Many coastal states are unable to meet their international obligations when it comes to providing modern and updated nautical charts and publications to both international and national shipping. The hydrographic offices of countries like United Kingdom, France, US and Australia act as primary charting authorities on behalf of those countries. They issue the official nautical charts (paper and electronic). This was the case for Albania for which the UK Hydrographic Office was the primary charting authority, until now.

Three new ENCs for the Albanian coast

This January, Albania produced its first three ENCs that cover the entire Albanian coast in the “approach” user band. The ENCs are available for international shipping through the global ENC service provider PRIMAR, operated by the Hydrographic Service of the Norwegian Mapping Authority.

During the course of this year, the Albanian Hydrographic Service will have produced ENCs in the “harbour” user band for their most important harbours.

Norway supports establishment of new national hydrographic service

In 2014 the Norwegian Mapping Authority signed an agreement with the Albanian Armed Forces to help them establish their own hydrographic service. With a budget of 10 million Norwegian kroner from the Norwegian ministry of Foreign Affairs and a fair amount of internal resources a project was set in motion. Albanian staff was trained; equipment and software was bought and installed. Norway donated a survey launch with modern survey equipment. Consequently, Albania now has its own national capability to map their waters of national jurisdiction to modern international standards.

The project ended mid 2018 but the Norwegian Mapping Authority will continue to support the Albanian Hydrographic Service until the end of 2021 to secure sustainability of the achieved results.