SOLAS chapter V (regulation 27) says that all ships have to carry "adequate and up-to-date charts" for navigation.

SOLAS regulation V/9 Hydrographic services states:

  • Contracting Governments undertake to arrange for the collection and compilation of hydrographic data and the publication, dissemination and keeping up to date of all nautical information necessary for safe navigation.

  • In particular, Contracting Governments undertake to co-operate in carrying out, as far as possible, the following nautical and hydrographic services, in the manner most suitable for the purpose of aiding navigation:

  • to ensure that hydrographic surveying is carried out, as far as possible,   adequate to the requirements of safe navigation;

  • to prepare and issue nautical charts, sailing directions, lists of lights, tide tables and other nautical publications, where applicable, satisfying the needs of safe navigation;

  • to promulgate notices to mariners in order that nautical charts and publications are kept, as far as possible, up to date; and .4 to provide data management arrangements to support these services.

  • Contracting Governments undertake to ensure the greatest possible uniformity in charts and nautical publications and to take into account, whenever possible, relevant international resolutions and recommendations. (refers to the appropriate resolutions and recommendations adopted by the International Hydrographic Organization).

  • Contracting Governments undertake to co-ordinate their activities to the greatest possible degree in order to ensure that hydrographic and nautical information is made available on a world-wide scale as timely, reliably, and unambiguously as possible.


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