IMO supports the free-flow of trade
Standardization and harmonization are essential in order to achieve efficient shipping and seamless transport, particularly when it comes to electronic data exchange. IMO says its Facilitation Committee, which is meeting (5-8 June) at IMO Headquarters, is set to approve a revised format of the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business, including a completely revised and updated standard IMO data model set. Data models define and format information which might be transferred between automated systems, such as for export, import and transit. The revised Compendium will include a completely revised data structure, including digitalization-friendly definitions of all the information elements that a ship is required to report. This will make digitalization and automation of administrative processes in international shipping much easier, paving the way for full implementation of electronic data exchange, as required by the revised Facilitation Convention annex, which entered into force this year.
Work on the revised Compendium has been led by the World Customs Organization (WCO), with the collaboration of IMO, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) (the global focal point for trade facilitation recommendations and electronic business standards (UN/EDIFACT)) and the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO).
On other matters, the Facilitation Committee will continue its review of the Explanatory Manual to the Annex to the FAL Convention and its review of guidelines for setting up a single window system in maritime transport. The Committee will also be updated on the IMO Maritime Single Window project. The Facilitation Committee 42nd session was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. The chair is Mr. Yury Melenas (Russian Federation).
In order to strengthen the links between ships and ports, IMO is hosting a Special Event on Ports, to be held Monday, 11 June – which will also be livestreamed globally. Some 20 panellists will share their views on port related issues such as the maritime single window, the port community system, ways to improve facilitation, best practices to improve coordination at ports, improvement of efficiency of ports and implementation of measures to reduce emissions in ports, including on-shore power supply. The importance of port security will also be covered. This event will be followed, on 12 and 13 June, by a port security focused event organized in cooperation with the International Association of Airport and Sea Port Police.