 1, 2017|
|Greater than 10,000 but
less than 20,000
|July 01, 2013||Not later than the first survey* on or after July 1, 2018|
|Greater than 3,000 but
less than 10,000
|July 01, 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.|
Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators of ECDIS-fitted ships are encouraged to use this guidance to improve their understanding and facilitate safe and effective use of the equipment on board.
With respect to the retrofitting requirements of ECDIS onboard existing ships, Managers / Owners shall refer to Dromon Circular C15010 found here.
For further information, please contact our Marine Division at firstname.lastname@example.org