Maritime Info Exchange Becomes Mandatory Under IMO


A mandatory requirement from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that will oblige national governments to exchange electronic data between ships and ports has taken effect.

The ruling, which became official on April 8, 2019, is part of the IMO's Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) and is expected to make cross-border trade easier, as well as boosting the efficiency of the maritime supply chain.

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Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary-General, commented: “The new FAL Convention requirement for all Public Authorities to establish systems for the electronic exchange of information related to maritime transport marks a significant move in the maritime industry and ports towards a digital maritime world, reducing the administrative burden and increasing the efficiency of maritime trade and transport.”



According to a statement, the FAL Convention promotes the use of a “single window” for data that allows all parties in the logistics chain to access information via one portal.

This move will increase the visibility of ships, people and cargo as they arrive and depart from a port, making planning processes simpler and enabling further cooperation.

Other maritime issues that will also be discussed by the IMO's Facilitation Committee, which is meeting from April 8-12 for its 43rd session, include ongoing efforts to achieve the standardization of electronic messages.



As part of the meeting, the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic business, including data elements of the FAL Convention will undergo phase one of a review, while guidelines for the establishment of a single window system are also set to be approved.

In addition to this, an update will be given on a successful single window project launched by the IMO in Antigua and Barbuda.

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