Mandatory Maritime Single Window: One Year to Go

Mandatory Maritime Single Window: One Year to Go

The International Maritime Association (IMO) has said that From January 1st 2024, ports around the world must adopt Maritime Single Windows (MSWs) system for the electronic exchange of information required on ships’ arrival at a port, their stay and their departure.

This mandatory change follows the adoption by IMO’s Facilitation Committee of amendments to the FAL Convention (Convention on International Maritime Traffic).   IMO in a two-day symposium held recently in London, discussed how Member States can implement MSWs before the January 2024 deadline.

The symposium, themed “Maritime Single Window 2024– A window of opportunities” was jointly organized by IMO, IAPH and BIMCO, with the support of the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA). 

A host of experts from across the shipping and ports sectors explored how MSWs fit with national digitalization strategies, the best approach to designing and implementing MSWs to suit Member States’ maritime trade facilitation objectives and objectives to achieve the greening of shipping. 

Also discussed was the concept of interoperability and understanding how to apply industry standards to harmonize electronic data exchanges, as well as port call data requirements, and the development of strategic partnerships.

Opening the Symposium at IMO’s London headquarters, IMO Secretary General, Mr Kitack Lim, said that making MSWs mandatory from 1 January 2024 was not only “a significant step towards accelerating digitalization in the maritime trade”, but also “an opportunity for all stakeholders in shipping, and a necessary step forward”. 

Mr Lim added that this would accelerate the digitalization and decarbonization aspirations of international shipping. He praised progress made in recent years by the shipping and port industries and pledged IMO’s support to Member States in finding tangible solutions to the forthcoming new obligations under the FAL Convention.  

Also speaking in his opening remarks IAPH’s President, Subramaniam Karuppiah, warned against the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and also emphasized that the maritime industry is seriously lagging behind in its move to digitalization.

Nikolaus Schües, President Designate of BIMCO, on his part, sounded an optimistic note, describing Maritime Single Window as “an opportunity to be exploited and one we cannot afford to miss”. # Mandatory Maritime Single Window:  One Year to Go

Report by Zainab Junaid

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