In December 2000, the International Maritime Organization amended chapter V of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, (SOLAS) at the 73rd Session of the Maritime Safety Committee. The amendments were accepted by the Contracting Governments to SOLAS on January 1, 2002, and entered into force on July 1, 2002.

These amendments, in part, added requirements for the carriage of voyage data recorders (VDR) and automatic identification systems (AIS), changed the existing tonnage thresholds used to establish carriage requirements for some navigation equipment, and allowed an electronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS) to be accepted as meeting the chart carriage requirements of chapter V.


Because of these amendments, the CoastGuard will need to align its regulations in titles 33 and 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations, especially those in 33 CFR part 164, with these amendments. Until this alignment occurs, problems may result due to the inconsistencies between chapter V and CoastGuard regulations. For example, if a ship owner elects to install ECDIS, the ship may still be required under 33 CFR 164.33 to carry paper nautical charts.


For ships to which this policy applies, when an amendment to chapter V and a provision in CoastGuard regulations address the same navigational safety concern and when applying both would result in an unnecessary duplication, the CoastGuard will accept the provision under chapter V as meeting the corresponding CoastGuard regulation.


Full details of this policy can be viewed here


INTERTANKO has received several enquiries from members pertaining to Electronic Charts and Electronic Charts Display and Information Systems (ECDIS). A text explaining and highlighting the differences and some areas to be aware of can be viewed here.