A new agreement has been signed by several world bodies to help smooth the digital flow of information between ships and onshore authorities.
Signed by the International Maritime Organization, the World Customs Organization, the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the International Organization for Standardization, the partnership agreement will help support maritime digitalization, the IMO said.
The IMO noted that as ships arrive and depart ports, they have to exchange information with onshore authorities about such matters as dangerous goods and crew, among other matters.
The partnerships agreement will allow for further harmonization of data standards beyond that required by the IMO Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (known as the “FAL Convention”).
The FAL Convention contains standards and protocols for simplifying formalities and documentary requirements. It also mandates that FAL data is exchanged electronically.
The new partnership agreement could help with the just-in-time operation of ships, the IMO says, so that they could optimise speed so as to arrive at destination when the berth is ready “thereby saving energy and cutting costs”.
Work has begun on updating the IMO Reference Data Model that covers the reporting requirements in the FAL Convention, which covers matter such as the transmission, receipt and response of information in respect of the arrival and departure of ships.