Ice Navigation in Canadian Waters

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Annex C - Guidance on the Acceptance of Digital Nautical Publications in Canada

The Charts and Nautical Publication Regulations, 1995 (CNPR) require the carriage and use of several nautical publications. Increasingly, vessels are electing to carry required publications in electronic form, if available, in lieu of hard copies. Many nautical publications in Canada are now available in electronic form and can be downloaded from the internet in PDF. Some vessels may carry publications in electronic form issued by another Administration (i.e., Admiralty Digital Publications) as per CNPR subsection 6(3).

IMO circular entitled IMO requirements on carriage of publications on board ships (MSC-MEPC.2/Circ.2) allows electronic publications provided they have been issued by the IMO, an Administration or an organization authorized by an Administration. This ensures correctness and safeguard against illegal copying. The electronic document should also “be treated in accordance with the document control procedures in the ship's SMS including procedures for timely update." However, as an exception, IMO does require the International Code of Signals and the IAMSAR Manual Volume III to be always available in hard copy to ensure accessibility and portability for emergency use.

Under SOLAS, charts and nautical publications in electronic form can be used to meet SOLAS V carriage requirements provided suitable back-up arrangements are in place. As such, electronic nautical publications must meet the same requirements as the hard copies:

The following guidance should be taken into account when digital nautical publications are used:

Transport Canada Marine Safety Inspectors must be able to readily verify:

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