Maritime Compliance Update: Maritime Single Window (MSW) and Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS)

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(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) FAL 47 took place 13-17 March 2023. This report summarises the discussions.

FAL noted the decisions taken by MSC 106, and NCSR 9 in relation to the following agenda items specific to the content of this document:

• Agenda item 6 – Application of single window concept
• Agenda item 8 – Consideration of descriptions of Maritime Services in the context of e-navigation
• Agenda item 13 – Measures to address Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) in the instruments under the purview of the Facilitation Committee

Maritime Single Window (MSW):

MSW aims to cut the current approach of multiple reporting by a ship to the port to just a single report that is then available to everyone (port security, customs, immigration, bunkering etc.) who needs the information. Several examples of single-window reporting already exist, but each operates differently. Single window reporting is considered to be important to the progress of Maritime Autonomous Ship Systems (MASS).

Implementation of MSW will become mandatory for Contracting Governments to the FAL Convention on 1 January 2024, under resolution FAL.14(46).

The ongoing programme of work under FAL is complementary with other IMO initiatives in this area including:

  1. the approval of the Guidelines for setting up a maritime single window (FAL.5/Circ.42/Rev.2);
  2. the implementation of the GISIS (Global Integrated Shipping Information System) module to provide detailed information on the implementation of single window concepts by Member States;
  3. the development of the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business (FAL.5/Circ.45) to support harmonization and standardization of ship reporting and MSWs across ports;
  4. the development of the Guidelines on authentication, integrity, and confidentiality of information exchanges via maritime single windows and related services and associated circular (FAL.5/Circ.46).

FAL 47 carried out the following actions in relation to the submitted documents:

• Considered the update on initiatives to implement maritime single window systems reported by the Secretariat. Items to note were:
− IMO, IAPH (International Association of Ports and Harbours) and BIMCO organized a series of events, entitled ʺMaritime Single Window 2024 – Window of opportunities for shipping and ports", to raise awareness among Member States, ports and the global shipping community of the mandatory requirement of implementation of MSW. These events took place in October 2022 and January 2023.
− An open-access e-learning course on the implementation of the maritime single window is currently under development (expected completion date late June 2023) and will be made available on the IMO e-learning platform.
• Considered the draft FAL resolution intended to assist Contracting Governments to the FAL Convention in fulfilling their obligations to implement mandatory single window systems by 1 January 2024. It was agreed that the draft FAL resolution should be sent to the working group on Electronic Business for finalization and adoption.
• Noted the information provided regarding the application of MSW in Chile.
• Considered the proposed amendments to Guidelines for setting up a maritime single window (FAL.5/Circ.42/Rev.2). It was agreed that the proposed amendments should be sent to the working group on Electronic Business for review.
• Considered the recommendations from a workshop on international maritime single window implementation.
• Noted the information regarding the outcome of the IMO Symposium MSW 2024 – A window of opportunities.

FAL 47 carried out the following actions in relation to the work done by the working group on Electronic Business:

• Adopted the draft FAL resolution on Recommended actions to accelerate the implementation of the Maritime Single Window;
• Approved the revised Guidelines for setting up a maritime single window (FAL.5/Circ.42/Rev.3).

Review and revision of the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business, including additional e-business solutions:

The IMO Compendium is a tool for software developers that design the systems needed to support transmission, receipt, and response via electronic data exchange of information required for the arrival, stay, and departure of the ship, persons, and cargo to a port. By harmonizing the data elements required during a port call and by standardizing electronic messages, the IMO Compendium facilitates the exchange of information between ship to shore and the interoperability of a single window system, reducing the administrative burden for ships linked to formalities in ports.

The Committee previously approved FAL.5/Circ.45 on IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business. The Committee also approved the revised priority list of datasets, including the electronic bill of lading, Advanced Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) datasets.

FAL 47 carried out the following actions in relation to the submitted documents:

• Approved the report of the sixth and seventh meetings of the IMO Expert Group on Data Harmonization (EGDH). The report is intended to ensure the maintenance of the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business and to examine new datasets for inclusion. Included in the report was reference to a proposal to extend the IMO ship number beyond seven digits, including implications on IT systems and the need for an impact study to be carried out.
• Considered the information provided in reports on IMO datasets related to ʺBallast water arrival reporting", ʺWaste delivery receipt”, ʺVerified Gross Mass (VGM)” and ʺAdvance Passenger Information (API)”. It was agreed that the reports should be sent to the working group on Electronic Business for consideration.
• Considered the information provided on the Just-In-Time arrival sub-model. It was agreed that the information should be sent to the working group on Electronic Business for consideration.
• Considered the information provided on Amendments to the IMO dataset and IMO reference model. It was agreed that the information should be sent to the working group on Electronic Business for consideration.

FAL 47 carried out the following actions in relation to the work done by the working group on Electronic Business:

• Approved the new version of the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business with the new IMO datasets and IMO code lists;
• Agreed to inform MEPC about the two IMO datasets on Waste delivery receipt and Ballast Water arrival reporting relevant to the Committee;
• Approved the simplified priority list of datasets including the addition of “noon data reporting”;
• Approved the terms of reference for the EGDH for the next two meetings.

Consideration of descriptions of Maritime Services in the context of e-navigation:

FAL 47 considered this agenda item and the agenda item on ‘Development of guidelines for harmonized communication and electronic exchange of operational data for port calls’ at the same time since the correspondence group on the Development of Guidelines on Operational Port Data established at FAL 46 was instructed to work on both items together.

Development of guidelines for harmonized communication and electronic exchange of operational data for port calls:

A report was submitted to FAL 46 providing the Guidelines for harmonized communication and electronic exchange of operational data for port calls. Having considered the guidelines, and taking into account further work carried out during FAL 46, it was agreed that a correspondence group would work intersessionally to finalize the guidelines by FAL 47.

FAL 47 carried out the following actions in relation to the report submitted by the correspondence group:

• noted the discussion and comments provided by the members of the correspondence group;
• approved the Guidelines for harmonized communication and electronic exchange of operational data for port calls; and
• proposed to add the description of Maritime Service 4 to the post-biennial agenda of the FAL committee as it is a strong possibility that this will need to be revised in the future.

FAL 47 carried out the following actions in relation to the work done by the working group on Electronic Business:

• approved the revised description of Maritime Service 4;
• approved the Guidelines for harmonized communication and electronic exchange of operational data for port calls and adopted the associated circular.

Development of guidelines on Port Community Systems (PCS):

Considering a need to support Member States with the guidance on benefits of Port Community Systems (PCS) within the trade facilitation framework, as well as a compelling need to optimize the maritime supply chains through the creation of a holistic approach to trade facilitation, FAL 46 decided to include the new output "Guidelines on Port Community Systems" in the 2022-2023 biennial agenda of the FAL Committee and the agenda for FAL 47, with a target completion year of 2024.

The development of PCS guidelines is intended to help Member States to overcome the challenges on the effective application of Revised guidelines for setting up a maritime single window. The development of PCS is not intended to duplicate the IMO work on MSW in accordance with the Guidelines for setting up a maritime single window (FAL.5/Circ.42/Rev.2).

FAL 47 carried out the following actions in relation to the work done by the working group on Electronic Business:

• Considered the draft structure of the PCS guidelines and established a correspondence group to work intersessionally between FAL 47 and FAL 48 to finalise the PCS guidelines for approval by FAL 48.
• Endorsed the working groups view that the PCS guidelines should complement the MSW guidelines and should not stipulate any preference on the scope of the MSW since this may vary depending on the country’s implementation.

Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS):

IMO completed the Regulatory Scoping Exercise (RSE) in relation to the use of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) including a review of all the instruments within the remit of relevant committees (MSC, FAL and LEG). Details of the RSE can be found in MSC.1/Circ.1638 Outcome of the Regulatory Scoping Exercise for the use of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) along with the list of the instruments considered under Appendix 1. FAL 47 provided concurrent approval (in unison with MSC 106 and Council 128) for a MASS joint working group to meet twice annually as part of IMO’s developmental strategy.

In the current phase of discussions on this subject, IMO is working to develop a goal-based non-mandatory MASS Code (expected entry into force: 1 July 2024) as an interim measure prior to the adoption of a mandatory MASS Code (expected entry into force: 1 January 2028). Application is expected to initially be limited to cargo vessels only, excluding passenger ships, which will be reviewed at a later stage.

While IMO continues work on the development of the MASS Code structure and method for developing the goals and functional requirements (via correspondence group discussions after MSC 106 and MASS joint working group sessions), FAL 47 considered the impact of the development of the mandatory Code, which is intended to be a new instrument. Various chapters of SOLAS and associated instruments are expected to need amending to ensure coherent and unambiguous implementation.

FAL 47 carried out the following actions in relation to the submitted documents:
• Considered the report by the Secretariat of the MSC-LEG-FAL Joint Working Group on MASS on its first session. Items to note were:
− the group agreed to organise a seminar on legal issues, including United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to be considered in the development of a MASS Code and MASS-related measures;
− the group agreed to use a table to identify and collect information of options for interpretations for the common issues in the instruments under the purview of the three Committees;
− the table's content was not discussed or agreed by the group and Member States and international organizations are invited to submit documents to the next MASS-JWG meeting scheduled for April 2023;
− a work plan was proposed for the Joint MSC-LEG-FAL Working Group on MASS including a five-day hybrid meeting from 17 to 21 April 2023, subject to concurrent approval by LEG 110 (March 2023);
− an IMO Seminar on the Development of a Regulatory Framework for Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS Seminar) was held on 5 and 6 September 2022 which is available to view from the IMO website.
• Noted the information provided in the report on “Further consideration of MASS operations related to the FAL Convention” and agreed to the proposal to conduct a seminar on the implications, challenges and opportunities of MASS and its operation for ports and public authorities. The date for the seminar will be organized by the Secretariat in consultation with the MSC-LEG-FAL joint working group.

FAL 47 carried out the following actions of note in relation to the work done by the FAL MASS working group:

• Endorsed the road map (FAL 47 to FAL 50) on addressing MASS issues related to the FAL Convention.
• Noted that, in principle, only one amendment to the Annex to the FAL Convention would be required to address the issues related to MASS operations throughout the FAL Convention. The proposed amendment will be discussed at FAL 48.
• Noted the following potential gaps and themes that the MASS-JWG could consider:
− The roles and responsibilities of the master and crew;
− The roles and responsibilities of the remote operator;
− Definitions/terminology of MASS;
− Certificates and other documents; and
− Sharing of information.
• Noted that the MASS-JWG should also take into account issues related to connectivity, cybersecurity and remotely controlled operations.

 

Source: LR

 

 

 

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