The Convention was adopted by the International Conference on Facilitation of Maritime Travel and Transport on 9 April 1965. It entered into force on 5 March 1967. The number of Contracting Governments to the Convention is 115, the combined merchant fleets of which amount to approximately 90.77 % of the world's fleet by tonnage (according to the figures provided by IHS-Fairplay, effective as of 31 December 2010). There are 58 Member States of the IMO which had not yet acceded to the Convention.
Purpose of the Convention:
To facilitate maritime transport by reducing paper work, simplifying formalities, documentary requirements and procedures associated with the arrival, stay and departure of ships engaged on international voyages.
- Definitions and general provisions;
- Arrival, stay and departure of the ship;
- Arrival and departure of persons;
- Arrival, stay and departure of cargo and other articles;
- Public health and quarantine, including sanitary measures for animals and plants;
- Miscellaneous provisions.
Annex to the Convention
It contains rules for simplifying formalities, documentary requirements and procedures on the arrival and departure of ships and, in particular.
It reduces to nine the number of declarations, which can be required by public authorities. Seven of them were approved by the IMO.
The Annex contains "Standards" and "Recommended Practices" on formalities, documentary requirements and procedures which should be applied on arrival, during their stay, and on departure to the ships, their crews, passengers, baggage and cargo
Appendices to the Convention
Appendix 1 IMO FAL Forms
Appendix 2 Format of a letter referenced to in Standard 188.8.131.52
Appendix 3 Format referred to Recommended Practice 4.6.2 The Manual
An Explanatory Manual to the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic, can be found in document FAL.3/Circ.202
The Manual contains guidance and interpretation of the provisions of the annex of the FAL Convention, assists in interpreting the legal text of the provisions and provides for a greater understanding of the Convention.