Report from Sub-committee on Navigation (NAV 53) at the IMO

The IMO’s Sub-committee on Navigation held its 53rd meeting this week in London. Several proposals for new material and also for amendments to Traffic Separation Schemes and Ship Reporting Systems were on the agenda. Other issues discussed this week include a proposal from the Scandinavian countries on mandatory carriage requirements for SOLAS ships, and guidelines for ships in an emergency (proposed by Bahamas and the International Salvage Union). All decisions made by the Sub-committee will be subject to approval by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 83) which meets in October this year.


NAV 53 - No agreement on ECDIS carriage requirement


After discussing the proposal from the Scandinavian countries to mandate the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) on board ships, NAV 53 was of the view that it would be premature to mandate such a requirement at this time. NAV 53 decided that due to the limited availability of approved Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs), they could not agree with the proposal. It is, however, generally anticipated that ECDIS could become mandatory in the future.


NAV 53 – Guidelines to masters, coastal states and salvors for ships in emergency


A draft MSC circular on “Guidelines on the control of ships in an emergency” was agreed by the Sub-committee after extensive debate. Subject to approval by MSC 83 in October, the guidelines are intended for masters, coastal states and salvors when a ship is in need of assistance but safety of life is not involved.


NAV 53 – New guidelines for ECDIS maintenance


The importance of having the latest ECDIS software installed was highlighted by the International Hydrographic Office. Equipment which is not upgraded to read S-57 Edition 3.1.1 data, or to present such data using Edition 3.3 of the S-52 Presentation Library, may be unable to present the latest charted features. NAV 53 decided to draft a SN Circular (SN=Safety of Navigation) on the subject. The draft Circular is subject to approval by MSC 83 in October.


Contact: Fredrik Larsson