The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has extended the timetable for ceasing its paper chart production in response to user feedback.
For more than two centuries, mariners, shipping companies and international governments have relied on UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) charts to safely navigate the world’s oceans.
In July 2022, UKHO announced it would withdraw its portfolio of ADMIRALTY Standard Nautical Charts (SNCs) and Thematic Charts in favor of fully digital products. UKHO set a date of late 2026 for the full withdrawal.
However, after engaging with groups and organizations in recent months, including UKHO’s distributors, defense customers, commercial and leisure users, international regulatory authorities, and colleagues in the global hydrographic community, the UKHO says it has decided to continue to provide a paper chart service until at least 2030, citing more time is required to address the needs of specific users who do not yet have viable alternatives to paper chart products.
“As we further develop digital navigation solutions, our long-term intention to withdraw from paper chart production remains unchanged and we will continue to withdraw elements of our chart portfolio over the coming period, on a case-by-case basis,” said Peter Sparkes, UKHO Chief Executive. “However, having listened to the feedback we have received and in light of the consequential impact of the international technical and regulatory steps required to develop digital alternatives, we will be extending the overall timetable for this process. Please be assured that the elements of our paper chart portfolio necessary to support safe navigation for our customers will be maintained throughout this transitional period as we increase our focus on digital navigation products and services.
“Listening and responding to our customers and partners is at the core of our approach and we are committed to ensuring no party is left behind in the digital transition. We will be working with our international colleagues and partners, including through the IMO and the IHO, to move forward at an appropriate pace together,” Sparkes added.
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