NGA Regions 3 & 4 now unavailable
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Customers looking to purchase NGA charts in regions 3 (UK, Iceland, Greenland, Western Europe in blue) and 4 (Scandinavia, Northern Russia in red) will no longer find them available to be printed on demand. Those charts are now available for military use only, which means the commercial network of printers supplying printed-on-demand charts will no longer have access to charts in those regions.
Below is an email from OceanGrafix, the Print-on-Demand technology supplier, sent to all remote printing agents at the end of the day on January 31:
"Per the direction of NOAA/NGA, we are no longer authorized to provide printed NGA charts for NGA Regions 3 (U.K., Iceland, Greenland and Western Europe) and 4 (Scandinavia, Northern Russia). This is due to previous contractual agreements [between the US and foreign governments], which deem these charts for military use only..."
Customers are to be referred to equivalent charts of international waters published by foreign hydrographic offices (such as the UKHO). NGA charts of foreign waters are typically produced using data acquired by foreign hydrographic offices, so there is a good chance an equivalent chart is available—especially in NGA regions 3 and 4.
We will post any updates here as we learn more about the timing and circumstances of this change.
UPDATE: Charts in subregions 8-2 and 8-3 were also made unavailable as of March 15, 2012.
Tim Gossett covers maritime industry news for American Nautical Services, where he has helped container lines to improve hazmat operations via software. Tim also helps to outfit vessels with digital navigational data, keeping pace with an industry shift to paperless navigation. Tim is a hobbyist web developer, which is useful in his role managing amnautical.com and maritimecompliance.com