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IMO on Digitalization of shipping – more important than ever

digitalization of shipping

Digitalization, big data, and new technologies such as artificial intelligence are key in enabling the post-COVID recovery, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim told a 28 July webinar on Digital Connectivity and Data Standards1.

He commented: ‘Cooperation between shipping, ports and logistics will be vital for enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of shipping and therefore facilitating trade and fostering economic recovery and prosperity.’

Furthermore he highlighted IMO’s key role in ensuring shipping can embrace the digital revolution – while ensuring safety, environmental protection as well as cyber security.

In conclusion Secretary General Lim added: ‘Digitalization and new technologies will also be the key to allowing standardization and therefore enhancing the efficiency of shipping.’ (Readers may find the full speech below.2) These extracts and other details were provided in a Media briefing from IMO on 28 July.

The need for standardization was also highlighted by IMO’s Facilitation Head, Julian Abril, who noted the mandatory requirement for electronic data exchange in the Facilitation Convention, effective since April 2019.

Discussions were then underway (late July) towards making a single maritime window mandatory – so that all data for arrival and departure of ships is submitted through a single point and transmitted to the relevant agencies involved.

Standardization and harmonization needed for this to happen is captured in the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business3, a tool for software developers that harmonises the data elements required for regulatory purposes during a port call and standardises electronic messages, reducing the administrative burden for ships linked to formalities in ports.

It is understood that the goal is to make it easier for companies involved in maritime trade or transport to create software that can communicate, no matter on which standard they are based.

Cooperation, communication and collaboration between the various stakeholders to maintain and further develop the compendium, as well as looking into expanding its data set and data model to areas beyond the FAL Convention, has been formalised in a partnership agreement signed in March 2020 between IMO, the World Customs Organization4, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe5 and the International Organization for Standardization6.

The webinar on 28 July on Digital Connectivity and Data Standards was organized by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, the first in a maritime perspectives webinar series. 

……………………….

 

1 www.mpa.gov.sg/web/portal/home/maritime-singapore/what-maritime-singapore-offers/maritime-perspectives-webinar-series/digital-connectivity-%26-data-standards

2 www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/SecretaryGeneral/SpeechesByTheSecretaryGeneral/Pages/Digitalization-maritime-perspectives-.aspx

3 www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Facilitation/Pages/IMOCompendium.aspx

4 www.wcoomd.org

5 www.unece.org

6 www.iso.org

 

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IALA encourages its members to work together in a common effort to harmonise Marine Aids to Navigation worldwide and to ensure that the movements of vessels are safe, expeditious and cost-effective while protecting the environment.

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