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Shipowners welcome push toward European Maritime Single Window environment

The European Community Shipowners’
Association (ECSA) and the World Shipping Council (WSC) have welcomed the
adoption of a General Approach on the proposal for a European Maritime Single
Window environment (EMSWe) by Transport Ministers.

“With the adoption of this General Approach, the Member
States agreed to facilitate, simplify and harmonise the reporting to be done
and take a step towards a real internal market for shipping,” 
Dorsman, ECSA’s Secretary General, commented.
European co-legislators have been working intensively
to reduce the administrative burden shipping faces. This burden stems from
today’s unharmonized and inefficient reporting obligations and mechanisms
within the EU.
“The shipping industry is looking to the EU
Institutions to deliver a European Maritime Single Window environment that
remedies the deficiencies and costs that arose from the original Directive and
its lack of a common blueprint for implementation by Member States. Because of
those experiences it is even more important to make sure the agreed legal
framework provides what’s needed to bring about real and tangible benefits to
Europe’s maritime commerce,” 
John Butler, CEO
and President of the World Shipping Council said.
ECSA and WSC said they are pleased to see in the
Council’s text a clear commitment to establish a harmonized data set, which is
essential to reach real trade facilitation. The Council has agreed that the
data elements must be kept to only the essential reporting information that is
required and that additional temporary requirements are only added in
exceptional and duly justified circumstances.
“This is a very necessary addition, as we must be sure
that once the spring cleaning of the reporting obligations is completed, this
will not be undone the next day by allowing authorities to request without
restrictions, any additional information in parallel to the EMSWe harmonised
data set,” 
Dorsman added.
As informed, the European Parliament Transport
Committee is also making important improvements to the proposal. Both the draft
report of MEP Ms Clune, the rapporteur, as well as several of the amendments
tabled by her fellow MEPs are in line with requests from the industry to
simplify and harmonize, not only the data, but also the reporting mechanism.
“On this last element, the ‘how’ to report the data or
the so-called ‘reporting interfaces’, we stress the need to make sure these
interfaces are truly harmonised and common, both for system-to-system reporting
and manual reporting using websites. We very much welcome amendments from MEPs
that look at providing a single access point at EU level and harmonisation of
the manual reporting tools (the Graphical User Interface). We stress this would
not replace existing well-functioning reporting mechanisms, provided by some
port community systems and national single windows,” 
“However, we should not forget these do not exist in
all ports and Member States. We cannot miss this unique opportunity to bring
all EU ports to an advanced level by providing a common baseline standard, to
the benefit of trade in general and short sea shipping in particular,” 
further said.
World Maritime News.

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