The United States Navigation Safety Regulations in 33 CFR Part 164 require that vessels have on board corrected marine charts of the areas to be transited. These charts must be of a large enough scale and have enough detail to make safe navigation in the area possible. Similarly, International regulations for the carriage of charts and publications are outlined in regulation V/19 of the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
An alternative to the carriage of paper navigation charts is an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). ECDIS is a navigation information system which, with adequate back-up arrangements, can be accepted as complying with the chart carriage requirements in regulation V/19 of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, by displaying selected information from a system electronic navigational chart (SENC) with positional information from navigation sensors to assist the mariner in route planning and route monitoring, and by displaying additional navigation-related information.
On July 14, 2004, the US Coast Guard published a notice in the Federal Register outlining the criteria by which ECDIS could be used to meet the charts carriage requirements outlined in 33 CFR 164.33.
42192 Federal Register / Vol. 69, No. 134 / Wednesday, July 14, 2004 / Notices
“Carriage of Navigation Equipment for Ships on International Voyages”
“If a ship has an approved ECDIS installed according to chapter V, the ECDIS will be considered by the Coast Guard as meeting its nautical chart regulation in 33 CFR 164.33(a)(1), because the ECDIS meets the same navigational safety concerns as do paper nautical charts. This policy benefits the ship owner and operator by relieving them of the need to unnecessarily duplicate equipment.”