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Doc Number sc 3 of 2011

Applicable to: This circular is for the attention of ship owners, managers, operators, agents, masters, crew members and surveyors

This circular supplements Circular No. 29 of 2006.


1. The Maritime Safety Committee of IMO, at its 86th session adopted Res.MSC.282(86) on amendments to SOLAS (see Annex A), which included the mandatory carriage of ECDIS for passenger ships, tankers and other cargo ships. These amendments entered into force on 1 January 2011, but the implementation dates for mandatory carriage of ECDIS would be phased in, commencing 1 July 2012 (see phase-in schedule below).

Mandatory carriage of ECDIS: Phase-in schedule

2. The mandatory ECDIS carriage requirements are detailed in the new paragraph 2.10 of SOLAS Reg.V/19, and the phased-in schedule for implementation is as follows: see the attachment (Phase-in schedule).


3. In accordance with the provisions in this regulation, the MPA may exempt ships from the application of the ECDIS requirements when such ships are to be taken permanently out of service within two years after the implementation date specified in the phase-in schedule.

Performance Standards and Type Approval

4. As stated in Shipping Circular no. 29 of 2006, ECDIS shall be type-approved to meet the Performance Standards for ECDIS as per Res.A.817(19), as amended by MSC.232(82). The appropriate method of testing and required test results in the Performance Standards is contained in IEC 61174. Shipowners should approach the nine Recognised Organisations1 to carry out the assessment, type approval and certification of ECDIS.

1 viz. American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Bureau Veritas (BV), China Classification Society (CCS), Det Norske Veritas (DNV), Germanischer Lloyd (GL), Korean Register of Shipping (KR), Lloyd's Register of Shipping (LR), Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) and the Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)

5. Shipowners are advised to comply with the mandatory carriage requirement as early as practicably possible before the phase-in date for their vessels.


6. MPA's policy on ECDIS training is as follows:

a. All navigating officers serving on ships fitted with an approved ECDIS shall have completed an approved training on use of ECDIS (IMO model course 1.27 or equivalent; ECDIS training as contained in the STCW Convention and Code);

b. The ECDIS training programme shall be approved by MPA or by a foreign maritime administration whose certificates of competency are recognised by MPA for service on board Singapore ships; and

c. The navigating officers should also be provided training on the specific make and model installed on their ships. This equipment-specific training can be provided by the shipping company itself as part of ship familiarisation, using services of trainers appointed by the manufacturer or manufacturer's agent.

7. In addition, the ISM Code requires that ship officers have familiarisation training for all safety equipment fitted onboard. Shipowners should be aware of their responsibility under the ISM Code to ensure that their ship officers are competent in the use of ECDIS to maintain safety of navigation, who may be expected to demonstrate their competence to Port State Control officers. Documentary evidence of ECDIS training attended by ship officers should also be available on board.

Training providers in Singapore

8. Currently, MPA-approved ECDIS training in Singapore is provided by three Training Service Providers, whose courses are based on the IMO Model Course 1.27 Operational Use of Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS). These are the Singapore Maritime Academy, ST Education & Training Pte Ltd, Wavelink Maritime Institute.

Recognition of ECDIS Training from Overseas

9. MPA will also accept ECDIS training from overseas, if these courses were based on the IMO Model Course 1.27, and if they were approved by foreign maritime administrations from countries whose certificates of competency are recognised by MPA for service on board Singapore ships. It is not necessary and MPA will not issue endorsement to recognise overseas ECDIS training.

Additional advice to Shipowners

10. Shipowners need to plan for the transition to ECDIS as early as possible and not wait for the phase-in dates. Shipowners are advised to consider the following when transiting from paper to electronic charts:

a. Setting clear company policies on ECDIS. These may include related digital nautical publications.

b. Laying out of the programme for the retrofitting of ECDIS on existing ships, taking into consideration the SOLAS phase-in dates.

c. Training of ship officers, both generic (approved MPA training service providers) and specific training from equipment manufacturers.

d. Reviewing of bridge procedures. Methods and procedures for electronic navigation have to be developed and taking into consideration a number of useful SN circulars and IHO publications2, a list of which are provided in Annex B.

2 SN.1/Circ.276 Transitioning from paper chart to electronic chart display and ECDIS SN/Circ.207 Rev.1 Differences between RCDS and ECDIS SN/Circ.266 Maintenance of ECDIS software, and others.

e. Reviewing of company's and ship's safety management systems under the ISM Code for navigational procedures and crew documentation relating to ECDIS training.

f. Selection of service providers for chart services which are most appropriate to the company's operational needs and which fulfil the carriage requirements, including updating service. A poor updating service, including continued using of cancelled ENCs, will render the ECDIS unfit for navigational use.

g. Consideration of the ENCs required for the voyages undertaken by the company's vessels. There will be ENC cells which are more frequently used than others and consideration of the purchase of individual, units or folios of ENCs to cover areas of the various routes used by the company's vessels. It is important to remember that to improve safety of navigation as ECDIS is intended, it is essential that all the required ENCs for each voyage are always on board and always available.

h. Consideration of back-up arrangements, eg. paper charts, second ECDIS or other solutions.

i. Consideration of the special requirements when using computers on board ship.

Digital Nautical Publications

11. The new regulation on ECDIS does not apply to digital nautical publications. As such, shipowners would continue to apply to MPA for a Letter of Equivalence if they wish to install digital nautical publications on board their ships, in accordance with Shipping Circular no. 29 of 2006.

12. Any query relating to this circular should be directed to Mr Ong Hua Siong (Tel: 63756210)

Attachment: (1) SHIPPING CIRCULAR NO. 3 OF 2011
(2) Phase-in schedule. (End)
Flag Instruction [KOR]2015006
File Attachments sc_no_3_of_2011.pdf
Attachments sc_no_3_of_2011(0).pdf
Attachments Phase-in schedule (단계적 일정).hwp(0).PDF
Attachments Phase-in schedule (단계적 일정).hwp.PDF