Class and Statutory News


Apr. 21 2017

Existing ECDIS updated by 1 September 2017

Revised IHO Standards related to existing ECDIS - Existing ECDIS updated by 1 September 2017


As a consequence of the investigations into the anomalous operation of some ECDIS, the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) undertook a review in 2012 of its standards related to ECDIS.

In 2015 IHO has completed revision of set of the key standards underpinning ECDIS. This activity was closely coordinated between the IHO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The IHO contribution includes update of: 

  •  Publication S-52 – Specifications for Chart Content and Display Aspects of ECDIS

  •  S-52 Annex A – IHO Presentation Library for ECDIS

  •  Publication S-64 – IHO Test Data Sets for ECDIS 

  •  Publication S-63 – IHO ENC Data Protection Scheme

Following the publication of the 4th Edition of IEC 61174 – Maritime Navigation and Radiocommunication Equipment and Systems – Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) – Operational and Performance Requirements, Methods of Testing and Required Test Results in August 2015, the revised editions are now the normative IHO references for the type approval of all new ECDIS equipment.

Initial plan was to withdraw the previous editions of S-52 and S-64 on 31 August 2016, in accordance with the schedule presented at IMO NCSR 1. Views have been expressed that this twelve-month transition period would be too short to enable ship owners and operators to update existing systems to conform to the provisions of IMO circular MSC.1/Circ.1503 concerning the maintenance of ECDIS software.



Maintenance of IHO Standards for existing ECDIS

As agreed by the IMO Sub-Committee NCSR 3 (29 Feb- 4 Mar 2016), the following editions remain valid until 31 August 2017 for existing ECDIS systems type-approved with an edition of IEC61174 previous to the 4th edition:


Current edition

Revised Edition

Chart Content and Display Aspects of ECDIS

S-52 Edition 6.0

(March 2010)

S-52 Edition 6.1 (.1)

(October 2014 – with Clarifications up to June 2015)

Presentation Library for ECDIS

PresLib Edition 3.4 (Annex A to S-52)

(January 2008)

PresLib Edition 4.0 (.1)

(Annex A to S-52)

(October 2014 – with Clarifications up to June 2015)

Test Data Sets for ECDIS

S-64 Edition 2.0.0

(May 2012)

S-64 Edition 3.0.1

(June 2015)

Note : An up-to-date list of all the relevant IHO standards relating to ECDIS equipment can be accessed from the IHO website


It is reminded that where an ECDIS is being used to meet the chart carriage requirements of SOLAS, it must (extract from MSC.1/Circ.1503):

i) be type-approved;

ii) use up to date electronic nautical charts (ENC);

iii) be maintained so as to be compatible with the latest applicable International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) standards; and

iv) have adequate, independent back-up arrangements in place.


Therefore, unless otherwise instructed by the ship’s flag, Owners/Managers are advised to contact ECDIS manufacturer in due time, to ensure ECDIS software comply with the latest versions of these IHO standards by 1 September 2017.

Compliance will be verified onboard by BV Surveyor on the basis of the work report issued by manufacturer and at the occasion of the first Safety Equipment survey carried out on or after 1 September 2017.

An occasional survey (prior to first Safety Equipment survey carried out on or after 1 September 2017) may be carried out before, upon owner's request, in order to verify onboard the compliance.