A technological performance standard for electronic chart systems has been under development at the international level since 1986. This standard was negotiated in IMO/IHO working groups largely before electronic chart systems enjoyed widespread use on commercial vessels. We describe a multi-year, collaborative effort to evaluate the proposed standard. While many of the recommendations arising from this evaluation have been incorporated in recent revisions of the IMO standard, concerns remain over restrictive database requirements. The economic and technical components of the approach to standards evaluation may provide a useful model for the evaluation of other proposed standards.