International guidelines for ship/shore communications

BIMCO has co-authored a proposal for the 44th meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Facilitation Committee (FAL) which aims to develop international guidelines for the electronic interface between ship and shore.

According to BIMCO, the proposed guidelines on the table at FAL 44 – which is being held remotely this week – will ‘ensure interoperability between port stakeholders and ships and facilitate electronic interaction between ports worldwide’. According to BIMCO: ‘This will optimise the efficiency of both ports and ships, and in turn, benefit the global supply chain.’

Jeppe Skovbakke Juhl, Manager, Maritime Safety and Security, commented: ‘The software platforms which link ship and shore communication may differ on national levels, and therefore, we should call for international guidelines for the electronic data interchange, using common standards. This is to ensure that all actors in the port process make use of an identical data structure and common interfaces when exchanging information.

‘With more than 95,000 ships operating nationally and internationally between approximately 9,000 ports, globally agreed methods and standards to interact and interface are prerequisites for maritime digitalisation to succeed.’

In 2016, the IMO set out mandatory requirements on electronic data interchange, stating that national authorities have until April 2021 to establish systems for the electronic exchange of information to assist ship clearance processes.

Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor