The online webinar we organised this Monday with the IMO secretariat and BIMCO has highlighted the benefits and opportunities for maritime trade arising from the application of the Maritime Single Window (MSW) to electronic ship clearance processes in ports. The single window process will become mandatory for contracting governments to the IMO Facilitation (FAL) Convention on 1 January 2024. IAPH managing director Patrick Verhoeven joined Heike Deggim, director of the IMO Maritime Safety Division, Mikael Renz, chairman of the IMO Expert Group on Data Harmonization, Jeppe Skovbakke Juhl, manager maritime safety and security at BIMCO and Julian Abril Garcia, head of IMO’s Facilitation Section in an online discussion that was moderated by Victor Shieh, IAPH’s communications director. Panellists recognised the window of opportunities that the new requirement will bring to the sector, including the positive impact on efficiency of port operations, reduction of ship emissions in ports and improved safety of port calls. Participants further noted the success factors when implementing an MSW, including the need for political will, a clearly designated lead agency and good cooperation between governments and industry. Speakers further encouraged the use of common standards for ship reporting and data exchange to ensure harmonisation and interoperability. They recognised that the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business is an important instrument to achieve this objective. The webinar was the first milestone event organised jointly by IMO, IAPH and BIMCO to prepare for the upcoming obligation of the single window in January 2024. A hybrid symposium on 18-19 January 2023 at the IMO headquarters in London is to follow, where experts from governments, ports, the shipping industry and standards organisations from all around the world will address both technical and resource aspects and present best practice solutions. Further details will be announced in due course. If you missed the webinar, you can watch the recording below. Patrick’s presentation can be downloaded here.