Global Shipping Going Digital

United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) has launched a number of initiatives for eliminating paperwork and reducing the administrative burdens imposed on global shipping.

The aim is to make it easier for seafarers, shipowners and maritime administrations to meet the regulations and requirements deriving, inter alia, from international conventions.

It is expected that, at the Assembly to be held in 2015, the IMO will set a clear goal for the application of digital media on a par with paper.

This means that a considerable part of the administrative work on board ships will be digitalised.

Reporting and recording can, for example, be made digitally, and it will be possible to store certificates and other documents digitally. In this manner, the work on board will become more efficient and the seafarers will have more time to concentrate on navigating the ship, as explained by Danish Maritime Authority (DMA).

The future development of regulations and amendments will be subjected to firm procedures ensuring that unnecessary administration is not imposed on the industry and the seafarers. Therefore, the IMO Technical Committee will now specifically propose how to adjust the individual regulations so that they meet the goal of eliminating unnecessary administration.

 “I am pleased that the IMO has now taken yet another step to reduce the administrative burdens that pull the seafarers away from the actual task of navigating the ship and that are costly to the maritime companies in terms of both time and money. In the future, we will see better regulations and simple, digitalised procedures. Those are important Danish key issues that will now be of benefit to the entire maritime world”, says Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority Andreas Nordseth.

In addition to administrative reductions, the Council, held at the beginning of December, launched an evaluation of the strategic steering instruments of the Organization and the Council considered practical issues related to the mandatory auditing of all member states by the IMO from 2016.

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