Electronic nautical charts present huge problem for shipping

At year-end 2018, all new ships above 500 gross tonnage and existing ships above 10,000 gross tonnage must employ the new electronic nautical charts. Yet the deadline could prove hard to meet as a long list of problems with the digital charts present themselves.

Photo: Stena Bulk

Last week, an American minesweeper ran aground at a Filipino reef. According to several media, the collision was caused by an error in the electronic nautical chart for the area that the American navy employs.

We can expect to see many more of these types of accidents in the coming years. Therefore, IMO has required all ships to navigate on the basis of electronic nautical charts following the so-called ECDIS rule.

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