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2021 June 9 16:30

Professional Development Programmes Institute of Admiral Makarov University participates in the work of IMO’s Facilitation Committee

The 45th Session of the Facilitation Committee (FAL 45) took place in London at the Headquarters of the International Maritime Organization.

Director of Professional Development Programmes Institute of Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping Sergey Aysinov participated in the event as a part of the delegation of the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

Over the past years, IMO has put significant effort into the development of common and harmonized data definitions and data models to ease the exchange of digital information between ship and shore.

Early in 2019, FAL 43 approved a revised and updated Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business to support harmonization and standardization of electronic messages, supporting the need to define all elements of the electronic FAL forms across WCO, UN/CEFACT and ISO standard protocols. A central element in the new Compendium is the establishment of the IMO Data Set, that provides the core mechanism for ensuring interoperability between the standards developed by the participating organizations for their individual group of stakeholders.

The type and amount of information to be exchanged to get ship clearance before entry to port depend on trade and port business processes, compliancy with IMO regulations, contractual obligations and authorities such as customs, health and immigration authorities. The IMO Data Set makes it possible to ensure that when a ship or its agent sends information to one authority or party, the information can be (re)used by other authorized parties, without having to (re)submit the same information many times.

However, not all levels of the digital port clearance process are fully developed and fit-for-purpose. For this reason, the co-sponsors and other maritime NGOs invite public and private actors to help co-create additional global digital standards for the exchange of administrative, operational and nautical data.

Shipping is a global industry and therefore these solutions require global digital standard, which has the commitment of both shipping and ports. The collective efforts will improve the general quality and availability of data, which must be robust enough to avoid incompatibility between standards and systems, across countries worldwide, as well as ensure a long-term commitment to the maintenance of such standards.

It is essential that any new standard conforms to the IMO Data Set where data elements already exist and contributes to the extension of the IMO Data Set should new data elements be required. This will help reduce the need to resubmit the same information many times.

By standardizing data exchange processes to make them compatible and interoperable, ports actors will benefit from granular and real-time information on scheduled port calls from the shipping sector. Ships will be able to communicate more easily using smart solutions, like an Application Programming Interface (API) – a software solution where two computers can «speak» to each other. Ship and port can then exchange amongst others shipping schedules, cargo information, and possible delays or cancellations.

In the document’s annex is an invitation for key maritime actors in both public and private sectors to co-create a single and neutral supporting technical standard for administrative and operational data under the auspices of ISO Technical Committee 8. The aim is for the ISO Committee to continue the work on the alignment of ISO 28005 on exchange of electronic information between ships and shore, to the IMO Compendium.