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e-CFR data is current as of January 15, 2021

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter FPart 995Subpart A → §995.1


Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
PART 995—CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR DISTRIBUTORS OF NOAA HYDROGRAPHIC PRODUCTS
Subpart A—General


§995.1   Purpose and scope.

(a) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) produces electronic navigational charts (ENCs) as one of its products under its Nautical Charting Program. According to Federal regulations, official NOAA ENCs® meet nautical chart carriage requirements when used in a type-approved display system, such as an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). NOAA distributes these official ENCs to the public for free over its Web site on the Internet. This Part establishes the requirements by which entities may be certified to download, redistribute, repackage, or in some cases reformat, official NOAA ENCs and retain the NOAA ENC's official status. When a NOAA ENC® retains its official status, it will comply with Federal chart carriage requirements. These requirements for re-distributing NOAA ENC data or incorporating it into value-added navigational products are to ensure the quality and content of official NOAA ENCs remains intact throughout the redistribution process. No other processes result in redistributed NOAA ENC products that comply with Federal chart carriage requirements.

(b) Two types of certification are offered. The first type, “Certified NOAA ENC Distributor” (CED), covers NOAA ENC downloading, exact copying, and redistribution of those copies. The second type, “Certified NOAA ENC Value Added Distributor” (CEVAD), permits reformatting official NOAA ENCs into a System Electronic Navigational Chart (SENC) using type-approved software, and distribution of that SENC. Both types of certification permit, but do not require, compression, encryption, and packaging with other data. Because NOAA ENC® data is the primary concern of this rule, and it is mandatory for certification that the official NOAA ENCs remain unaltered for positional accuracy and informational content, NOAA is, in effect, certifying that a CED's or CEVAD's products contain official NOAA ENC data, and therefore meets chart carriage requirements.

(c) Any entity may continue to download from an official NOAA ENC® Web site and use NOAA ENCs for any purpose. As long as it is not redistributed, that ENC will still be considered as official Federal data. If the NOAA ENC is successfully imported unaltered into a type-approved system, it will comply with Federal nautical chart carriage requirements. While without certification anyone can download an official NOAA ENC for any use, if a NOAA ENC® is redistributed by an uncertified entity to another entity, the NOAA ENC is no longer considered as official Federal data and thus does not comply with Federal chart carriage requirements. An example follows.

(1) One example is if an uncertified individual downloads a NOAA ENC and uses it according to Federal requirements, that individual will be meeting Federal chart carriage requirements. If an uncertified tug boat company has 9 boats in its fleet and an individual on one of the boats downloads a NOAA ENC and uses it according to Federal requirements that individual will be meeting Federal chart carriage requirements. However, if that same uncertified tug boat company downloads a NOAA ENC and redistributes it to its 9 boats, the NOAA ENC will not be considered official Federal data and therefore the 9 boats will not be meeting Federal carriage requirements. The company should become a CED or CEVAD under this part in order to be able to redistribute NOAA ENC's and retain the official status of those ENC's.

(2) To reiterate, NOAA ENCs must not be redistributed by an uncertified entity if the end output needs to have official NOAA ENCs in it that will comply with Federal carriage requirements. Any company, entity or individual must be certified if the goal is to redistribute NOAA ENCs and have those NOAA ENCs remain as official Federal data and as such continue to meet Federal carriage requirements administered by the Coast Guard.

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