The two organizations said that the shipping industry faces different information requirements and 'a costly array of differing local IT systems to connect to.'

These obstacles, which impede the greater use of maritime transport as a sustainable and green transport mode within the EU, would be reduced by the proposed simplifications and efficiencies

The EU Social Partners have also welcomed the positive impact that limiting this administrative burden will have on the working conditions of ships’ crews.

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For this reason, WSC and ECSA called MEPs to support amendments to ensure a fully Harmonised Maritime Single Window data set (EMSWe) and that new national data elements can only be requested if they are truly needed.

Secondly, WSC and ECSA urged MEPs to support maximum harmonisation of the reporting tools, whether the reporting is done through system-to-system connections or by manually submitting the information through a so-called Graphical User Interfaces.

They specifically noted that the best solution for system-to-system reporting would be to establish a voluntary system-to-system ‘Common Access Point Interface Module’ at EU level.

Martin Dorsman, ECSA’s Secretary–General, explained that the new regulations will not replace the national single windows, nor interfere with their decision making or the availability of data for individual ports. What is more, they will not risk the safety of the crew, the vessel and its cargo or the port.

It would simply route data directly from the maritime operator to the relevant national single window via one EU router and then relay back to the shipping company any responses from that national single window

For his side, John Butler, CEO and President of WSC, added that another key benefit will derive from a maritime carrier that is active in several Member States only having to establish one IT connection in order to lodge required information.

On the other hand, the ports are against this amendment. They believe that in the case where an additional EU level access point interface was to be introduced for ship reporting, that would result to delays and endangering safety and environmental protection in European seaports, since the already existent availability of reported data would be compromised.