Australian PSC inspectors increased focus on ECDIS compliance with SOLAS requirements

According with AMSA marine notice 7/2012, guidance for the compliance of ECDIS according SOLAS was published. Also a flow chart is available to help ship managers to perform self evaluation. Finally as ECDIS requirements will come in to force 1st July 2012, for some types of vessels, PSC inspectors will focus on their SOLAS compliance. We recommend to use this guidance as compliance check not only for Australian ports.

Description of the requirement

Below are key points of AMSA marine notice regarding SOLAS compliance for ECDIS:

*AMSA considers the following will meet the back-up requirements for ECDIS:

i) an independent, fully compliant second ECDIS unit, connected to ship’s main and emergency power supply and connected to systems providing continuous position fixing capability; or
ii) adequate and up to date paper charts (including relevant large scale charts) necessary for the intended voyage.

*Also ECDIS must be type approved.

*ECDIS software that is not updated up to the latest IHO standards may not meet the SOLAS requirements. This link provides a list of the latest standards that apply.

*IHO has produced an ECDIS Data Presentation and Performance Check dataset that allows mariners to check some important aspects of the operation of their ECDIS. IHO check data set and accompanying instructions can be downloaded from this link.

*The Manila Amendments to the STCW Code entered in to force from 1st January 2012. This will make ECDIS training mandatory from 1 July 2013 for all officers serving on board ECDIS fitted ships.

*An alternative mode, known as Raster Chart Display System (RCDS) mode, can only be used if there are
no suitable ENCs available for the area being navigated.

In the following link you can find application dates for ECDIS depending on vessels size and type.