TRANSPORT CANADA - ACCEPTANCE OF NAUTICAL PUBLICATIONS IN ELECTRONIC FORM IN CANADA
The Charts and Nautical Publication Regulations, 1995 (CNPR) require the carriage and use of several nautical publications. Many nautical publications in Canada are now available in electronic form and can be downloaded from the internet in PDF (chart catalogue, Monthly Notices to Mariners (NOTMARS), List of Lights, Buoys and Fog Signal, Annual Edition of Notices to Mariners, Radio aids to Marine Navigation, CCG Ice Navigation in Canadian Waters). 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. 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 - Volume III must 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.
The CNPR provide detailed requirements for nautical publications. Electronic nautical publications must meet the same requirements as the hard copies. For example:
The publication must be published, or issued, by the appropriate authority,
The publication must be complete for the area to be navigated and up to date.
The electronic publication shall be readily available to the Officer of the Watch (OOW) at all times and viewable on the navigation bridge.
There should be an appropriate back-up onboard. The primary system should have an emergency source of power.
Updates should be applied to both the primary and back-up system as soon as practical. When in port, they should be applied prior to passage planning and commencement of the voyage.
As the publications required by the CNPR must be on board, simply being able to access the publications through the internet would not be considered on board and therefore not acceptable. However, publications downloaded and saved on board or hard copies printed from official internet sources would be acceptable