February 26, 2013

ECDIS Now A legal Requirement For All Ships

This is a guest post from Nick Purcell, Marketing Manager at ECDIS-Info.com 

The shipping industry is highly dependent on vessels getting to their arrival destination safely. Navigation is perhaps the most important part of operating a boat. Having a well trained crew can make all the difference when it comes to staying safe and saving time. There are also several legal requirements to consider when it comes to owning and operating a boat. So if you operate a boat then make sure you understand how to navigate properly and abide by the laws of the sea. ECDIS is now a legal requirement for all ships, read on to find out why.

What is an ECDIS?

ECDIS is short for Electronic Chart Display and Information System. If you own or work on any kind of ship then you need to know about it, as it is now a legal requirement for all ships.

If you work in this industry you will have come across an organisation called the IMO, which stands for International Maritime Organisation. They specialise in the safety of international ships and work to reduce pollution caused by ships. The ECDIS complies with IMO regulations.

In the past, people have used paper navigation charts to help them chart their course. However, the ECDIS eliminates this requirement by providing a hi-tech electronic version. This clever devices utilises real time information in order to pinpoint a ship's location. It can also help to avoid potential hazards, land and show objects within the vicinity of the area. The ECDIS locates your position using a combination of GPS, automatic identification systems (AIS), fathometer and radar. It offers an automated decision aid and electronic navigational charts. Its main purpose is to help mariners with planning and monitoring routes.

Electronic Chart Display and Information System's are now expected to be installed on all new build ships, with keels laid either on or after 1st July 2012.

Who Has To Have It?

All ships have to have an ECDIS, no matter what size they are. It is now a legal requirement.

What Are Nautical Charts?

If you are new to the seas and are unclear on what a nautical chart is, they are maps made to help people navigate at sea and they can be in paper or electronic form. They do this by displaying information about the depth of waters, potential dangers, elevations and ways of improving navigation. They must be carried on board all ships to comply with the latest safety regulations.

The Legal stuff

In 2009, the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee approved new regulations for the mandatory carriage requirements of ECDIS.

2.1 All ships irrespective of size shall have:

2.1.4 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; an Electronic Chart Display and

Information System (ECDIS) may be accepted as meeting the chart

carriage requirements of this subparagraph

As mentioned above, all ships have to have one. The only exceptions are if your vessel has been permanently taken out of service and cargo ships on international voyages but below the agreed tonnage limit.



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