NMEA Installation Standards

NMEA 0400 AIS section referenced in federal law; ABYC E-11 standard added as appendix

Two recent moves have expanded the utility and reach of the NMEA 0400 Installation Standard. Following years of discussion with the US Coast Guard regarding Automatic Identification System (AIS) installations, the NMEA Installation Standard (Version 3.10) is now referenced under US law. In a separate action, the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) offered to include their ABYC E-11 Electrical Standard as an appendix in NMEA 0400.

Referring to the AIS provision, Steve Spitzer, NMEA’s Director of Standards, said, “During the revision of the NMEA 0400 AIS section, we engaged a number of AIS experts at the US Coast Guard headquarters and international experts for input and feedback. We collaborated with our team on this section to assure that NMEA was on the right path and with the potential outcome that NMEA would be part of the regulation. We are grateful for the work the experts provided.”

“The AIS section within the NMEA 0400 Installation Standard is now part of Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §164.46—Automatic Identification System,” Spitzer said. “With this recognition, we are on par with IMO—the International Maritime Organization—in this regard, which can have positive effects down the road for NMEA and IMEA, the International Marine Electronics Association.”

The CFR statute states that, “Properly installed, operational means an Automatic Identification System (AIS) that is installed and operated using the guidelines set forth by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution A.917(22) and Safety of Navigation Circulars (SN/Circ.) 227, 244, 245, and SN.1/Circ.289; or National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) Installation Standard 0400-3.10 in lieu of SN/Circ.227 and 245 (incorporated by reference, see §164.03).”

Describing the ABYC action, NMEA President and Executive Director Mark Reedenauer said, “Our partners at ABYC have graciously included their E-11 Electrical Standard as an appendix in the NMEA 0400 Installation Standard. ABYC E-11 specifies the design, construction, and installation of AC and DC electrical systems on boats.” 

“The information found in ABYC’s electrical standards is crucial for a safe, reliable installation,” said John Adey, ABYC President. “Getting this document in the hands of NMEA technicians can only increase the satisfaction of the end-users and keep them on the water.

Reedenauer added, “This is a huge step in the right direction to get NMEA and ABYC collaborating and promoting each organization’s standards. I see this as a first of many positive steps between both associations. There are many NMEA electronics installers who are also ABYC Certified® technicians. This allows NMEA installers to directly reference the ABYC E-11 Electrical Standard from a single document while on the job site.” 

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