In May 2011 the Department of Merchant Shipping notified its decision to authorise the use of nautical publications (eg, sailing directions, lists of lights, notices to mariners, tide tables and other publications necessary for their intended voyage) in digital format aboard Cyprus flag ships, and to accept such publications as meeting the requirements specified in SOLAS Regulation V/27.


The circular notifying the department’s decision sets out a number of conditions which must be observed if digital publications are used. In particular, there must be an adequate stand-by system in case of the failure or unavailability of the primary system.


In the event that the changeover to digital publications takes place other than during an annual or renewal survey related to the ship’s safety certificate, the master should record in the ship’s log the date when the change took place and the implementation should be verified during the first annual or renewal survey thereafter.

Following the installation and commissioning of the digital system, any nautical publications that are in printed form should be stored so as to avoid being easily accessible and should be clearly marked as being ‘out of use’.