News

2019 October 18 12:54

BIMCO submits proposals to IMO to enhance exchange and harmonization of data

Over the past years, BIMCO has continuously advocated for the establishment of a harmonised maritime data model, to allow easy transfer of electronic information between ship and shore (so-called machine to machine exchange).

BIMCO says its two proposals aim to reduce the administrative burden for the shipping industry, particularly when used in the context of the maritime single window, as well as to ensure better communication between ships, ports, terminals and all other parties involved through the  harmonization of the data model used.

The maritime single window is a system that allows for the electronic exchange of information to assist ship clearance processes. Last year, the decision was taken to develop a prototype based on the maritime single window systems that had already been implemented in several member states.

IMO has recently updated (April 2019) the Facilitation Convention (the so-called FAL Compendium), which main objectives are to prevent unnecessary delays in maritime traffic, and to secure the highest practicable degree of uniformity in formalities prior to a port call. However, the update only represented a part of the information that is normally exchanged between the ship and shore in order to get clearance.

Based on an initiative by BIMCO, IMO agreed to establish an Expert Group on Data Harmonization to review data elements - within and beyond the IMO Facilitation (FAL) Convention - in order to develop a harmonized data model.

Ahead of the expert meeting in London in November 2019, BIMCO has submitted the two proposals containing amendments to the FAL Compendium. One proposal concerns a data model covering the Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH), according to the International Health Regulations (IHR). The other document provides a proposal to pave the way for easy exchange of port logistic operational data to allow for real-time updates (notifications) between ship and shore, which will make it possible to implement a Just-In-Time (JIT) approach.

The Just-in-Time concept refers to maintaining the most efficient ship operating voyage speed to arrive at the pilot boarding place when availability is ensured of the berth, fairway and nautical services.

Just-in-Time may be a tool to deliver enhanced port efficiency through “Smart steaming” instead of “slow steaming”, as each hour spent outside a port waiting to berth is a waste of efficiency and results in additional emissions.

All effects of additional slow steaming are gone if you lose the potential positive effects due to delays and congestion at a port.

The two proposals will be introduced at the Expert Group on Data Modelling (EGDM) at the IMO in London on 4-8 November.