ECDIS Procedures Guide 2019 Edition

The ECDIS Procedures Guide provides recommendations designed to accompany a ship’s Safety Management System (SMS) regarding the use of ECDIS for navigation and voyage planning. It also provides guidance on how ECDIS should be configured and used as a ship’s primary means of navigation.

The 2019 Guide has been fully updated to reflect the latest software and procedural changes, which have been combined with observations on known ECDIS detentions.


In line with STCW requirements, navigating officers are required to maintain competence in their watchkeeping routines and practices when using ECDIS. The ECDIS Procedures Guide provides a framework, as well as supporting background information and useful checklists, to aid officers in fulfilling these requirements and to help companies implement best practices in the use of ECDIS on board their ships.

Information on the majority of ECDIS operations and techniques is included, such as chart updates, route creation and checking and ECDIS safety functions. This is supplemented by a useful ECDIS Management Card and example logs for chart spot checks, manual corrections and chart updates.

The 2019 Guide has been updated to reflect the latest software and procedural changes, which have been combined with observations on known ECDIS detentions. In addition, the 2019 guide features:

1) New Type Specific Pull-out Guides

These are ideal for ships with the latest software on Furuno FMD, Furuno FEA, JRC 9201, Sperry, Transas, SAM Platinum/Wartsila NACOS, OSI, Kelvin Hughes and Kongsberg systems, providing a framework to assist with correct set-up.

2) List of Observations, Detentions and Competency Failings in ECDIS

In 2018, 1,136 observations were recorded on ECDIS related topics. The new Chapter 10 explores knowledge gaps highlighted through competency assessment and provides a robust procedure to learn from mistakes.

Over a three month period in 2017 there were at least 22 detentions of vessels based on ECDIS observations. Reasons for detention are explored in the 2019 Guide to help ECDIS operators understand what will be asked of them and what they must understand.

The new Chapter 10 also reviews the reasons why ships are detained, receive observations relating to ECDIS or fail in competency assurance. A new pull-out procedure guide to these specific subjects has also been added (Annex H – Pre-Inspection Consolidated ECDIS Guide) with the aim of increasing operator knowledge and addressing any gaps in previous training.

3) Type Specific Familiarisation Checklists for all Leading Manufacturers

The leading manufacturers vary substantially in their terminology, menu structures and capability. Most organisations require all operators to undertake familiarisation, which was often based on a historic ‘generic’ list. Annex A provides a robust type specific familiarisation checklist for each of the top 9 manufacturers. This is particularly useful for those operating under VIQ7 or where regulators require evidence of onboard familiarisation on exact make and model.

4) Performance Test Procedures for ECDIS

In 2018 alone, 53 observations were made where ECDIS equipment was not functioning in accordance with the IMO and SOLAS regulations. The joint Paris and Tokyo MOU Concentrated Navigation Inspection Campaign, which included ECDIS, led to further failing in equipment and is discussed in Chapter 10. The CIRM performance test procedure is provided in Annex L, along with further guidance to ensure onboard equipment remains both effective and approved.


Updates to the 2019 ECDIS Procedures Guide


About the Author

About ECDIS Ltd

1 Introduction

1.1 Use of ECDIS

1.2 Equipment

1.3 System Configuration and Maintenance

1.3.1 System Sensor and Local Sensor

1.3.2 Time Restrictions between System and Local Sensors

1.4 Performance Test Procedures for ECDIS

1.4.1 Introduction

1.4.2 Scope and Purpose

1.4.3 Background

1.4.4 Requirement

1.5 Charting and RCDS Mode

1.5.1 New Charting Formats and the Introduction of S-100

1.6 Sensor Inputs

1.7 User Guide

1.7.1 Requirement for Awareness of Procedures

2 IHO S-52 4.0 Upgrade and Alarm Management

2.1 The S-52 4.0 Upgrade

2.2 Overview of Changes

2.3 Error and Alarm Management

2.3.1 Operator Configured Alarms

2.3.2 System Alarms

2.4 Alarm/Warning/Indicator Defect Priority Table

2.5 Reference Guide to PL 4.0 Changes

2.5.1 Detection and Notification of Navigation Hazard

2.5.2 Standardised Automatic Update Symbols

2.5.3 Temporal Attributes Symbol

2.5.4 ECDIS Display Date Dependent Features

2.5.5 Ability to Turn ON/OFF Isolated Dangers in Shallow Water

2.5.6 Shallow Water Pattern

2.5.7 SCAMIN

2.5.8 Hover-over Function

2.5.9 Anchorage Area, Fairways, Nautical Publications

2.5.10 ECDIS Legend

2.5.11 ECDIS Chart 1

3 Overview of Generic and Type Specific Training

3.1 Generic ECDIS Training

3.2 Type Specific and Familiarisation Training

4 Use of ECDIS for Navigation

4.1 Over-Reliance on ECDIS

4.2 Cross-Checking ECDIS Position

4.3 Use of Radar Information Overlay (RIO)

4.4 T&Ps and the use of Admiralty Information Overlay (AIO)

4.4.1 Chart Spot-Checks

4.5 ECDIS Safety Functions

4.6 The Safety Depth

4.6.1 Spot Sounding Depths

4.7 Safety Contours

4.7.1 Crossing the Safety Contour

4.8 Look-ahead


4.10 Presentation of Data

4.11 Man Overboard

4.12 RCDS Mode

5 ECDIS Display Set-up

6 Route Planning

6.1 Route Planning Principles

6.2 Appraisal

6.3 Planning

6.4 Route Creation

6.5 Route Checking

6.6 Execution – Final Adjustments Prior to Departure

6.7 Monitoring

6.8 Predictor

6.9 Anchor Watch Planning


6.11 Importing and Exporting

7 Chart Updating

7.1 Licences and Permits

7.2 Updating Charts

7.3 Manual Updates/Corrections

7.4 Deleting Charts

7.5 Virus Protection

7.5.1 ECDIS Security

7.6 Software Updates

7.6.1 System Updates and Hardening

8 ECDIS Checklists

8.1 OOW Handover Checklist

8.2 Pre-sailing Checklist

8.3 ECDIS Configuration Card

8.4 GNSS Failure

8.5 ECDIS Failure

9 Administration and Records

9.1 ECDIS Data Recording

9.2 Backup Procedure

9.3 Records

10 ECDIS Skill Gaps

10.1 Introduction

10.2 ECDIS Observations – Independent Inspections

10.2.1 Comparison of Observations to Training Syllabus

10.3 ECDIS Non Conformities and Detentions – PSC

10.3.1 Introduction

10.3.2 The Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Safety of Navigation, Including ECDIS (2017)

10.3.3 The Questions Asked During the Navigation CIC (that included ECDIS)

10.3.4 Navigation and ECDIS Related Observations and Detentions from the 2017 CIC

10.4 ECDIS Skill Gaps – Competency Assessment

10.5 Competence Check of ECDIS Operators


Annex A ECDIS Familiarisation Checklist

Annex B Type Specific ECDIS Course Content

Annex C Chart Spot-Check Log

Annex D Manual Corrections Log

Annex E Chart Update Log

Annex F ECDIS Alarms, Alerts

Annex G Type Specific Procedures for ECDIS Display Set-up

Annex H Pre Port Arrival – PSC ECDIS Preparation Activities (90 mins)

Pre-Inspection Activity 1 – Anti-grounding Cone/Safety Frame/Look-Ahead (05 mins)

Pre-Inspection Activity 2 – Safety Contour and Safety Depth (05 mins)

Pre-Inspection Activity 3 – CATZOC (05 mins)

Pre-Inspection Activity 4 – Type Specific and Familiarisation Training (15 mins)

Pre-Inspection Activity 5 – Out of Date (not PL 4.0) (05 mins)

Pre-Inspection Activity 6 – Security/Cyber Risk (USB) (05 mins)

Pre-Inspection Activity 7 – Route Appraisal and Scan Route (10 mins)

Pre-Inspection Activity 8 – Route Planning (10 mins)

Pre-Inspection Activity 9 – SCAMIN (05 mins)

Pre-Inspection Activity 10 – Berth to Berth Planning (15 mins)

Pre-Inspection Activity 11 – Misunderstanding T&P and NAVTEX integration (05 mins)

Pre-Inspection Activity 12 – Not maintaining Suitable Chart coverage (05 mins)

Annex I CIRM Guideline

Annex J Quick Reference Guide to Type Specific Manufacturers



Title: ECDIS Procedures Guide 2019 Edition
Product Code: WS1667K
Published Date: June 2019
Binding Format: Hardback
Weight: 1.20 kg