IMO Maritime Single Window Progress

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 11, 2019

Pic: International Maritime Organization

Pic: International Maritime Organization

A successful International Maritime Organization (IMO) project promoted by Norway to establish a maritime "single window" in Antigua and Barbuda has been completed – and the source code for the system will now be made available to other countries who need it.

A maritime single window enables all information required by public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, people and cargo, to be submitted electronically via a single portal, without duplication. This type of system is recommended by IMO's Facilitation Convention, the treaty which aims to reduce administrative burdens and make shipping and trade by sea more efficient.

New requirements which came into effect on 8 April 2019 require national governments to introduce electronic information exchange between ships and ports. The maritime single window is recommended.

At a meeting of the project's Steering Committee on Thursday (11 April), the Maritime Single Window System developed by Norway was formally handed over to Antigua and Barbuda (photos). The ceremony took place at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom, where the Facilitation Committee is holding its 43rd session.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said the generic Maritime Single Window system developed under the project would perform many different services within the realm of ship reporting and information exchange, helping to make cross-border trade simpler. These services typically relate to registering port calls and facilitating the clearance of ships, passengers and crew members.  

The generic Maritime Single Window system is a software that will perform many different tasks within the realm of ship reporting and information exchange. The generic system is not customized to any particular country, application or process, but will provide basic services to support the general acknowledged processes within any country that seeks to meet the obligations of the FAL Convention.

Antigua and Barbuda and Norway have been the main stakeholders in the maritime single window project. Norway provided in-kind and financial support to Antigua and Barbuda - the beneficiary country. The IMO assumed a coordination role between the two countries by providing administrative assistance during the project timeline.

The project has been funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industries and Fisheries, with technical expertise provided by the Norwegian Coastal Administration, and based upon the Single Window of Norway, SafeSeaNet (SSNN).

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