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Monday, April 15, 2019 

BIMCO says it has gained solid support for a submission at the 43rd session of the IMO's Facilitation Committee meeting held at the IMO Headquarters on 8-12 April that will ensure harmonisation of data exchanges and reduce the administrative burden for ships.

The submission proposed the inclusion of additional e-business solutions that supplement communication stipulated in the FAL Convention, following the new mandatory requirement entering into force, whereby all Public Authorities have to establish systems for the electronic exchange of information. The authorities have two years to implement the new regulation from 9 April.

“This new requirement changes the way the maritime industry and ports will be communicating. Shipping is entering into the digital world, and this change will reduce the administrative burden and increase the efficiency of maritime trade and transport,” said Jeppe Skovbakke Juhl (pictured), Manager, Maritime Technology and Regulation at BIMCO.

The positive news, according to BIMCO, is, that the FAL Committee made significant progress in the harmonisation and standardisation of electronic messaging by approving a new IMO Reference Data Model.

“Though the software platforms may differ, the proposal BIMCO put forward will ensure that ships and shore will use the same data structure when communicating,” said Juhl.

Data models like the new IMO reference Data Model comprise all data requirements covered by the FAL Convention. The model will over the next years be expanded to cover additional information that is normally exchanged between the ship and shore to get clearance.

“This is a giant step forward for harmonising the machine-to-machine data exchange communication with the shoreside,” said Juhl.

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