New IHO & IEC ECDIS Standards

Less than one month to go: new IHO & IEC ECDIS Standards

Are you ready? The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have published new versions of some ECDIS standards. These have been updated to reflect lessons learned from earlier reports of unexpected chart behaviour on some ECDIS. The updated versions of the standards are a significant contribution from the IHO toward supporting navigational safety by ensuring that all identified ambiguities and inconsistencies relating to the display of Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) by ECDIS have been resolved.

It is estimated that over 25% of vessels will not meet the ECDIS upgrade requirements that come into effect on 1 September 2017. The Simrad ECDIS900 (MK5 split system, and MK15 Flat Panel Computer) are compliant with the following standards:

  • IHO S-52 Presentation Library Version 4.0
  • IEC 61174 Edition 4 (2015-08); including Annex G (Certification of the Raster Chart Display System (RCDS))

Our Simrad ECDIS ONE Subscription Service could be just the advantage you’re looking for. Our new subscription model helps ship and fleet owners to meet new ECDIS carriage requirements, while managing complete ECDIS running costs with a single monthly fee (includes hardware, digital charts and publications, on-board chart management software, fleet management software, and our global service program). This is a world class one-stop-shop solution and will ensure systems are properly maintained and kept up to date.

Alternatively, Navico can also supply the Simrad-Master Bridge Assistant (MBA) planning station to manage official charts and publications as well as plan voyages. Customers have the option of paying for equipment over time, and paying for charts and publications at a set discount from the UKHO’s recommended retail prices.

New Standards and existing Simrad ECDIS Installations

Simrad ECDIS900 and E5000 ECDIS software is fully compliant and ready to meet all new IHO and IEC legislation changes coming into effect on 1 September 2017.

If you haven’t already upgraded your existing Simrad E5000 and ECDIS900 installations then they will require a software upgrade for compliance; fully compliant software is available now. Some software upgrades may require the attendance of a Simrad certified technician, and our Global Service Network is available 24/7 to handle your ECDIS upgrade requirements.

Non-compliance could have serious implications come September 1st, so contact us today to ensure your systems are 100% compliant. Benefitting from more than 60 years’ experience in developing quality products, and with a base of over 4000 ECDIS installs on SOLAS vessels to date, Simrad ECDIS solutions are well positioned to meet the needs of today’s professional mariners.

IHO Changes and Benefits to Mariners



A new section “Detection and Notification of Navigational Hazard” has been added.

- For each ENC feature and its associated attributes this defines the priority of the alert to be raised when a navigational hazard is detected.

- Ensures all ECDIS raise the required alerts in a consistent manner, reducing training needs and improving safety at sea.

- Reduces the number of alarms raised as a result of ECDIS safety checking.

A new section “Detection of Areas, for which Special Conditions Exist” has been added.

- Lists the ENC features and attributes that will raise an indication or alert in the ECDIS as defined by the mariner.

- Ensures all ECDIS raise the required alerts in a consistent manner, reducing training needs and improving safety at sea.

- Reduces the number of alarms raised as a result of ECDIS safety checking.

Detecting the Safety Contour:

- The IMO ECDIS Performance Standard (PS) states that rocks, wrecks and obstructions detected inside the safety contour should result in an indication on the ECDIS.

- The previous edition of S-52 included rocks, wrecks and obstructions to the detection of the safety contour, resulting in alarms, as opposed to indications, being raised. They have been moved to “Detection and Notification of Navigational Hazards”.

Reduces the number of alarms on ECDIS, whilst ensuring that the mariner remains aware of dangers as rocks, wrecks and obstructions will still be detected if they meet the “Detection and Notification of Navigational Hazards” criteria.

Added a new symbol `Indication Highlight’

- Designed for warning and caution conditions that require an indication highlight on the ENC.

Clear and unambiguous presentation of features that require an indication highlight.

New standardized symbols have been added to identify where automatic ENC updates have been applied.

Ensures the mariner is aware of updates that have been applied automatically to their ENCs.

New symbol to indicate where in the ENC features with temporal attributes are located.

Will allow mariners to quickly identify where features that have temporal attributes are located, such as seasonal buoys, traffic separation schemes etc.

A means for the mariner to insert a date or date range within the ECDIS to display date dependent features.

Will allow the mariner the ability to plan and check routes, viewing the conditions they will encounter on a given date or time period in the future.

Ability to turn isolated dangers in shallow water on/off.

In certain circumstances mariners must navigate across the safety contour, this change allows the mariner the flexibility to navigate in shoal areas with or without the isolated danger symbol displaying on the ENC.

Mandatory selector for the display of the shallow water pattern.

Important feature in ECDIS as it becomes increasingly difficult to detect the changes in the ENC depth shades during night navigation.

Added guidance on the implementation of the optional “hover-over” function available for a limited number of ENC features.

If provided, the hover-over function speeds up the process of ENC enquiry by the mariner. The new guidance ensures that the hover-over function does not result in the ENC presentation becoming obscured.

Display of complete tidal stream panel in ECDIS pick report.

Provides the mariner with tidal data in a form that is similar to the paper chart equivalent.

Changes to S-52 display provisions:

- Anchorage area – display of name in ENC;

- Fairway - display of name in ENC;

- Nautical publication – new visible presentation for the meta feature nautical publication.

Allows the mariner to navigate to an anchorage without the need to repeatedly interrogate each area on the ENC by:

1. Presenting the name of fairway on the ENC for quick identification of location;

2. Presenting a graphical indication on the ENC

to give mariners the ability to easily select the nautical publication feature using the pick report.

Standardization of the ECDIS pick report.

Ensures all ECDIS present pick report information in a consistent manner, reducing training needs and improving safety at sea.

The viewing groups may be used by the mariner to customise the ENC information presented on the ECDIS display. The names of these viewing groups have been standardized.

Ensures all ECDIS use viewing group nomenclature in a consistent manner, reducing training needs and improving safety at sea.


6th Aug 2017