When ships enter and leave port,
detailed and specific administrative
information needs to be exchanged
with the authorities ashore.
This used to mean paperwork. But
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is
quicker, better and more efficient for
everybody – and EDI is a mandatory
requirement (since April 2019) under
the IMO’s International Convention on
Facilitation of International Maritime
Traffic (the FAL Convention).
This means that public authorities are
required to set up electronic systems
for ship reporting formalities.
This applies to all the documentation
needed to fulfil the standard regulatory
requirements – the cargo declaration,
dangerous goods declaration, crew
manifests, vessel details and so on.
Port authorities, maritime administrations,
customs, police, immigration, health and
agricultural authorities and all other relevant
bodies must be part of the port EDI system.
Ships’ agents, terminal operators, tug and
pilot services and others can also be
included - making things quicker, simpler
and more effective for everyone.
IMO can provide technical assistance to
governments that need help to fulfil their
mandatory obligations under the FAL
IMO has also developed the IMO Compendium,
a technical reference manual for software
developers within the relevant public
authorities. The IMO Compendium
harmonizes the data elements requested
by the various public authorities and
standardizes the electronic messages.
IMO has also issued guidelines for setting
up a maritime single window.
All this will help make cross-border trade
simpler and the logistics chain more efficient,
for the more than 10 billion tons of goods
which are traded by sea annually across
Download and view the brochure to find out what the obligations are and how IMO can help to implement them.
Simple and efficient cross border trade - the digital way (PDF download)
Simple and efficient cross border trade - the digital way (online digital issue)