Masters' port reporting workloads will be reduced on arrival and departure with the recent launch of a maritime 'single window' in Antigua and Barbuda.
The maritime single window was launched formally in London in April by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
It enables all information required by public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, people and cargo, to be submitted electronically via a single portal - without duplication.
This type of system is recommended by IMO's Facilitation Convention - a treaty which aims to reduce administrative burdens and make shipping and trade by sea more efficient.
New requirements which came into effect on 8 April 2019 require national governments to introduce electronic information exchange between ships and ports.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said the generic maritime single window system would perform many different services in ship reporting and information exchange, helping to make cross-border trade simpler. These services typically relate to registering port calls and facilitating the clearance of ships, passengers and crew members.
'I believe that this system will assist Member States, in particular Small Island Developing States, in complying with the new requirements of the FAL Convention.'
The maritime single window source code developed by Norway during the project will be released under the Open Source MIT License and made available on the web-based hosting service GitHub.
A pilot project involving testing of the electronic procedures launched on 8 March and will run to 31 October 2019. Transition to the full electronic system will begin on 1 November 2019.