An Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) is a computer-based navigation information system that complies with International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations and can be used as an alternative to paper nautical charts. IMO refers to similar systems not meeting the regulations as Electronic Chart Systems (ECS). An ECDIS system displays the information from electronic navigational charts (ENC) or Digital Nautical Charts (DNC) and integrates position information from position, heading and speed through water reference systems and optionally other navigational sensors. Other sensors which could interface with an ECDIS are radar, Navtex, automatic identification systems (AIS),Sailing Directions and fathometer.


ECDIS (as defined by IHO Publications S-52 and S-57) is an approved marine navigational chart and information system, which is accepted as complying with the conventional paper charts required by Regulation V/19 of the 1974 IMO SOLAS Convention. as amended. The performance requirements for ECDIS are defined by IMO and the consequent test standards have been developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in International Standard IEC 61174. The future standard for ENCs will be defined in IHO Publication S-100.

When Does ECDIS Affect You?

ECDIS is required to be installed on all newbuild vessels with keels laid either on or after 1st July 2012. Existing vessels will be required to retrofit the system at the first survey after the dates outlined in the regulations depending on the vessel type and size.