The IMO has announced that since the 8 April 2019, it is mandatory for national governments to have a form of electronic information exchange between ships and ports.
The aim is to make cross-border trade simpler and the logistics chain more efficient.
The requirement is part of a package of amendments adopted in 2016 by the IMO, under the revised Annex to the Facilitation of Internal Maritime Traffic (FAL) Convention. “The new FAL Convention requirement for all public authorities to establish systems for the electronic exchange of information related to maritime transport marks a significant move in the maritime industry and ports towards a digital maritime world, reducing the administrative burden and increasing the efficiency of maritime trade and transport,” said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.
The FAL convention encourages the use of a single window for data, to enable all the information required by public authorities regarding the arrival, stay and departure of ships, persons and cargo, to be submitted via a single portal, without duplication.
The implementation date for electronic data exchange coincides with the 43rd session of the IMO’s Facilitation Committee meeting that took place at the beginning of April. The Committee will focus on the continuation of harmonisation and standardisation of electronic messages, among other agenda items.
The revised guidelines for setting up a single window system in maritime transport are set to be approved, during the committee meeting.