Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Use of Electronic Charts and publications in lieu of paper charts, maps, and publications

 The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is responsible for establishing regulations that govern nautical chart and publication carriage requirements in U.S. waters.
image : NOAA

USCG – use of electronic charts and publications

The US Coast Guard issued a notice announcing availability of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01-16 Change 2 – Use of Electronic Charts and Publications in Lieu of Paper Charts, Maps, and Publications.
Comments must be received by 4 November.
84 Fed. Reg. 49545 (9/20/19)

The Coast Guard announces the availability of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01–16 Change 2 together with a Deregulatory Savings Analysis.
This NVIC provides that U.S. vessels may access navigation publications electronically, through underway connectivity, to meet domestic carriage and Safety of Life at Sea certification requirements.

Discussion Navigation publications have always been a principal source of voyage planning information.
Mariners researched books of tide tables, the United States Coast Pilot, local notices to mariners, and other information sources to glean relevant information for a particular transit.
Although such publications have historically been required to be kept on board a vessel, the Coast Guard has formally recognized that a mariner engaged in voyage planning might not need an entire publication at all times.1Since 2010, the Coast Guard has allowed U.S. vessels to carry certain navigation publications electronically to meet U.S. domestic regulations and Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) certificate requirements.
This is an acceptance of common industry practice.

In response to recommendations from the Navigation Safety Advisory Council and the public, the Coast Guard is updating its policy on electronic carriage of the Inland Navigation Rules and electronic publications in general.
Currently, the Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency are providing marine safety information in an updated electronic format, some of which is now graphical and geographically selectable.
Electronic devices (both hardware and software) have improved such that a mariner can efficiently access navigation publications when needed.
Furthermore, the Coast Guard recognizes that the maritime industry and mariners in general have made substantial investments to ensure vessels maintain internet connectivity, even while underway.
Because mariners use navigation publications primarily for voyage planning purposes, the Coast Guard sees no safety barriers preventing vessels from accessing required navigation information via the internet on an as-needed basis, versus keeping a publication or extract onboard.
To encourage the use of electronic voyage planning products, the Coast Guard is allowing vessels to meet the publication requirements via internet access.

Therefore, Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01–16 Change 1 is revised to allow publications required by 33 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 83, 161, and 164 and various parts of Title 46 CFR and SOLAS Chapter V regulation 27 to be accessed via web services.
If a mariner uses this NVIC for a publication that must be available as a ‘‘ready reference’’, as cited in 33 CFR parts 83 and 161, the publication must be displayable within 2 minutes.
The Coast Guard has prepared a Deregulatory Savings Analysis for NVIC 01–16 Change 2 that identifies and examines the potential costs and cost savings associated with implementing the new equivalency determination for carriage.
This Deregulatory Savings Analysis is available in the docket.
We request your comments on any concerns that you may have related to these policy changes or the economic analysis thereof.
NVIC 01–16 is not a substitute for applicable legal requirements, nor is it itself a rule.
This Notice is published under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 552.

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