IMO Pushing for E-Certificates

IMO Pushing for E-Certificates

The IMO’s Facilitation Committee (FAL) has issued a request for all the IMO member States to accept the use of electronic certificates, paving the way for less paperwork, nuisance and delays for the shipping industry, the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) reports.

In the future, it must be easier to use electronic certificates. This was decided by the Facilitation Committee of United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) on Friday, September 26,  when it approved a set of updated guidelines on the use of electronic certificates.

”These new guidelines constitute a major leap forward for electronic certificates. Hereby, the IMO is sending a clear signal that port State control inspectors, vetting companies and other maritime players should accept the new e-certificates just as well as paper certificates,” said Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority Andreas Nordseth.

The Danish Maritime Authority had invited Mr. Thomas Mørk, Vice President of Marine Standards at DFDS A/S, to deliver a strong message to the IMO Facilitation Committee.

”It is about time that the maritime world changes from burdensome paper certificates to modern electronic certificates,” said Mørk.

His message was the conclusion of a pilot project where the Danish Maritime Authority and DFDS A/S have tested electronic certificates in practice.

According to the DMA, the project showed that there are savings to be gained both in terms of time and money, just as there are no major technical or legal barriers to getting started.

The transition from paper to electronic solutions also progressed in another area at the meeting of the Facilitation Committee. After five years’ work modernising the FAL Convention, it was approved that flag and port State authorities should accept ships’ transmission of the so-called FAL documentation electronically – and thus the ships need not fill in paper forms.

It is expected that the amendments of the FAL Convention will be adopted at the next session of the Facilitation Committee to be held in 2016, thereby reducing yet another major burden imposed on the shipping industry.

Press Release; September 29, 2014


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