UKHO extends its hand toward the Japan Hydrographic Association

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Greater flexibility has been granted to mariners transiting through the Malacca and Singapore Straits (MSS) in the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office’s (UKHO) new licensing agreement with the Japan Hydrographic Association (JHA) in a bid to promote comprehensive and safe global ENC (Electronic Navigational Chart) coverage.

Currently licensed to distribute fully comprehensive and detailed ENC’s of the Straits through its Admiralty Vector Chart Service (AVCS), the UKHO’s new agreement allows access to individual ENC’s for periods of six or 12 months, providing greater efficiency in matching ENC coverage to operational patterns for a sustained period of time.

Rear Admiral Ian Moncrieff, UK National Hydrographer of the UKHO, said: “This extension to our existing Bilateral Arrangement with Japan Hydrographic Association underlines the spirit of co-operation between hydrographic offices in improving our offering to seagoers, and particularly the collective commitment throughout the IHO (International Hydrographic Organisation) to the aim of global ENC coverage.

Mr Shinichi Kikuchi, Head of the International Affairs Office of the JHA, added: “I am delighted to announce this latest amendment to our current partnership which will bring flexible licensing to Mariners transiting through the Straits.”

Given the high volume and diversity of shipping traffic under compulsory IMO navigational chart carriage compliance, JHA official data is a significant component of AVCS coverage in the Far East, and the agreement additionally supports the IHO resolution for the provision of adequate global ENC coverage of the main international shipping routes by 2010.