By 1 January 2024, the single window for data exchange is to become mandatory in ports around the world, marking a significant step in the acceleration of digitalisation in shipping, and BIMCO provides FAQs for further clarification.
#1 What is a Maritime Single Window and why will this requirement by 1 January 2024 create a “WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITIES”?
As Jeppe Skovbakke Juhl, Manager, Maritime Safety & Security, BIMCO, explains, a Maritime Single Window (MSW) is a public-private data collaboration platform, that enables an orchestration and optimisation of business processes between organisations involved in the arrival, stay and departure of ships in ports.
It achieves this through a single, “one truth” submission of standardised and harmonised data.
#2 What kind of window of opportunities can an MSW create?
If implemented well, a Maritime Single Window can:
- Reduce vessel time at anchor and at berth, minimising emissions
- Reduce the vessel clearance process, speeding up departure
- Improve safety of a call thanks to data certainty and availability
- Reduce human ship-to- shore interaction – better health and safety
- Lead to greater efficiency by allowing authorities and companies serving the vessel to synchronise their activities in tandem with vessel arrival and departure time
- Increase supply chain predictability thanks to advance vessel and cargo information, optimising processes, and risk management.
#3 What guidance has been communicated by the IMO on the Maritime Single Window and what is meant by the FAL compendium?
According to Mr. Juhl, when a ship comes in to port it may be the end of a voyage but it’s just the beginning of a whole range of administrative tasks that need to be done.
This includes but is not limited to:
- Customs declarations for cargo and ships’ stores;
- Immigration clearance for crew and passengers and their baggage;
- Import and export permits.
In fact, these are just the tip of the iceberg. And when the ship leaves, it’s the same process all over again. This is what is called the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic – or FAL for convenience.
For international shipping, a unified, global approach to FAL is vital. These activities are regulated and streamlined by an international treaty called the FAL Convention. This treaty is continually amended and updated by Governments at the FAL Committee of IMO, which meets once per year
#4 What is the IMO Compendium and how is it related to a Maritime Single Window?
As of 1 January 2024, public authorities will be required to provide all information required to a “single window” by electronic means. This applies to all the information needed to fulfil the standard regulatory requirements – the cargo declaration, dangerous goods declaration, crew manifests, vessel details and so on.
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