The proposal is expected to increase efficiency of maritime operations by ensuring reporting procedures are the same for all port calls, aiming to boost competitiveness of the maritime sector in the long-run.

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The regulation is part of the Mobility Package III which the Commission adopted in May 2018. The European maritime single window environment aims to address the issue of numerous, non-harmonised reporting obligations by linking the existing national maritime single windows together in a coordinated and harmonised way. The reform will improve interoperability between various systems, making it much easier to share and reuse data.

ECSA and WSC announced that they are pleased to see in the Council’s text a clear commitment to establish a harmonised data set, which is essential to reach real trade facilitation.

The Council has agreed that the data elements must be kept to only the important reporting information that is required and that additional temporary requirements are only added in exceptional cases.

In fact, Martin Dorsman, ECSA’s Secretary General, commented that this General Approach will simplify and harmonise the reporting to be done and takes a step towards a real internal market for shipping.

John Butler, CEO and President of the World Shipping Council, stated:

The shipping industry is looking to the EU Institutions to deliver a European Maritime Single Window environment that remedies the deficiencies and costs that arose from the original Directive and its lack of a common blueprint for implementation by Member States

The European Parliament Transport Committee is also making improvements to the proposal. Both the draft report of MEP Ms. Clune, as well as a number of the amendments tabled by her fellow MEPs are in line with requests from the industry to simplify and harmonise data and the reporting mechanism.

Commenting on 'how' to report the data, Martin Dorsman added that there is the need to ensure that the reporting interfaces are harmonised and common, both for system-to-system reporting and manual reporting using websites. However, this would not replace existing well-functioning reporting mechanisms.