New Safety Bulletin from US Coast Guard

The USCG has issued Marine Safety Information Bulletin 009-17 regarding ECDIS systems, reports North P&I Club. It outlines that vessels calling in the US should be aware that Port State Control Officers may check a vessel’s ECDIS for compliance with SOLAS chapter V. They also expect that the vessel’s watchkeepers are familiar with the latest IMO ECDIS Guidance for Good Practice Circular, North P&I said.

“If there are any known issues with the ECDIS, then the Master should ensure there is some documentation in place from the Flag State, equipment manufacturer or servicing company clarifying the situation”, the club said.

The USCG said that US vessel owners/operators were encouraged to follow this guidance. “US vessel owners/operators that anticipate their vessel(s) will not meet the recommended ECDIS IHO standards by August 31st, 2017 may wish to take the following steps when engaging on international voyages:”

1.     Obtain and retain written confirmation which includes the intended service date to meet IHO standards from the respective ECDIS manufacturer and/or servicing company.

2.     Obtain and retain up-to-date nautical paper charts.

3.     If paper nautical charts are used, ensure navigation officers are fully competent in their use.

4.     Ensure ample advance notice of the situation is given to the Country’s Port State Control being visited.