New improved ECDIS software


It is time to replace software on ECDIS systems on board because by 31 August 2017, the new Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) software will make the previous versions redundant.

In 2014, the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) revised the standards for ECDIS and according to the decision made by IMO in March 2016, the IHO will withdraw the previous editions of the relevant standards on 31 August 2017.

Edition 3.4 of the IHO ECDIS Presentation Library will ceased to be valid on 31 August 2017 and thereafter the only valid edition will be Edition 4.0. The new edition provides clear guidance to ECDIS manufacturers on ENC objects that will raise an alarm, and it thus works to avoid the issue of alarm fatigue on the bridge. In addition, information such as fairway and anchorage area names now appear on screen, with landmarks, lights and buoys viewable via a ‘hover-over’ function. Both initiatives reduce the time-consuming search for information buried in a pick report.

According to IMO Circular MSC.1/Circ.1503 on ECDIS - Guidance for Good Practice: “ECDIS software should be kept up to date such that it is capable of displaying up-to-date electronic charts correctly according to the latest version of IHO's chart content and display standards. (…)” ECDIS that is not updated to the latest version of the IHO Standards will, therefore, not meet the chart carriage requirements as set out in SOLAS regulation V/” 

Therefore, BIMCO encourages all members to upgrade their ECDIS software to Edition 4.0.

IHO has published a specific new guidance, which describes the method by which mariners may check the ECDIS displays for the new ENC symbols contained in Edition 4.0 of the Presentation Library.

Members can consult the IHO's  ENCs, ECDIS & S-100 webpage for more information. 

Aron Soerensen
in Copenhagen, DK


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