The list of flag states approvals for Admiralty Digital Publications has grown even longer with the confirmation that Canada, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand have given their consent.
As a result of the approvals received from the respective authorities, Transport Canada, the Papua New Guinea National Maritime Safety Authority and Maritime New Zealand, the 630 vessels in the Canadian-flagged fleet, the 125 vessels flagged in Papua New Guinea and the 92 New Zealand-flagged vessels can now use these digital publications to meet their SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) carriage requirements for nautical publications, instead of carrying their paper equivalents.
Admiralty Digital Publications include Admiralty Digital List of Lights, the world’s most advanced source of light and fog signal information, Admiralty Digital Radio Signals Volume 6, which provides up-to-date maritime radio communications and pilot services information, and Admiralty TotalTide, the world’s most comprehensive tidal prediction programme. These are essential publications for seafarers, providing vital information for passage planning.
The flag state authorities are signatories to the SOLAS Convention and are therefore empowered to ensure that the requirements of the Convention are met for those vessels under its jurisdiction. As the shipping world continues its transition to digital navigation, driven by revised SOLAS regulations on the carriage of ECDIS, seafarers on Canadian, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand-flagged vessels are now able to use Admiralty Digital Publications for navigational purposes. It also means that these digital publications are acceptable to the Canadian, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand authorities for Port State Control Inspections of Foreign Flagged Vessels.
A number of flag state authorities also publish additional requirements on the use of digital nautical publications, which shipping companies need to familiarise themselves with. For example, Canada’s approval for Admiralty Digital Publications makes it clear that they must also meet the same standards as the paper versions, in terms of the digital publication being official, complete and up-to-date. They also offer guidance on the use of digital publications, such as ensuring that the Officer of the Watch is familiar with their digital format, that they do not interfere with other bridge systems and that there is appropriate onboard back-up. They also make clear that simply being able to access digital publications via the internet is not considered ‘on board’, as is required. However, a downloaded and saved digital publication is acceptable.
At the current time, Admiralty Digital Publications have been approved by 49 different flag states, representing 50% of the global fleet / 41,000 vessels, and the UKHO is working with the remaining flag states in order to gain their approvals. For a full list of flag states that have approved Admiralty Digital Publications, along with any published guidance from the flag state on their use, please click here.