Nautical charts

Official BSH nautical charts

The BSH publishes official nautical charts for navigation. These are the basis for planning and carrying out safe maritime navigation. The nautical charts are published in various formats and scales:

  • electronic charts (Electronic Nautical Chart - ENC):
    ENCs for use in an Electronic Chart Display and Information Service (ECDIS) and their digital updates are available from IC-ENC (International Centre for ENCs in Taunton, UK). It acts as a centre for final testing, encryption and distribution of ENCs through authorised Value Added Resellers (VARs).

  • paper charts:
    Printed nautical charts are available from booksellers and boat equipment suppliers. From 1 January 2019 BSH products are no longer sold through sales offices.

All paper charts and ENCs can be found in our product catalogue. There you can search for nautical charts either in a list or a chart view. The catalogue also contains an illustration and further information for each chart.

You will find all the information needed to correct charts on this website under Shipping/Navigational information. The tidal stream tables can be found under Shipping/Navigational information/Chart correction service. Further nautically relevant information on the sea area can be found in the manuals.

Electronic nautical charts

The BSH produces electronic nautical charts for its area of responsibility: the German territorial sea up to the border of the Exclusive Economic Zone and parts of the Southern Ocean. The ENCs contain all nautical chart information required for safe navigation. In addition, the ECDIS systems contain additional information. When used in a type-approved ECDIS, official ENCs and their updates may replace paper charts for navigation. Further information on electronic nautical charts will be available soon on this website.

Paper charts

The BSH has redesigned the paper chart series for the German coasts of the North and Baltic Seas and parts of the Southern Ocean. The scale and content are designed for different uses. Here you can find information on the redesign of the sea chart series. The BSH publishes the following paper charts:

  • International charts

    They are part of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and are produced by the BSH using an international character key (map 1/INT 1) and according to IHO chart guidelines and regulations. These charts currently have different formats, but in future they will all appear in DIN A0 format with reduced information content. They show the contents in German and English and cover scale ranges up to 1 : 2 000 000. For coastal waters, please use the national charts.

  • National charts

    They are part of a series of nautical charts limited exclusively to the German coastal waters. These charts currently have different formats, but will all appear in DIN A1 format in the future. They are created according to the international character key (map 1/INT 1), but only show the contents in German. They cover defined scale ranges.
    In the area covered by the North Sea, all national nautical charts already have the DIN A1 format; in the Baltic Sea, all national nautical charts with a larger paper format and different scale sequences will also be adapted to the DIN A1 format in the next few years as part of the conversion of the nautical chart series. As soon as a sea area is completely covered by national charts, the official charts for small and recreational shipping will be included in this area.

  • Georeferenced raster charts
    All paper charts of the BSH are also available as georeferenced raster images on request. A license may be required for this. These maps are not suitable for navigation.

The chart overview is only available in German.

Additional Information


Udo Cimutta
Arvid Elsner
+49 381 4563-954 +49 381 4563-957

Correction service

We offer a free correction service for BSH charts and books that are not mandatory shipping equipment.

Navigational Information

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We do not distribute our products directly to customers and private individuals. Further information can be found here:

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