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IMO, customs, others ink deal on digitisation

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A new partnership between International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the World Customs Organization, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the International Organization for Standardization have been signed to support increased maritime digitalization.

When ships enter and leave ports, vital information about cargoes, dangerous goods, crews, vessel details and many other things have to be exchanged with the authorities ashore. Under IMO’s FAL Convention, public authorities are now required to set up systems so that all these happen digitally.

The partnership agreement, which has been effective since March 15, paves the way for updating the IMO Reference Data Model and for further development towards harmonization of data standards in other areas, beyond the FAL Convention. These include exchanging operational data that could help facilitate the just-in-time operation of ships. The just-in-time operation allows ships to optimise their speed so they arrive at their destination port when their berth is ready for them, thereby saving energy and cutting costs and emissions.

Parties of this agreement have been already cooperating to develop the IMO Reference Data Model, which is a key element of the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business. It covers the reporting requirements defined in the FAL Convention to support transmission, receipt, and the response of information required for the arrival, stay, and departure of ships, persons, and cargo via electronic data exchange. This work ensures interoperability between the respective standards of each organization.

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