International Maritime Organization’s FAL 47 Committee (13-17 March 2023) adopted a resolution on recommended actions to accelerate the implementation of the maritime single window. The establishment of maritime single windows will be mandatory from 1 January 2024.
The Committee was also updated on initiatives taken by the IMO Secretariat to support Member States in implementing a maritime single window, including information on two events organized by the Secretariat in partnership with IAPH and BIMCO to raise awareness of the deadline for implementation of the MSW and to share hands-on experience from Member States in the implementation process (a webinar in October 2022 and a symposium in January 2023).
The resolution stresses the benefits of the implementation of single windows in the ports of Member States and:
- Urges Governments to adopt, implement and effectively apply the maritime single window concept to ship and port clearance processes;
- Invites Governments advanced in their maritime single window implementation to share know-how and experiences with States seeking assistance in developing their own maritime single window;
- Calls on Governments to share the lessons learned and expand from build on the benefits of implementing maritime single windows, such as improving safety and efficiency of maritime operations, strengthening supply chain resilience and reduction of emissions;
- Encourages Governments to utilize the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business when developing electronic information exchange systems as far as practically possible to ensure harmonization and interoperability across systems and stakeholders; and
- Invites Governments to provide detailed information on their implementation of the single window concept in GISIS to facilitate the access to best practices by interested Member States/parties.
An open access e-learning course on MSW implementation is being developed and is expected to be available from June 2023 on the IMO e-learning platform. The establishment of maritime single windows will be mandatory from 1 January 2024.
Development of Guidelines on Port Community Systems
The Committee established a Correspondence Group on the Development of Guidelines on Port Community Systems (PCS), to develop guidance while ensuring alignment with existing guidelines developed by the FAL Committee, in particular with the Guidelines for setting up a maritime single window (MSW) (FAL.5/Circ.42/Rev.3); and consider the interoperability between MSW and PCS to adhere to the “reporting once only” principle. Port community systems allow for exchange of information.
The Committee endorsed the view that the PCS Guidelines should complement the MSW Guidelines and should not stipulate any preference on the scope of the MSW since this may vary depending on a country’s implementation.
The Committee noted information on cases of stowaways reported to the Organization. In 2022, 64 cases involving 131 stowaways were reported. The total number of reports up to 31 December 2022 was 4,964, involving 15,222 stowaways.
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