In 12 months time, on 1 July 2015, this will be further extended to include all existing tankers of 3,000 gross tonnes, extending to cargo ships of 50,000GT from 1 July 2016.This will mark a major expansion in the proportion of the merchant fleet that is subject to the mandatory carriage of ECDIS.The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is providing free guidance via the global ECDIS seminar programme and creating ECDIS specific ADMIRALTY publications to help relevant stakeholders meet the implementation requirements.Jason Scholey, Senior Product Manager at the UKHO, commented:“1 July 2014 is a landmark date in the transition to ECDIS, as it marks the first occasion when a class of existing ships other than high-speed craft will be required to carry ECDIS. “Whether it is the physical installation of ECDIS onboard, the delivery of type -specific training for crew or the necessary revisions to bridge policies and procedures, this is a considerable undertaking.“Our aim is to help all owners and operators to be ECDIS- ready, to comply with regulations on ECDIS carriage and to make best use of it as a navigational tool that will help them to sail safely and efficiently. AVCS is the right solution to help them to achieve those goals. It contains 100% official ENCs, offers the most comprehensive global coverage and it operates on all makes of ECDIS. At no extra cost, AVCS also comes with the unique ADMIRALTY Information Overlay (AIO), a valuable passage planning tool that shows ADMIRALTY T&P NMs and extra navigationally significant information to aid safer navigation.”The scope of coverage offered by AVCS has continued to grow and now includes over 13,000 ENCs covering over 4,000 of the world’s biggest and busiest ports, including many with unique coverage not offered by any other chart service.Features and benefits offered by the ADMIRALTY Vector Chart Service include:› The most comprehensive global coverage available› 100% Official, certification provided› Operates on all ECDIS makes› Free unique ADMIRALTY Information Overlay featureSince launching the global ECDIS seminar programme in 2011, the UKHO has provided FREE expert guidance on the ECDIS transition to over 2,300 delegates. By the end of 2014 that is projected to exceed 3,400 delegates in 55 locations.Press Release; July 11th, 2014 zoom All existing passenger ships of 500 gross tonnes and all new cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnes are required to carry ECDIS from their first survey after 1 July 2014.