- Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued Marine Notice 6 of 2017 (copy attached) highlighting the importance of using official nautical charts. This notice supersedes Marine Notice 16 of 2014.
- SOLAS Chapter V regulation 27 requires nautical charts and nautical publications necessary for the intended voyage shall be adequate and up-to-date.
- For an Electronic Navigational Chart (ENC) or paper nautical chart to be considered adequate for navigational purposes, it must be:
- Issued officially
- Of appropriate scale, suitable for the navigational task at hand
- Of the latest edition
- Used in its original form, and
- Maintained up to date, using the latest available notices to mariners or ENC update service.
- AMSA requires that unofficial nautical charts must not be used for voyage planning or navigation as they do not fulfil the SOLAS requirement. Unofficial paper charts include (but are not limited to):
- Facsimiles or imitations of official paper charts
- Large format commercial printed copies of scanned ENC, and
- Paper charts “assembled” by printing several small portions of a Raster Navigational Chart (RNC).
- Unofficial paper charts can be distorted, out-of-date or may omit important navigational features. Scans may not capture all detail shown on the original official chart.
- Unofficial copies of official ENC can be at inappropriate scales, contain out-of-date data, miss significant features and information, not have access to a timely or reliable update service, not display correctly or fail to include chart reliability information.
- AMSA through this notice has reminded ship owners, operators, agents and masters that the carriage of up-to-date nautical charts is critical to the safety of navigation and has urged all purchasers, users, marine surveyors and recognized organizations to be vigilant in identifying unofficial nautical charts.
- AMSA will record deficiencies and can also detain ships that use unofficial nautical charts.
- Ship Owners / operators and masters are advised to be guided by above.
- AMSA Marine Notice No.6 of 2017.
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person.
While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.