Officials at the Port of Lobito in Angola conducted a handover ceremony to mark the completion of the pilot Single Window for Facilitation of Trade (SWiFT) project for the newly developed generic Maritime Single Window (MSW) platform.
The event took place after a successful week-long user acceptability testing session arranged digitally by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), which included officials from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the MPA, and the Port of Lobito.
According to MPA Singapore, the new MSW digital system provides for the electronic input of all information necessary by multiple authorities to enable smooth clearance of ships during port calls through a single online site.
From January 2024, ports worldwide will be obliged to run MSWs for the exchange of information necessary at the point of a ship’s arrival, during its stay, and at departure.
The change is in line with international shipping’s aspirations to accelerate digitalisation and decarbonisation of the sector and is the result of amendments to the IMO’s FAL Convention.
The SWiFT project was established by IMO and Singapore in 2021 to support medium-size ports in establishing secure digital interconnectivity with counterparts worldwide, to meet IMO’s mandatory obligations under the FAL Convention.
Under the SWiFT project, IMO and MPA collaborated closely with Angolan stakeholders, notably the Port of Lobito and Agência Marítima Nacional, to establish a workable generic MSW platform tailored to the Port of Lobito’s requirements.
Julian Abril, Head of the IMO’s Facilitation Section said: “With single window for data exchange requirements under the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic becoming mandatory in ports from 1 January 2024, the lessons and experience gained from the SWiFT project will contribute towards the implementation of MSWs globally.”
Gavin Yeo, MPA Deputy Director (Sectoral Systems Development), stated: “The MSW platform developed under the SWiFT project draws from Singapore’s experience in the implementation of our national MSW, digitalPORT@SG.
“MPA is pleased to have partnered IMO and the Port of Lobito on this digital transformation journey, which has the potential to enhance the efficiencies for international shipping, port operations and global supply chains.”