Core activities of the SHS of Ukraine are as follows:
- equipping of seas and inland waterways by aids to navigation in zone of responsibility of Ukraine; maintenance of their smooth performance in compliance with established operating modes; compilation and distribution of nautical navigational and river pilot charts, manuals and sailing directions; vessels informing on the changes in navigational circumstances;
- navigational and hydrographic support including design, production and implementation of new methods, technologies and techniques with regard to navigation, hydrography and nautical cartography;
- research and development, design, survey and engineering work in the area of navigation, hydrography, oceanography and nautical cartography;
- representation of Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine in International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), other international bodies on the matters of navigation, hydrography, oceanography and nautical cartography; cooperation with Hydrographic Services of other countries;
- fulfillment of international obligations of Ukraine regarding aids to navigation and hydrography including hydrographic and oceanographic surveying of oceans and seas.
Primary functions of the SHS of Ukraine and its branches are:
- communication to mariners of official information about the changes in navigational circumstances and regime of navigation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov through transmitting of coastal warnings via international automated service for transmitting of navigational and meteorological warnings (NAVTEX); radio broadcasting of navigational warnings for provision of navigational safety in the high seas; dissemination of NAVAREA International Coordinator (Cadis, Spain) warnings in the framework of Worldwide Navigational Warning Service; issuing of Notices to Mariners;
- creation and maintenance of banks and bases containing the navigational and hydrographic information;
- execution of scientific and technical programs in the areas of navigation, hydrography and oceanography;
- participation in the programs of training and refresher training of navigators and hydrographic surveyors;
- analysis of aids to navigation status and preparation of proposals on improvement of the aids to navigation system;
- rearrangement of navigational equipment within exclusive (maritime) economic zone, territorial sea and inland sea waters of Ukraine;
- coordinating, within their competence and on behalf of Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, the issues regarding construction of navigational facilities, hydrographic surveys, laying of undersea cables, etc. in the exclusive (maritime) economic zone, territorial sea and inland sea waters of Ukraine; supervision of these operations performance;
- development of draft regulatory documents as to hydrographic surveys and aids to navigation.
Over 850 professionals in various areas of expertise are involved in the activities, which are listed above. They investigate the seabed in the Sea of Azov and Black Sea region, ensure navigational safety in the course of performance of special operations on the surface of the sea, as well as on the continental shelf.
The SHS of Ukraine plays a key role in implementation of national policy relating to aids to navigation and fulfillment of the international obligations of Ukraine as to the safety of navigation within its zone of responsibility, which are prescribed by the IMO Safety of Life at Sea Convention 74/78, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, corresponding resolutions of International Maritime Organization and International Hydrographic Organization. SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 9 binds over the governments of the SOLAS contracting member-states to provide the greatest possible uniformity of nautical charts and publications with due account for international resolutions and recommendations, in particular for the IHO resolutions. The governments must coordinate their activities to ensure timely access to accurate and reliable hydrographic and navigational information worldwide.
The SHS of Ukraine effectively cooperate with foreign Hydrographic Offices for the purpose of exchange of experience, cutting-edge developments in the area of hydrography, aids to navigation, etc.
State Hydrographic Service of Ukraine is a member of the International Hydrographic Organization’s Mediterranean and Black Seas Hydrographic Commission (MBSHC) and Working Group on the Safety of Navigation in the Black and Azov Seas (BASWG). Such cooperation allowed the exchange of nautical charts, Notices to Mariners with a wide range of countries in the region, a membership in Virtual Regional Electronic Navigational Chart Coordinating Centre (VRENC) for the Mediterranean and Black Sea countries.
International activities of the SHS of Ukraine play a key role in maintenance of navigational safety in Ukrainian zone of responsibility owing to utilization of wide worldwide hydrographic experience.