Is your ECDIS compliant?


By 31 August 2017 ECDIS must be upgraded to comply with the new IHO standards.

ECDIS Implementation

As you may be aware, under the IMO Resolution MSC.282(86) ECDIS is now a mandatory carriage requirement and since 2012 there has been a gradual implementation based on the vessel type. Those vessels still to fit ECDIS are: 

  • Cargo ships of 20,000 to 50,000 GT constructed before 1 July 2013, not later than the first annual survey on or after 1 July 2017
  • Cargo ships of 10,000 to 20,000 GT constructed before 1 July 2013, not later than the first annual survey on or after 1 July 2018

ECDIS Performance Standard

A further consideration is that unlike all other navigation equipment which is only required to meet the IMO performance standards at the time of installation, ECDIS is required to meet the current performance standards regardless of when it was installed and new performance standards (IMO MSC 1.Circ 1503) come into force on 1st September this year. This applies to any vessel using ECDIS as their primary means of navigation (whether mandatory or not) and in most cases this will require older systems to either have their software upgraded, or in some cases, the unit to be replaced.

Approved ECDIS Backup

Whilst only one ECDIS is a mandatory carriage requirement, doing so will still require the vessel to carry a full folio of paper charts as a backup, but if an approved electronic backup system (in effect a second ECDIS) is fitted, the vessel can operate with a very limited folio of paper charts and in some instances, none at all. Although there is no mandatory carriage requirement for cargo ships under 10,000 GT a ship can voluntarily fit ECDIS and if it is a dual system can also have the benefits of reduced paper chart carriage. However, in all cases, for reduced paper chart carriage, the two systems must be fully independent (separate sensor feeds and power supplies) and in some instances where two ECDIS are fitted which meet the new performance standards, they may not meet the backup requirement and so a full folio of charts will still be required unless the system is also upgraded. 

Points to Consider

  • Do I need to fit an ECDIS, or replace my existing one?
  • Does my ECDIS meet the latest performance standard?
  • Are my ECDIS and backup system fully independent?  


Contact us on +44 (0) 8455 049 159 or e-mail to find out more information.  



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