The FAL Convention includes in its Standard 2.1 a list of documents which public authorities can demand of a ship and recommends the maximum information and number of copies which should be required.
IMO developed Standardized Forms for seven of these documents (updated FAL Forms are effective since 1 January 2018):
- IMO General Declaration (FAL form 1)
- Cargo Declaration (FAL form 2)
- Ship's Stores Declaration (FAL form 3)
- Crew's Effects Declaration (FAL form 4)
- Crew List (FAL form 5)
- Passenger List (FAL form 6)
- Dangerous Goods (FAL form 7)
Three additional declarations entered into force on 1 January 2018:
- Security-related information as required under SOLAS regulation XI-2/9.2.2
- Advance electronic cargo information for customs risk assessment purposes
- Advanced Notification Form for Waste Delivery to Port Reception Facilities
Two other documents may be required under the Universal Postal Convention and the International Health Regulations.
Certificates and E-certificates
All ships are required to carry certificates that establish their seaworthiness, type of ship, competency of seafarers and so on. These certificates are provided by the flag State of the ship and may be inspected by port State control officers. Certificates to be carried on board ships are listed here:FAL.2-Circ.131-MEPC.1-Circ.873-MSC.1-Circ.1586-LEG.2-Circ.3
They include, depending on the type of ship:
- International Tonnage Certificate;
- International Load Line Certificate;
- Intact stability booklet; Damage control booklets;
- Minimum safe manning document;
- Certificates for masters, officers or ratings;
- International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate; Oil Record Book;
- Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan;
- Garbage Management Plan;
- Garbage Record Book;
- Cargo Securing Manual;
- Document of Compliance and Safety Management Certificate (ISM Code).
To facilitate the clearance and inspection period for ships in port, the FAL Committee took a joint initiative together with other IMO bodies for the "Online access to certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships".
The FAL Committee (FAL 39, in 2014) has agreed that electronic certificates should be treated as equivalent to traditional paper certificates, provided that the certificates and the website used to access them conform to the guidelines approved by the Organization and that specific verification instructions are available on board the ship. The Committee has also agreed that electronic certificates viewed on a computer should be considered as meeting the requirement to be "on board".
FAL provides guidance on e-certificates in Circular on Guidelines for the use of electronic certificates.
The GISIS module "Survey and Certification" provides information on e-certification verification website information. The FAL Committee urges Member States to use GISIS to provide their e-certification verification website information.