On 1 July, new mandatory IMO requirements for Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems, ECDIS entered in force, something which the International Chamber of Shipping has long supported provided that sufficient electronic navigation chart availability could be met before the phased-in carriage requirements first become effective.
Says ICS “Disturbingly it has become apparent that not all ECDIS systems may be fully effective, with the International Hydrographic Organization, IHO, advising that some systems have reportedly failed to display significant underwater features in the ‘Standard’ display mode, necessitating the continued use of paper charts”.
ICS Director Marine, John Murray says: “ICS welcomes IMO’s recognition of the problem and its development of a circular providing advice on the issue to mariners, with a meeting with ECDIS manufacturers planned for September that will hopefully get to the root of this serious problem. But in view of the potential danger presented by ECDIS operating anomalies, ICS will continue to monitor the situation very closely.”
There is also a workshop in October to be organised by IHO and hosted by IMO. The workshop will further consider this matter and in particular the long term safety aspects of ECDIS and other software based navigational systems.