Less than a Year to go to the FAL Directive Deadline
The FAL Directive under which European Member States are mandated to adopt a Maritime Single Window system is less than a year away; by June 1 2015 all shipping companies, operators and port authorities must be using the Single Window for reporting. To mark the occasion, Inlecom Systems Ltd. (Inlecom), the transport and logistics research and innovation company, is offering to pilot its Intelligent Ship Reporting Gateway free of charge to ship owners, ship operators and port authorities.
The Intelligent Ship Reporting Gateway (ISRG) is a software application, enabling shipping industry representatives to fulfill their reporting obligations to European Maritime & Custom Authorities, in accordance to the European Commission Directives: 2009/17/EC: 24h pre-arrival notice, Hazmat, notices to maritime reporting systems and vessel traffic services; 2009/16/EC: 72h pre-arrival notice, actual arrival / departure notifications and 2010/65/EC: ship reporting formalities such as waste, security, FAL forms, maritime declaration of health, entry summary declaration, passenger list, crew effects, cargo manifests, etc.
Inlecom said the user-friendly application is both easy to customize and maintain, while being designed to enable full compliance with European Union legal requirements on ship and cargo reporting. Additional reporting requirements can be included based on a case-by-case request from the customer. The ISRG offers an interface which can easily integrate with existing ship applications for automated extraction of required data, as well as automated updating of data models to adhere to new regulations.
Christos Pipitsoulis, Project Officer, European Commission, D.G. Energy & Transport commented, “The ISRG offers a highly flexible and user-friendly tool for linking voyage/ship cargo planning information with port formalities reporting for use on-board and ashore. It streamlines the reporting work-flows, facilitating the exchange of ship and cargo information among all parties involved in reporting, respecting their access rights on a “need-to-know” basis. It speeds up the time it takes to report and share information, while simplifying the process and associated in-house IT systems.”
The ISRG has been designed to reduce the reporting burden from hours to minutes allowing ship staff to focus on efficiency and safety of operations, while reducing the overall cost of reporting by eliminating non-adding value intermediaries. Most importantly, the ISRG ensures compliance with international standards such as ISO 28005, WCO, EDIFACT and EU specific formats and requirements.
Dr. Takis Katsoulakos, Director of Inlecom Systems, commented, “Inlecom has been part of a number of pilot projects over the last five years developing such systems and demonstrating proof of concept. Currently, the eMAR Project in which the maritime authorities of Latvia and Norway, DNV and DANAOS are participating, is developing prototypes to help demonstrate how the software, hardware and infrastructure required to support the Maritime Single Window could be rolled out across Europe. The experiences of countries such as Finland, which have long developed their own single window systems for commercial reasons, have also been taken into account.
“We have also been working with potential users of the Maritime Single Window. A common thread with companies that have already invested in their own reporting network is the desire not to duplicate systems.
“Major shipping companies routinely record crew lists, passenger lists, manifests and other important data electronically so they do not wish to enter the data manually for a second time for submission to the Maritime Single Window. In many cases, Inlecom has been able to create a bespoke data map from the internal system to the Maritime Single Window so that reports can be submitted automatically. While this requires an investment in IT by the user prior to roll-out, the long term benefits are clear to see. Looking forward to 2015, the most important action is for the different stakeholders across Europe to prepare for the change that lies ahead.”