FAL News Cont'd
Plague outbreak in Madagascar
IMO has released Circular Letter No.3780 of 9 October 2017 to provide guidance on the plague outbreak in Madagascar issued by the World Health Organization. According with the information provided by WHO, there is no justification at this stage for restrictions on travel or trade. Please consult WHO publication Handbook for management of public health events on board ships, that is a comprehensive text that draws on the scientific literature and lessons learned from recent disease outbreaks to provide substantive public health guidance.
Explanatory Manual of FAL Convention will be Reviewed
FAL 40 adopted amendments to the Annex to the FAL Convention, that are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2018. Having considered and adopted new amendments, a revision to the Explanatory Manual will also be developed as a consequential result of the amendments. At FAL 41, it is expected that a working group will be established to review the Explanatory Manual.
FAL Forms were renewed and three additional declaration forms were accepted
After the adoption of the new amendments to the Annex to the FAL Convention, IMO FAL Forms have been updated as well. These amended FAL Forms are expected to be in force from 1 January 2018. Three additional declaration Forms will enter into force from the same date of the amended FAL Forms. These are: "security-related information as required SOLAS", "advance electronic cargo information for customs risk assessment purposes" and "advance notification form for waste delivery to port reception facilities".
New Stowaway Module in GISIS
There is a new stowaway module in GISIS. FAL 40 decided to suspend issuing of any statistics on Stowaways on quarterly or annual base through a circular. Instead, users are able to produce any information from the new stowaway module. Statistical information will be submitted during the FAL meetings as a customary practice.
Submission of reports of stowaway incidents are easier with the new module. There is a guideline for the users of the module, please click to read more.
Mandatory Electronic Data Interchange is on Horizon
FAL 40 adopted new mandatory requirements on Electronic Data Interchange. According to the new standard, Public Authorities have to establish systems for the electronic exchange of information by 8 April 2019. A period of no less than 12 months for transition to the mandatory use of the systems shall be provided from the date of the introduction of such systems.
A new Recommended Practice encourages the use of the "single window" concept, to enable all the information required by public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, persons and cargo, to be submitted via a single portal without duplication.
Electronic Certificates are equal to paper certificates
To facilitate the clearance of an inspection period for ships in ports, the FAL Committee has taken joint initiative together with other IMO bodies for the 'online access to certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships'. According to this new decision, electronic certificates should be treated as equivalent to traditional paper certificates.
Master's administrative burdens when ship call ports
The urgent need for harmonizing standards at ports serving international shipping and simplifying documentation requirements to facilitate the smooth and rapid transit of ships was the subject of a presentation made by Denmark during the thirty-eighth session of the Facilitation Committee (FAL 38) held at IMO headquarters from 8 to 12 April 2013.
A Danish master mariner, Captain Christian Rørbeck, gave a lively presentation on the administrative burdens that he has faced in connection with port calls around the world during his many years as a Master. He focused, inter alia, on FAL forms and the many local variants of these 'standard' documents around the world, and even in different ports of the same country, thus leading to bureaucratic overload and adding to the challenges that a master finds when the ship calls at a port. Captain Rørbeck's presentation may be seen in the following Presentation Denmark.pdf