Statutory Alert: Guidance on ECDIS for ships calling at Australian ports.
Applicabilty: All owners and operators of Lloyd’s Register classed vessels trading to Australian waters The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued Marine Notice 7/2012 – Guidance on ECDIS for ships calling at Australian ports, available on their website here. This Notice aims to clarify some of the emerging issues relating to the carriage requirements for Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) and provide guidance to ships fitted with ECDIS calling at Australian ports.
Two flow charts that address ECDIS related issues and which will be used by AMSA’s Port State Control Officers (PSCO) are included. The flow charts outline ECDIS-related implementation and operational issues and the related deficiencies that could be invoked by AMSA’s PSCOs. The assessment of any ECDIS-related deficiencies (along with any remedial action determined) may vary, depending on the circumstances of each case. AMSA’s PSCOs will increasingly focus on the means by which ships meet their SOLAS chart carriage requirements and the effectiveness with which the navigational task is being conducted. As mandatory carriage of ECDIS will be phased in from 1 July, 2012, owners and operators of ECDIS-fitted ships are encouraged to take the guidance in Marine Notice 7/2012 into account.
What should owners and operators do now?
Shipowners and operators should check whether ECDIS is shown on the vessel’s Record of Safety Equipment (i.e., Form E, Form C or Form P). If it is and you think that the arrangements on board do not fully comply with the Australian requirements then you should contact the issuer of the certificate for further advice.