Most Solas ships are ecdis-ready
Ecdis has been installed on around 25,000 vessels to allow owners to be ready for electronic navigation. According to the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO), 59 per cent of the 42,000 internationally trading vessels are now ecdis-ready. This is up from 51 per cent in May, meaning ecdis has been installed on around 3,300 ships in the last four months.
UKHO said owners that have deployed ecdis need to ensure crew are trained on using these systems and electronic navigational charts (ENCs). It urged owners and managers to invest in crew training and to update ship’s Safety Management System (SMS) to minimise the risks of port detentions. At SMM exhibition and congress, in Hamburg last week, UKHO highlighted the increasing number of ships that were being detained by port state control (PSC) because inspectors were finding ecdis deficiencies.
UKHO head of OEM technical support and digital standards Thomas Mellor said shipowners, operators and managers must ensure vessels are compliant with all relevant ecdis-related IMO, International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and PSC requirements. He added: “This includes updating bridge procedures, upgrading the ecdis software to the latest IHO standards and ensuring that bridge teams are trained and certified in the operation of ecdis.
“There can be any number of reasons for non-compliance, ranging from inadequate detail in the ship’s SMS, a failure to use the latest ENCs for the voyage plan, or a bridge team unfamiliar with the use of ecdis,” Mr Mellor explained. “Whatever the reason, the penalties can be severe, whether through the costs of a delayed onward voyage or the impact on an owner’s reputation of a failed inspection. Most importantly, every incident of non-compliance is a potential threat to the safety of that ship and its crew, as well as to other traffic and the marine environment.”
Ecdis Ltd has started an annual ecdis competency assurance training (ACAT) service that owners can use to ensure crew PSC inspections. Using ACAT, managers can keep bridge teams up-to-date with the latest ecdis requirements and developments by 38 manufacturers