June 2, 2017
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued two new Marine Notices relating to official nautical charts and guidance on ECDIS for ships calling at Australian ports.
You can view both Marine Notices here.
Marine Notice 6/2017 relates specifically to the use of unofficial paper and electronic nautical charts on board ships for passage planning and navigation. Unofficial paper charts include:
Photocopies, facsimiles or imitations of official paper charts
Large format commercial printed copies of scanned ENC, and
Paper charts ‘assembled’ by printing several small portions of a Raster Navigational Chart (RNC)
AMSA’s port State control regime records deficiencies against ships that use unofficial nautical charts and can also detain such ships and those that amend their original voyage plans whilst enroute to an Australian port (and don’t use the required official charts for the amended plan).
Once in use, unofficial ENCs are likely to not contain the zones of confidence/CATZOC data quality information layer with a strong tendency to make any poorly charted areas look better than they are, and cause an on-screen alert “Unofficial Data” on the ECDIS (unencrypted ENC trigger this as well).
Marine Notice 7/2017 focuses on guidance on ECDIS for vessels calling at Australian ports, and relates to the IMO mandatory carriage of ECDIS regulations that complete in 2018. The Marine Notice highlights areas relevant to the safe and proper operation of ECDIS for ships visiting Australian ports. It also provides information on AMSA’s expectations for ECDIS compliance during port State control (PSC) inspections.