872 - 02/13 - Counterfeit Admiralty Nautical Charts - Worldwide


The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has issued a warning regarding counterfeit charts and other UKHO publications it has seen in circulation.

The counterfeit documents do not satisfy SOLAS carriage requirements and having counterfeit documents on board may lead to further legal complications where the carriage of counterfeit items is against the law in many countries.

In addition, counterfeit charts and publications have not been subjected to the thorough checks and cannot be trusted to be used for navigational purposes and could potentially lead to navigation errors causing an incident.

"Official Admiralty charts bear the Admiralty 'Flying A' watermark within the paper and will carry a 'thumb label' strip on the reverse with the Admiralty logo, chart number, geographical area, barcode and date.

Suspect charts and publications can also be identified by comparing them against official Admiralty versions, where variations may be spotted in the look, feel and weight of the product and the colour tone and strength of the ink. The folds on charts and the height and binding quality of publications can also provide a good indicator of whether a product is official or counterfeit." -

UKHOThe UKHO has produced a short guide to help distinguish between counterfeit publications and official UKHO products.

The free guide can be downloaded here.

Any suspicious charts or publications should be reported direct to UKHO by emailing customerservices@ukho.gov.uk.

The full UKHO article can be found here.

Source of Information:

UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO)



Tel: +44 (0)1823 337900


Staff Author