dsnm has started to make vessels aware of the recent news that the UKHO will be phasing out the production and supply of paper charts to the market with complete withdrawal by the end of 2026. The plans to withdraw the UKHO’s portfolio of ADMIRALTY Standard Nautical Charts (SNCs), and Thematic Charts stems from more vessels primarily using digital forms of navigation.

The world is becoming increasingly dependent on technology, and seafarers are certainly no exception. Seafarers can use a combination of Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) and inertial navigation systems to provide almost real-time information on their location. The UKHO has stated that they aim to be at the forefront of the digital transition, continuing to provide the globally trusted ADMIRALTY navigation services that maritime professionals all around the world depend on.

UKHO Announce Nautical Paper Chart Production Will Be Withdrawn By 2026 and electronic charts will be brought in

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Which paper products will be withdrawn?

A range of products will be removed from the market in a phased process, including ADMIRALTY Standard Nautical Charts, Thematic Charts, ARCS, Tracings, Small Craft Charts and Print on Demand. UKHO will also reassess the content of their ECDIS service. Note – The withdrawal of paper charts does not include paper publications, which UKHO will
continue to support.

When will the withdrawal from paper charts process begin?

The sunsetting process has already begun, starting with a phased withdrawal of ADMIRALTY Standard Nautical Charts in particular regions. UKHO’s aim is to ensure all charts, including paper ones, remain available digitally or from another hydrographic office. The elimination process will initially cover charts where demand is already low and where a high amount of maintenance is required to continue supplying the product. These charts will be assessed by region before a notice is issued in the Weekly Notice to Mariners. The UKHO will continually revisit their portfolio during the process and withdraw more charts.

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Which paper charts do they expect to phase out first? 

The areas to be removed first are the charts that are low on sales and where other national hydrographic offices can offer their own charting coverage. For example, Australia was removed in week 44 of 2022 by the UKHO as Australia have their own Hydrographic office covering this location

What impact will this process have on customers?

UKHO and the MCA are working together to create a pathway that enables a smooth transition to digital charting products, particularly for users who may have logistical or regulatory barriers to adopting digital navigation.

What about parts of the world where the UKHO is the Primary Charting Agency? 

The UKHO is the Primary Charting Agency for 63 coastal states and territories and will continue to support these states and territories in finding migration paths suitable for their needs.

How will mariners who do not have access to dual ECDIS remain compliant?

UKHO will collaborate with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to create digital transition paths to compliant products which allow safe planning and conduction of voyages. This may require the creation of brand-new products and services.

When will the withdrawal of paper charts be complete?

The aim is to remove all paper charts by late 2026. That timeline allows for the creation of a structured plan for managing the programme, which will evolve as the project develops in the coming years.

What are dsnm doing to help?

The UKHO provide dsnm with several publications as well as current digital & paper charting. dsnm works closely with the UKHO to ensure that they are as up to date as possible with regards to news, charting and publication information. The UKHO and dsnm’s strong working relationship will go a long way to helping the future transition process from paper to digital. 

Dsnm were recently invited to the UKHO for further discussions on the future of digital charting.

CEO, David Store had this to say “The UKHO have a clear vision and drive to make all future charting digital. By forming this close relationship, we are now in an excellent position to assist in the best way possible”.

Digital Development manager, Stuart Denham-Harding said, “Having the opportunity to visit the UKHO is always an honour. Our time spent with UKHO product teams and decision makers allow DSNM as a company to be the eyes, ears and voice of the super yacht community.

David Store Navigational Management | Compass

With over 100 years of combined knowledge and experience in the industry, dsnm provides the world’s best bespoke navigational management service to Superyachts. For more information on the latest news regarding the transition from paper charts to digital charts, get in touch with DSNM by visiting their website.

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