Technical Circular No.13 | 2016

Subject: Guidance on ECDIS for ships calling at Australian ports

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  • The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued Marine Notice 8/2016 (copy attached), highlighting areas relevant to the safe and proper operation of ECDIS for ships visiting Australian ports.
  • The notice also provides information on AMSA’s requirements for ECDIS compliance during port state control inspections.
  • The AMSA’s PSC Inspectors will check for ECDIS related issues including:
    • Appropriate declaration of ECDIS equipment in the Record of Equipment – Safety Equipment Certificate.
    • Listing of ECDIS as critical equipment in the Safety Management System (SMS).
    • Documented procedures and instructions for the use of ECDIS are included in the SMS and that they are understood by all officers responsible for navigation.
    • ECDIS type approval certificate.
    • ECDIS software is maintained to the latest applicable IHO standards.
    • Use of latest edition official ENCs.
    • Adequate independent back-up arrangements (as detailed on the Record of Equipment).
    • Approved ECDIS generic and familiarization training has been undertaken by the master and officers in charge of a navigational watch.
    • Conformance and alignment with input from sensors (e.g. heading, speed and rate of turn) and presentation of such information on the ECDIS display.
    • Evidence of periodic tests and checks of ECDIS carried out in accordance with the SMS and manufacturer’s requirements.
    • Demonstration of operational competency by the ship’s navigating officers (e.g. safety checking of a voyage plan).
    • ECDIS settings are appropriate to the ship’s dimensions and area of operations (e.g. cross track error, anti-grounding cone, safety depth and contour).
  • Ship owners and operators are advised to ensure careful management and regular maintenance of both ECDIS hardware and software to keep ECDIS updated to meet the current International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) standards.
  • IMO Circular MSC.1/Circ.1503 – “ECDIS Guidance for Good Practice”, provides comprehensive guidance for the safe and effective use of ECDIS.
  • Ship owners / managers and Masters are advised to be guided by above and prepare their ships for PSC Inspections at Australian ports accordingly. 



1. AMSA Marine Notice 8/2016 Reg “Guidance on ECDIS for ships calling at Australian ports”.


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.

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