Following the widespread coverage of the new maritime sulphur emission regulations that came in to force in January 2015, the first day of July 2015 marked the SOLAS regulation deadline for the mandatory carriage of ECDIS for all tankers of 3,000gt or more. Of the more than 8,750 tankers in the global fleet that are required to comply with these regulations by their first survey following this date, 54% are now using electronic nautical charts (ENCs) on ECDIS, according to data compiled.
Progress has been made in recent months, with the global ‘ECDIS readiness’ figure having risen from 42% in September 2014 to the current figure of 54%. 83% of LNG tankers are currently using an ENC service, compared to 70% of crude oil tankers and 36% of product tankers. An Electronic Chart Display & Information System (ECDIS) is a computer-based navigation information system that complies with International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations and can be used as an alternative to paper nautical charts. An ECDIS system displays the information from electronic navigational charts (ENC) or Digital Nautical Charts (DNC) and integrates position information from position, heading and speed through water reference systems and optionally other navigational sensors. Other sensors which could interface with an ECDIS are radar, Navtex, automatic identification systems (AIS), and depth sounders.