Mainly, the maritime single window enables all information required by public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, people and cargo, to be submitted electronically via a single portal, without duplication.

This type of system is recommended by IMO's Facilitation Convention, the treaty which aims to reduce administrative burdens and make shipping and trade by sea more efficient.

During a meeting of the Steering Committee project that took place on Thursday, April 11, the Maritime Single Window System developed by Norway was formally handed over to Antigua and Barbuda (photos).

The ceremony took place at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom, where the Facilitation Committee holds its 43rd session.

The project to implement a single window in Antigua and Barbuda was launched in October 2017. Installation of the first, basic system platform took place in June 2018. This was followed by testing and implementation.

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Antigua and Barbuda and Norway have been the main stakeholders in the maritime single window project.

Norway provided in-kind and financial support to Antigua and Barbuda.

Additionally, the first version of the basic generic maritime single window system was introduced to stakeholders in Antigua and Barbuda during a three-day training and workshop session in St. Johns in June 2018.

During the session, a technical team from Norway explained the basic platform, now available to all stakeholders in Antigua and Barbuda, during a week-long series of related activities.

The operational implementation phase began afterwards, with new versions of the system released every three-four weeks, based on the feedback of the users in Antigua and Barbuda, including Customs, Immigration, Port Authority, Health, the Maritime Administration, and shipping agencies.

During the latter part of the development, a technical representative from Antigua joined the system development team.

The fully functional generic maritime single window was delivered in December 2018. The final takeover of the system by Antigua and Barbuda was made in the first week of February 2019.

Concluding, the commencement of the pilot project launched on 8 March 2019 and will run to 31 October 2019. Transition to the full electronic system will commence on 1 November 2019.