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Maritime Single Window

Update on 20 Jan 2023:

  1. What is Maritime Single Window
  2. How it is to be established
  3. How it is relevant to shipowners

IMO’s Facilitation Committee adopted amendments to the Facilitation (FAL) Convention in May 2022, which will make the single window for data exchange mandatory in ports around the world from 1 January 2024, marking a significant step in the acceleration of digitalization in shipping.

1. What is Maritime Single Window

The single window environment is mostly concerned with trade- and cargo-related issues. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Customs declarations for cargo and ships’ stores;
  • Immigration clearance for crew and passengers and their baggage;
  • Import and export permits.

However, the clearance of the ship and the cargo need to go hand in hand to allow the efficient operation of both the port and the ship.

Single window” is defined as a facility that allows submission of standardized information covered by the Convention to a single entry point. The facility is generally understood to be based on electronic data transmission and relies on system software to distribute the data submitted to the receivers in accordance with the system rules and user agreements.

The term “maritime single window” (MSW) is defined as a one-stop service environment that covers maritime and port administrative procedures, such as port entry/departure declaration, notice of security reports, as well as port call business information, and other related information exchanged between actors of the port call process nationwide in order to enhance the port operation. In other words, an MSW is a single window in the scope of maritime and port fields.

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