– Safety of life at sea is our main priority, and the leisure fleet are considered as important users. Making updated Norwegian electronic chart data available for boaters is an important contribution, says director Birte Noer Borrevik at the Norwegian Mapping Authority, Hydrographic Service.

New requirements towards distributors

– Users from the leisure fleet have expressed a need for updated charts for their chartplotters for a long time. Many users also want updated data directly from the Hydrographic Service, says Gjertrud Røyland from the distribution service at the Norwegian Mapping Authority.

The Norwegian Mapping Authority, Hydrographic Service, has considered these feedbacks, and has revised their agreement with distributors of chartplotters. This work has been done in close cooperation with the distributors. The new revised agreement requires distributors of Norwegian electronic navigational chart data to download updated chart data at least once a month. In addition, these updates must be made available to the end users, free of charge or by the distributor's payment scheme.

– Check the update-frequency with your chart distributor

Distributors offering updates twice a month, are allowed to promote their electronic charts with an acknowledgement that approves them as compliant to the Norwegian Mapping Authority, Hydrographic Service's (NMA-HS) standards for processing chart updates: "The chart content in this product is updated according to NMA-HS standards."

This implies that the charts are updated at the same frequency as the Norwegian official nautical Print on Demand charts, which are updated according to the Norwegian notices to mariners, Etterretninger for sjøfarende (Efs), every fourteen days.

– There are about 750 000 leisure boats in Norway, according to estimated numbers from the Norwegian Maritime Authority. We hope that more boaters from the leisure fleet will sail with updated charts on their chart plotters, from now on. We encourage boaters to check with the producer of their chartplotter if they are offering updated charts, says Røyland.

Fifteen distributors offer Norwegian electronic chart data, based on data from the Norwegian Mapping Authority, Hydrographic Service. An overview of the distributors, and how often they update their chart data, is available here.

Norwegian electronical chart data are also available through free software. Read more in the article "Norwegian Electronic Navigational Chart Data in OpenCPN".

ENC vs. chartplotter

Producers of electronical navigational charts for chartplotters can get access to chart data from the Norwegian Mapping Authority, to be used in their software. These chart solutions are not authorised navigational charts.

There is a difference between official electronical navigational charts (ENC) used in an ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) and electronical charts used in chart plotters. Carriage of up-to-date official charts (ENC) is an obligation for the regulatory (SOLAS) shipping. Only ENCs fulfil these carriage requirements.

Read more about ENC on kartverket.no or at www.primar.org.


Gjertrud Røyland
Distribution service
The Norwegian Mapping Authority
Tel. +47 51 85 87 54

Sissel Kanstad
Communications advisor
The Norwegian Mapping Authority,
Hydrographic Service
Tel. +47 51 85 88 28 / +47 995 13 848