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Mandatory carriage requirements for charts

Hello, every mariner steering a ship! Are you using nautical charts?

The nautical chart is an indispensable tool for a mariner to foreknow the bottom conditions of the waters where he is going to navigate, thus to enable him to safely maneuver the ship clearing any danger.  In a word, it is a guide map of the sea.

Accordingly, it is provided by the laws and regulations that the nautical charts as in the following should be kept on board a vessel so that mariners can use such an important tool at any time:

  • Navigational charts and other necessary nautical publications* (Regulations for the Installations of Ship, Special Rules for Fishing Vessels /Ship's Safety Law)
  • Hydrographic charts and publications and other charts and publications necessary for navigation* (Regulations for Enforcement of Seafarers Law)

*As for other nautical publications, the followings can be mentioned:

  • Sailing Directions, a marine guide book,
  • Tide Tables, showing predicted heights of tides which affect the depth of water in the passage and in the vicinity of wharves.

Also, caution should be exercised as, for example, there is such a case where a wharf has newly been constructed after harbor construction works or where bottom configuration has been changed due to earthquake or other natural phenomena.  Therefore, it is necessary:

Incidentally, the obligation to keep nautical charts aboard is also applied to small craft. However, for those boats of less than 20 gross tons navigating only within 5 miles of the coast, "it is not necessary to keep the nautical chart on board in case where the following appropriate reference charts and publications for navigational purpose are provided"

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