Standardising and harmonising the electronic ship to shore communication by integrating administrative, nautical and operational data, will strengthen port calls in general, and support maritime digitalisation. This was one of the conclusions from the most recent meeting in IMO’s Facilitation Committee (FAL 46).
tandardising and harmonising the electronic ship to shore communication was high on the agenda at the IMO Facilitation Committee meeting held from 9-13 May 2022, with the aim to ensure better and smarter communication between all actors involved in a port call.
The Maritime Single Window (MSW) concept, and particularly the so-called IMO Compendium, are key elements to success when strengthening the data communication between ship and shore.
The IMO Compendium serves as a reference manual for creating and harmonising the systems needed to support transmission, receipt and response of information required for the arrival, stay and departure of the ship, persons and cargo via electronic data exchange
says Jeppe Skovbakke Juhl, Manager, Maritime Safety & Security at BIMCO.
At the meeting, BIMCO, together with the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH), and the International Harbour Master Association (IHMA), proposed to enhance the implementation of MSW globally, by including the port call process (such as the just-in-time concept) and (in particular) the exchange of nautical and operational data beyond what is required today.
“The BIMCO proposal was widely accepted and the IMO guidelines for setting up a maritime single window was subsequently updated. A holistic integration of the port call process brings administrative, nautical and operational information and data into one system (MSW), which will ensure the quality of information provided and delivered,” Mr Juhl explained.
This is a huge step forward for harmonising the machine-to-machine data exchange communication with the shoreside
In 2016, the IMO adopted mandatory regulations for electronic data exchange, requiring public authorities to establish systems to assist ship clearance processes and a MSW by 1 January 2024. Owing to that decision, FAL 46 adopted amendments to the Facilitation Convention which makes the single window for data exchange mandatory in ports around the world. This marked a significant step on the path to digitalization for shipping.
The aim of using standardised and harmonised data structures is to ensure the use of a common “single window” concept although they may differ from country to country
Mr Juhl concluded.