AusENC is a local, official vector Electronic Navigational Chart (ENC) service tailored to meet Australian, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands domestic operations. It provides coverage of:

    • Australian, Australian Antarctic Territory and Timor Leste waters published by the AHO as 'AU' cells
    • Papua New Guinea waters published by the AHO as ‘PG’ cells
    • Solomon Islands waters published by the AHO as 'SB' cells
    • North Island New Zealand and South Island New Zealand waters published by Land Information New Zealand as ‘NZ’ cells

AusENC are encrypted using the IHO S-63 data protection scheme. They can be used in IMO compatible Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS), or in smaller and simpler compatible Electronic Chart Systems (ECS) which can decrypt IHO S-63 data.

ENC deliver additional functionality over paper or raster charts when used in an ECDIS or suitable ECS such as:

    • Enabling vessels to navigate using real-time GPS positions displayed on the ENC,
    • Enabling the ECDIS / ECS to respond to a safety depth contour based on a vessel’s actual draft,
    • Look-ahead functions which enable dangers or hazards to be identified automatically and warnings raised,
    • Provision of alerts and prompts for planned course alterations.
    • The ability to customise the display and level of content to suit the vessel, conditions and time of day.

ENC published by the AHO are arranged in a grid-based system of ‘cells’, of 1, 10 or 30 degree height and width. ENC covering ports have customised coverage. ENC are generally at larger scale and have greater detail than the equivalent paper chart coverage. The AusENC service includes fortnightly updates.

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International commercial vessels (SOLAS): All vessels required to meet SOLAS Chapter V regulations covering the carriage of electronic charts and ECDIS must use official ENC on an IMO compliant ECDIS for primary navigation. These vessels may choose to subscribe to AusENC or acquire equivalent ENC coverage by subscribing to an IC-ENC or PRMAR global ENC service. The AHO recommends vessels that require coverage extending beyond Australian, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste waters to subscribe to a global ENC service rather than combine other services with AusENC.

Domestic commercial vessels (NSCV): Commercial vessels 12 metres more in length and engaged in Australian domestic operations that are required to meet National Standards for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) may choose to use ENCs or paper charts for primary navigation. Vessels that wish to use ENC for primary navigation must use them in an IMO compliant ECDIS or NSCV compliant ECS. (An ECS may be as simple as a laptop computer or tablet receiving a GPS signal, as long as a few simple performance requirements are met). They may choose to subscribe to AusENC (AHO recommended) or subscribe to an IC-ENC or PRMAR global ENC service.

For further details about carriage requirements of electronic charts in Australian waters for SOLAS and NSCV regulated vessels, visit the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) website ( For details about carriage requirements of electronic charts in New Zealand waters visit the Maritime New Zealand website ( For further details about global ENC services, visit the IC-ENC website ( or PRIMAR (

Recreational and commercial unregulated vessels: AusENC (and official paper charts) are suitable to meet local inshore and offshore chart carriage requirements in Australian, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste and New Zealand waters.


The AusENC service uses a combination of ‘subscriptions’ and ‘permits’. A subscription tells the AHO which ENC a mariner wants, and for how long, while a permit ensures that the correct edition of each subscribed ENC can be opened and used. All other ENC services used for navigation use the same subscription and permit system.

AusENC is sold as subscriptions to ENC grouped in packs with different coverage and extent. This ensures that a mariner has all the relevant ENC for an area, and avoids the risk of missing one if selected individually. If a larger area of coverage is required, buying a larger pack is cheaper than subscribing to multiple smaller packs. A complete list of available packs and their ENC cell contents can be obtained from the AusENC Pack Index.

AusENC pack subscriptions may be purchased commercially through AusENC Distribution Agents.

Port and other maritime authorities: Australian port authorities and relevant government organisations may request subscriptions to AusENC packs that cover their area of port limits or areas of operational interest, directly from the AHO as part of data sharing arrangements. For further information, please contact the AHO Licensing Manager:

When ordering an AusENC subscription it is essential to supply an ‘S-63 User Permit’ for the IHO S-63 compatible viewing system to be used. These can be obtained from the system manufacturer or supplier. See the IHO S-63 Original Equipment Manufacturer list  for compatible viewing systems and contact details. Additionally, a working email address is required in order to receive AusENC cell permits and other service notifications.

When orders are processed, permits and instructions on how to install and use the AusENC service will be sent by email, normally within two working days.

On receipt of the permits, the latest AusENC base dataset (January or July as appropriate) and update dataset can be downloaded from the Product Downloads page, though some AusENC Distributors may supply the initial base dataset on CD.

Once AusENC permits and AusENC data are installed on the viewing system, the AusENC service will be ready to use. Updates should be downloaded and applied regularly – using the ‘Cumulative Update’ option ensures they are applied in the correct order, particularly if an individual update is missed.

Detailed information about AusENC is available in the AusENC fact sheets.


AusENC should be updated regularly to ensure they remain safe to use and continue to meet any applicable chart carriage requirements throughout the subscription period.

The ‘Standard’ AusENC service includes fortnightly updates available for mariners to download within the subscription price, along with any new permits via email for new editions of subscribed ENC. This is the preferred method, as mariners can receive their updates as soon as they are released. Alternatively, a CD based, update service is available at additional cost (covering media and postage).

AusENC updates are released fortnightly and will be identified with a calendar "Week" number. Updates include:

    • Permanent, Temporary and Preliminary Notices for changes to charted information significant to navigation such as changes to:
      • New hydrographic surveys, including dredged and other charted depths,
      • Port infrastructure including new port developments,
      • Navigational marks and lights,
      • New reported dangers to surface navigation such as shoals, wrecks and other obstructions,
      • Pilotage, anchorage and restricted areas.
    • New editions of existing ENC already included in each subscribed pack.
    • New ENC released within an area covered by a subscribed pack.

AusENC Updates can be downloaded from the Product Downloads page. Replacement AusENC cell permits will be sent by email when new cells and new editions of cells are released for subscribed packs.

Detailed information is available in the AusENC fact sheets.

Australian (AU) ENC Evaluation Sample Data-cell

ENC produced by the AHO are available at a discounted rate via the AusENC service, as well as via commercial services through the International Centre for ENC ( A free unprotected ENC data cell is available for download and evaluation for users unfamiliar with ENC.

It may be viewed using AusChartviewer, or one of many navigation systems capable of using ENC.