Belgium Leads the Way With Maritime Single Window

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 8, 2014




The EU directive on reporting formalities for seagoing ships is being successfully implemented in the Belgian ports.

As of June 2015 all reporting between ships and authorities throughout the EU must be done electronically in a harmonised way. With this “maritime single window” the EU seeks to streamline international maritime traffic. At the same time this will offer great administrative simplification for individual shipping companies and ship’s agents.

The Belgian ports are already well ahead with preparations, and indeed can justly claim to be the European leaders in implementing this directive. The ports of Antwerp, Ghent, Ostend and Zeebrugge have set up a joint pilot project with various workgroups such as ISPS, Health, Waste, Border Control etc. Together with the port authorities and the inspecting bodies that are involved with ship calls, they have now drawn up a uniform procedure.

In the case of Antwerp the APCS platform (Antwerp Port Community System) is ideally placed to offer a "single window" for all the required declarations. A single electronic declaration in APCS replaces the various paper forms that have to be submitted to the various authorities (Customs, Shipping Police, Public Health etc.). Since all the systems are connected to each other electronically via the “National Single Window” the information only has to be entered once, offering substantial rationalisation.

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