The UKHO represents the national interest in hydrographic matters.
We are taking a lead role in developments, at a time of continuing
uncertainty. We have extended the Bilateral programme, to secure
the supply of the data which is the lifeblood of the organisation.

The UKHO has continued to play a leading role in the international hydrographic community, through participation in committees and working groups of the International Hydrographic Organization and the International Maritime Organization.

The office has continued its programme to establish and maintain Bilateral Arrangements with Foreign Government Hydrographic Offices. The primary purpose of this work is to maintain and enhance the flow of information into the UKHO so that its products and services can be continued and improved to the benefit of the mariner and other users. Our Bilaterals programme completed 6 new signings and 5 major revisions this year. A total of 37 arrangements are now in place. Active negotiations with other countries continue, and a plan has been initiated to review all existing arrangements to ensure their currency.


The European Regional Electronic Navigational Chart Co-ordinating Centre (RENC) is an intergovernmental co operation set up in accordance with the Worldwide ENC Database (WEND) principles of the International Hydrographic Organization. The purpose of the arrangement is to enable the provision of the Official ENC service covering the waters of the co-operating Hydrographic Offices (HOs). There are currently 11 National HOs in the RENC, namely Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The UK and Norway carry out and fund the RENC operational functions on behalf of the co operating HOs. This operational element uses the registered brand name PRIMAR, and acts as the final link in the ENC production chain by validating and encrypting ENCs into a consistent database which is then made available to the maritime community through appointed distributors.


The SHARED Programme is a joint UK-Singapore initiative to promote the use of official electronic charts; ENCs where available and official raster charts elsewhere. The new Singapore Navy vessel RSS Endurance has become the first ship using official electronic chart data with ECDIS to circumnavigate the world. ENCs were used in Singapore, New York, Halifax, Plymouth, Toulon, Alexandria, Suez Canal, Southern Red Sea and the Malacca Straits. Elsewhere, raster charts were provided by the UKHO ARCS Service. The objective of SHARED has been developed, with the mission now to "demonstrate and facilitate the use of integrated official electronic chart data for safe and efficient global maritime navigation".


page top