Advances in Electronic Recordkeeping

Maritime Reporter

Electronic logbooks have long been viewed as an effective and efficient means of shipboard recordkeeping. They take less time to complete, eliminate issues of legibility, and in some areas are capable of automatically logging information based on input from vessel equipment. They are easier to maintain, eliminating the need for spaces to keep completed records onboard and minimizing the risk of losing them, and reducing the risk of loss of records in a fire, floor, or shipboard emergency.

Electronic records are also more environmentally friendly as they do not require use of paper books. A critical factor for vessel owners and operators in ensuring proper oversight and compliance, electronic records can be viewed by shoreside personnel at any time. That said, it is imperative that the electronic recordkeeping system is secure and cannot be manipulated—thus, all changes made to electronic records should be recorded and capable of being reviewed.

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“Advances in Electronic Recordkeeping,” by Jeanne M. Grasso and Dana S. Merkel was published in the October 2019 edition of Maritime Reporter. Reprinted with permission.