Counterfeit Chart Safety Alert Issued by UKHO
The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has issued an alert in response to an increase in the number of counterfeit Admiralty charts and publications in circulation.
Counterfeit products pose a danger to the safety of vessels and crews. Information in the counterfeit version may not be up to date and pages of publications may be missing – hindering passage planning and navigation.
The carriage of counterfeit documents is against the law in all countries that have signed the Berne Convention (the vast majority of countries) and authorities in those countries have the power to seize counterfeit documents. Counterfeit charts do not satisfy the requirements of the SOLAS convention.
The UKHO has taken a number of preventative measures on paper charts published since October of 2014. The newer charts include: certificates of authenticity, graphic bar of the UKHO crest, a watermark, and a barcoded thumb label on the reserve side.
Even with the enhancements, charts are often very hard to identify as counterfeit. A recently updated guide contains visual examples and explanations to help to distinguish official Admiralty charts and publications from counterfeit versions.
Anyone with suspicions over the authenticity of their Admiralty charts and publications is encouraged to contact the UKHO by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.