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e-navigation is a global concept developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

On behalf of IMO, Norway and the Norwegian Coastal Administration coordinated the work of developing a proposal for a strategic implementation plan for the global e-navigation concept. A final Strategy Implementation Plan was approved by IMO in November 2014.

The work was conducted by the IMO sub-committees HTW and NCSR. The working groups on e-navigation in the sub-committees was chaired by John Erik Hagen, Regional Director of the Norwegian Coastal Adminstration Region Western Norway.


e-navigation is defined as the harmonized collection, integration, exchange, presentation and analysis of marine information onboard and ashore by electronic means to enhance berth to berth navigation and related services for safety and security at sea and protection of the marine environment.


During recent years there have been substantial changes in the global shipping environment, with increasing dependence on an interconnected global economy. One way of meeting the consequential challenges is the development of an e-navigation concept.

A study conducted by the International Union of Marine Insurance shows that the number of groundings and collisions are increasing, as are the costs associated with them. Sixty per cent of these accidents are reportedly caused by direct human failure (source: The Nautical Institute), - although it may sometimes be the case that failure can also be attributed to failure of the larger “system” within which mariners work.

There is a clear and compelling need to equip the master of a vessel and those ashore responsible for the safety of shipping with modern, proven tools to make maritime navigation and communications more reliable and user friendly.

e-navigation might be understood as the framework for bringing harmonization, standardization and interoperability to maritime information systems to enhance safety and operations – in a structured manner.

Nearly 100.000 SOLAS ships worldwide and 169 IMO Member States will be affected by e-navigation. The concept will influence a wide range of services in the maritime sector, including ports, administrations, search and rescue, training institutions and industry.


e-navigation intends to coordinate and simplify the exchange of electronic information between ships and between ship and shore in order to:

  • Increase safety of navigation and environmental protection in coastal zones and at sea.
  • Contribute to higher efficiency and reduced costs in the maritime sector.
  • Facilitate the workload onboard and ashore.
  • Provide a basis for improved contingency services.

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