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18 August 2015

ISM compliance; a key consideration for those adopting ECDIS

​​Paul Hailwood, an internationally renowned expert on ECDIS and speaker at the UKHO’s ‘Living with ECDIS’ Seminars, looks at the importance of meeting ISM requirements during the adoption of ECDIS.​

​​​According to the Paris MoU’s 2014 Annual Report on Port State Control, despite a slight drop on last year’s figures of 0.52%, Safety of Navigation continues to be the top category of deficiency. Furthermore, the report lists the top three reasons for deficiencies in 2014 as International Safety Management (ISM), Charts and Nautical publications, with ISM accounting for almost 4% of all deficiencies reported in 2014.

These figures must be of concern to shipping companies affected by the IHO’s ECDIS mandate, as the introduction of ECDIS comes with increased responsibilities under ISM and further opportunity to fall foul of compliance. This point has been reinforced by the IMO, who have highlighted the ship owner or operators responsibility under ISM for the maintenance of ECDIS software. When it comes to ECDIS related training, Flag States such as the MCA clearly state: “…ship specific training is now the responsibility of the ship owner or operator. They must take into account their responsibilities in accordance with ISM….” (MIN 503(M) Training for ECDIS as Primary Means of Navigation).


How can the UKHO help me to meet ISM requirements?

Those who successfully incorporate robust policy and procedures into their ISM will be able to use ECDIS to significantly reduce the likelihood of chart deficiencies on the bridge. This is due to the efficiency and accuracy of digital updates within ENC services such as the ADMIRALTY Vector Chart Service (AVCS)​.

The UKHO remains committed to supporting those going through this transition, providing products and services to assist with the compliant adoption and management of ECDIS. A key part of this support is the UKHO’s global ECDIS seminars, with the fourth iteration entitled “Living with ECDIS”. These free to attend seminars are designed to:​​

  • Assist shipping companies with the adoption and ongoing management of ECDIS to ensure navigational compliance.

  • Ensure that the navigational benefits of ECDIS are understood and that delegates have the information they need to get the most out of ECDIS whilst meeting ISM requirements.

  • Highlight future developments in ECDIS so that key decision makers have the correct information to plan ahead.

You can find out more about the UKHO’s Living with ECDIS Seminars and view the forthcoming schedule here >

In addition to these seminars, the UKHO can also provide you with a range of products and services that support the implementation of ECDIS. For example The Guide to ECDIS Implementation, Policy and Procedures (NP232) clearly outlines the sections of ISM that relate to ECDIS, with The ENC Maintenance Record (NP131C) providing bridge crews with practical procedures to prevent deficiencies. You can find out more about these products here.​​