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IMO’s New Rule on Electronic Information Exchange

  • 09 Apr 2019
  • 3 min read

International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has mandated new rules for national governments to introduce electronic information exchange between ships and ports

  • The new rules took effect from 8th of April 2019 and, seeks to make cross-border trade simpler and the logistics chain more efficient.
  • The requirement, mandatory under IMO’s Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention), is part of amendments under the revised Annex to the FAL Convention, adopted in 2016.

FAL Convention

  • The Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) was adopted in 1965.
  • The main objective of the convention is to achieve the most efficient maritime transport as possible, looking for smooth transit in ports of ships, cargo, and passengers.
  • The Facilitation Convention encourages the use of a “single window” for data, 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.
  • Under the requirement for electronic data exchange, all national authorities should now have provision for electronic exchange of this information.

India’s Initiatives

  • India launched a Port Community System — ‘PCS1x’— at ports in December 2018.
  • Port Community System (PCS1x) is a cloud-based new generation technology, with a user-friendly interface.
  • This system will enable maritime trade to have improved communication with the customs.

International Maritime Organization

  • The International Maritime Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations.
  • IMO is responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping and to prevent pollution from ships.
  • It is also involved in legal matters, including liability and compensation issues and the facilitation of international maritime traffic.
  • It was established by means of a Convention adopted under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva on 17 March 1948 and met for the first time in January 1959.
  • It currently has 174 Member States.
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