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4,000 tankers still without ECDIS as July deadline approaches

Thomas Mellor, UKHO Thomas Mellor, UKHO

The UKHO has claimed that, based on its data, 54 per cent of tankers are now equipped to comply with the 1 July 2015 ECDIS mandate – however, this leaves more than 4,000 tankers that are not yet using an ENC service as the deadline approaches.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}SOLAS regulations on the mandatory carriage of ECDIS for all tankers of 3,000 gross tonnes or more come into force on 1 July 2015. UKHO says that, of the more than 8,750 tankers in the global fleet that are required to comply with these regulations by their first survey following this date, 54 per cent are now using ENCs on ECDIS.

Progress towards wider compliance has been made in recent months, with the Organisation’s figures showing that global ‘ECDIS readiness’ in the tanker market has risen to this current 54 per cent figure having been at 42 per cent in September 2014 – however,  this still leaves the remaining 46 per cent of the global tanker fleet without the technology installed.

The UKHO data also reveals a number of disparities in the adoption of ECDIS between different elements of the global tanker fleet, with 83 per cent of LNG tankers currently using an ENC service, compared to 70 per cent of crude oil tankers and 36 per cent of product tankers.

UKHO notes that all three categories have shown a substantial improvement in ECDIS readiness since September 2014.

“The international tanker community has made significant progress towards ensuring that it is ready for the SOLAS regulations on ECDIS carriage that come into force in July. However, we also recognise that a large proportion of the fleet, comprising over 4,000 tankers, is not yet using an ENC service and therefore not yet ready to comply with the mandatory carriage of ECDIS,” said Thomas Mellor, head of OEM technical support and digital standards, UKHO.

“Even allowing for exemptions and the grace period until their first survey after 1 July 2015, which could be up to 12 months later, this is a considerable undertaking and the ECDIS supply chain can expect to come under considerable pressure in the coming months.”

“Tanker owners and operators that have not yet planned for the adoption of ECDIS should address this immediately in order to make the transition in a safe, timely manner and avoid the risks of non-compliance. From an operational, commercial and reputational perspective, the consequences of failing to comply with the ECDIS regulations – and therefore the SOLAS Convention – can be severe.”{/mprestriction}

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