The Hydrographic Service provides official nautical charts for commercial and recreational shipping. The charts cover the North Sea and the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.
Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs)
The Hydrographic Service produces official Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC). ENCs are vector charts produced in compliance with the S-57 framework of the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO). S-57 is the international transfer standard for digital hydrographic data.
ENCs are produced in all appropriate usage bands. For navigation, one can only use ENCs in combination with an ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System). For other purposes, they are available via the Viewer of the Information House Marine.
ENCs are equivalent to paper charts. For primary navigation, you may use official ENCs in combination with a type approved in ECDIS, provided that you have a back-up. IHO Publication S66 summarises background information to the production and use of ENCs and ECDIS.
You can purchase Dutch ENCs via the value-added resellers of IC-ENC.
The Hydrographic Service produces paper charts using the same source data as for ENCs. The Netherlands produces the majority of the paper charts folio in cooperation with the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office. These charts are based on Dutch data. You can recognise these co-produced charts by the double logo. The charts are coordinated with Belgium, Germany and France near the boundaries.
The A0-format charts of the North Sea are published as INT chart according to international standards. They have been included in the INT chart catalogue of the IHO. The coverage of the charts for the Caribbean Sea is as shown in the maps below.
Small commercial vessels and leisure craft usually use the 1800 Series (8 atlases). These charts cover the Dutch coast and major inland waters. The coverage of the 1800 Series charts is shown in the map below.
You can update the charts by using the Dutch Berichten aan Zeevarenden and the English Notices to Mariners. You can only correct the national charts (i.e. not co-produced charts) of the Hydrographic Service by using the Dutch BaZ.
Planning charts give necessary additional information for voyage planning purposes and should be used in conjunction with an official nautical chart. To this end, the Netherlands Hydrographic Service publishes chart 1970 Mariners’ Routing Guide Southern North Sea.
IHO catalogue with INT charts and ENC schemes
Raster charts (RNC’s)
A raster chart is the simplest form of a digital chart (like a scanned version of a paper chart). When an ENC is available, you are not allowed to use raster charts as the main means of navigation. Raster charts can be obtained from the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office.
Training charts are issued for educational purposes. You may not use these charts for navigational purposes. The charts are not kept up-to-date with Notices to Mariners (NtMs).