Seeing the same picture is seeing the big picture

Non-profit e-chart provider PRIMAR is the starting point for safe navigation at sea. Through flexible and innovative distribution platforms PRIMAR supplies the international maritime community with official Electronic Navigational Charts.

In quiet surroundings, with a view to Western Norway's picturesque fjords, a small group of experts have the world at their fingertips. The substantial task of PRIMAR is to cooperate with a multitude of hydrographic offices to collect hydrographical data from around the world.

The data is quality checked, before reliable, authorised and official charts are distributed to all players in the maritime field to ensure safe and hassle-free navigation at sea.

Operated by the Norwegian Hydrographic Service, PRIMAR is dedicated to providing consistent and reliable electronic navigational charts (ENC) worldwide. PRIMAR operates the first ever Regional ENC Coordination Centre (RENC) collecting data from an ever-increasing number of national hydrographical offices around the world.

PRIMAR's core aim is to make up-to-date official charts available to everyone through innovative solutions that
best serve the end-users. This is achieved not only through close cooperation with hydrographic offices, but through the innovative technological collaboration with their global distributor network.

PRIMAR contributes to the Maritime Safety Circle as all actors in need of chart data have access to the same charting information.Freedom to choose

For successful operations at sea it is vital for all involved parties to see the same reality. PRIMAR's database of charts with worldwide coverage is available through a number of user-friendly distributor solutions to seafarers and all players in the maritime community on a variety of platforms 24/7. Some of the innovative solutions are briefly described below.

Pay As You Sail

In a scenario where a vessel needs to re-route, PRIMAR supports the Pay As You Sail (PAYS) solution where updated ENCs with world-wide coverage are passively stored on the navigation system. The ship's crew can access the data for planning purposes.

Once the ship chances course, only the charts used for navigation and reported through a tracking mechanism are payable. PAYS is a cost-effective and efficient solution that saves valuable time and money for shipping companies.

Web Chart Service

Say you are a desk worker responsible for the activities of a ship thousands of miles away. By accessing PRIMAR's Web Chart Service, the ENC images you view on your computer screen are identical to the data the captain sees on the ship's navigation instruments. When the service is integrated with other technical features installed on most vessels nowadays, such as the Automatic Identification System (AIS), you can monitor the vessel's progress and weather conditions in that exact area. Working with up-to-date authorised charts during an operation, whether at the planning stage in an office or on-board the vessel, is the lifeline to safety and success.


INSPECTOR is a tool for port-state-control. In a busy shipping lane, port authority officials need to know that vessels carry adequate charts to manoeuvre in the area. Unauthorised, wrongful charts can have serious
consequences. This web-based service gives maritime authorities access to a vessel's pool of ENCs and will
assure port authorities that the vessel can undertake its intended voyage. Carrying authorised ENCs is a safety net both for a nation's port control and for the shipping company. In the event of an accident documenting
the use of authorised charts will carry legitimacy in the insurance process.


PRIMAR is a one-stop-shop for operating safely at sea. The security of using authorised official charts together
with type-approved navigation systems helps prevent accidents and protects the maritime environment.

Its benefits are undisputable across all sectors of the maritime industry from fisheries to oil and seismic operations, leisure cruising, commercial shipping and search and rescue missions. PRIMAR's innovative and
flexible solutions, tailored in close collaboration with their global network of distributors, give all players in the maritime field the freedom to choose the ENC platforms best suited for their needs.


  • Non-profit organisation operated by the Norwegian Hydrographic Service in close cooperation with the Electronic Chart Centre (ECC)
  • Operates the world's first Regional ENC Coordinating Centre (RENC)
  • Global provider of consistent and reliable electronic navigational charts (ENC).
  • All ENCs meet IMO's SOLAS chart and carriage requirements.
  • World-wide ENC database
  • Global distributor network
  • Provides ENCs to navies, marine pilots, coast guard, search and rescue, port control services, commercial shipping etc.