The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued a Marine Notice concerning the carriage, compliance and usage of ECDIS onboard ships calling in Australian ports.
The notice gives guidance and clarification to Ship Owners and Crew on what Australian Port State Control will consider to be in compliance with new regulations for the mandatory carriage of ECDIS which entered into force on 1st July 2012.
The timetable for mandatory carriage of ECDIS is spread over six years, with the rules applying to the first ship types (new tankers over 3,000GT and new passenger ships over 500GT) from July 2012, with the final ship types (existing cargo ships over 10,000GT) in July 2018. The below table (Fig. 1) shows the entry date for different ship types.
New Passenger Ships >500GT
New Tankers >3,000GT
New Cargo Ships >10,000GT
New Cargo Ships >3,000GT
Existing Passenger Ships >500GT
Existing Tankers >3,000GT
Existing Cargo Ships >50,000GT
Existing Cargo Ships >20,000GT
Existing Cargo Ships >10,000GT
Even where ECDIS is fitted on board prior to these entry dates, regulations and guidelines as laid down by the SOLAS Chapter V Regulations 18 & 19 and IMO Performance Standards (IMO Resolution A.817(19) or MSC.232(82)) must still be complied with.
In addition to hardware and compliance inspections, Australian Port State Control is also carrying out checks on the training of crew members on board. In order to comply with regulations, crew members using ECDIS must have both Generic and Type-Specific training.
Onboard procedures and documentation are also areas in with PSC will carry out checks and inspections.
More information, contained within the full Marine Notice issued by AMSA, can be found here
Source of Information:
Australian Maritime Safety Authority