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Thursday, April 11, 2019 

An IMO project to establish a maritime 'single window' electronic reporting system has now been completed and handed over to Antigua and Barbuda at IMO HQ in London.

The project was promoted by Norway, and the source code for the system will now be made available to other countries which need it. IMO explains that 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, and is in line with the new electronic information exchange requirements which came into effect on 8 April 2019.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said the generic Maritime Single Window system 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. 

"I believe that this system will assist Member States, in particular Small Island Developing States, in complying with the new requirements of the FAL Convention. I would like to commend Norway for the project and its generous offer of the source code developed for the system established in Antigua and Barbuda to other interested Member States," Secretary-General Lim said.

Lim said IMO would look into establishing an appropriate and permanent funding system to implement Maritime Single Windows in other countries.

The project was 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). Commencement of the pilot project (involving testing of the electronic procedures/parallel to existing procedures) launched on 8 March 2019 and will run to 31 October 2019. Transition to the full electronic system will commence on 1 November 2019.

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