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This is a big step for Simrad-branded ECDIS after a thorough type-approval process initiated in 2014,” said Nicolas Queru, VP Commercial Marine Division for EMEA, Navico. “It follows up on RMRS approvals granted last year for a suite of Navico/SIMRAD equipment, ranging from heading and position GLONASS systems, autopilots, gyrocompasses, electronic chart plotters, instruments and radar/navigation systems that include the state-of-the-art Broadband 4G. ECDIS is becoming mandatory for a growing percentage of the world’s commercial shipping fleet, so this approval is as timely as it is welcome.”

Under the IMO’s Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), ECDIS with suitable back-up systems have been required on new passenger vessels of 500 gross tons (gt) upwards and new tankers of 3,000 gt and over from July 1, 2012, with rules covering other vessel types phased in to July 1, 2018.

Between now and mid-2018, existing cargo ships other than tankers of more than 50,000 gt constructed before July 1, 2013 must have approved systems installed not later than the first survey after July 1, 2016; existing cargo ships other than tankers of between 20,000 gt and 50,000 gt built before July 1, 2013, not later than the first survey after July 1, 2017; and existing cargo ships of between 10,000 gt and 20,000 gt not later than the first survey after July 1, 2018.

Navico said the approval of the latest SIMRAD MARIS900 Mk 5 and Mk 15 opens up opportunities for the most recently developed Simrad ECDIS products in Russia and beyond, where the Russian class organization had formerly granted approval for the earlier generation MARIS900 Mk 4.