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13 July 2016

ECDIS related detentions and how to avoid them

​​As more ships are affected by the mandatory carriage of ECDIS, more headlines have been dedicated to a r​ise in detentions related to ECDIS. An analysis of the reasons for Port State Control Officer (PSCO) detention quickly demonstrates that it is not a failure of design, but a failure of ECDIS management which has caused these detentions. Reasons include:

  • Failure to use latest edition and up to date ENC for voyage planning

  • Incorrect scale ENC available

  • Crew ECDIS familiarisation inadequate

  • ECDIS policy and procedures in the ISM are insufficient

In addition to PSCO detentions there is also a reported rise in ECDIS related deficiencies and observations from vetting inspectors related to the management of ECDIS. This includes crew familiarisation and insufficient policies and procedures for safety settings such as under keel clearance.


What can a ship manager do?


There are two important actions ship managers and operators should take to ensure their ECDIS fitted ships do not become a part of this increasing trend.

  1. Review the company's ISM and ensure sufficient policy and procedures are in place to support ECDIS operation, management and maintenance.

  2. Review the quality, content and ECDIS competence of company auditors and their report system.   These auditors must be able to identify any deficiencies in the ECDIS operation, management and maintenance. They must also be able to provide corrective action. 


How can we help?


The ADMIRALTY Guide to ECDIS Implementation, Policy and Procedures (NP232) includes important information that can be used in the development of ECDIS Policy and Procedures in accordance with ISM requirements. The new edition of this publication includes all recent changes in international standards. Examples of    company policy and procedures are also demonstrated to provide clarity on the importance of safety critical functions.   

Ship managers are encouraged to review their ISM and auditing process against NP232 to ensure their policy and procedures are in line with the latest advice.

There are also a range of ADMIRALTY support materials that can be used to fulfil requirements set out in a shipping company's policies and procedures. For example, ADMIRALTY Support Films can be used in training to help bridge crew update ENC permits on a range of ECDIS.

Finally, the UKHO's 'Living with ECDIS' Seminars are designed to help you understand the latest legal requirements and maintenance issues in relation to ECDIS, with opportunities to ask industry experts questions around​ policies and procedures.


Find out about the UKHO's Living with ECDIS Seminars >

Find out more about ECDIS and ENC reference publications >

View our range of support materials for AVCS >