Pillar 2 - 14. Single window for maritime transport and transport e-documents

  • Graziana Lonero profile
    Graziana Lonero
    18 October 2016 - updated 2 years ago
    Total votes: 0
On track

Establish a single window for reporting purposes in maritime transport and digitalise transport e-documents

Potential of action

By June 2015, all European Member States were required to have implemented a national single window, in order to simplify and facilitate the process of providing and sharing the necessary information to fulfil regulatory requirements for both authorities and the shipping industry. By fully implementing a single window for reporting purposes in maritime transport, transport players could introduce their information only once, and the data could then be made automatically available to all stakeholders with the appropriate access rights[1]. Ships should benefit from faster clearance and release times, enabling a faster turnaround in ports[2].

Digitalisation in transport and logistics is an important driver for efficiency, simplification, lowering costs, and the better use of our resources and infrastructures. Electronic data should flow seamlessly through supply chains including the exchange of data with public authorities and between businesses. The digitalisation of transport documents is an important step in this direction. Through digitalisation of the transport and logistics sector, freight forwarders and transport operators could optimise transport management with the support of real-time information on delays or incidents, for instance by rerouting the goods towards another transport mode. Studies estimate that tracking and tracing goods could reduce costs by € 4.3 billion over the period from 2012 to 2027, in Europe[3]. For example in the air sector, the World Economic Forum (WEF) estimated benefits of moving from paper to electronic documents up to $12 billion per year.

Description of action

Directive 2010/65 on Reporting Formalities for ships that arrive in or depart from EU ports called for the establishment of National Single Windows (NSW) for the electronic submission of port call notifications by June 2015. The Directive specifies that information should only be requested once and shared at national level with all authorities involved in ship clearance, i.e. maritime, port, customs, border control, security, environment and health authorities. DG MOVE, together with EMSA, developed a prototype for receiving and sharing that data, based on the Single Window Implementation Guidelines[4] as defined together with the Commission expert group on administrative simplification and electronic information services (eMS group). Currently, an ex-post and REFIT evaluation are carried out (2016). 

Full harmonisation can only be achieved via the establishment of a genuine European single window. To this end, DG MOVE and DG TAXUD have launched, with the support of EMSA, the eManifest project, including the development of an enhanced European single window. This demonstration project evaluates the functional requirements for the collection of a harmonised eManifest, the fulfilment of the formalities requested by the Reporting Formalities Directive, the transmission of the relevant data to national authorities, and the sharing of information with other Member States. The project will provide a technical solution for implementation and voluntary take up.

Documents related to transport and logistics in general are not (fully) digitalised yet. Moreover, digital documents are not always accepted by public authorities and Member States who still prefer paper versions for complying with regulatory requirements. The overall objective is to promote the digitalisation of modal transport documents and their acceptance by public authorities. With the support of the Commission expert group 'Digital Transport and Logistics Forum (DTLF)[5], the following aspects are currently addressed: i) the digitalisation of modal consignment notes/waybills, their acceptance and barriers to it, building on modal initiatives like the work on the maritime single window and e-Manifest, eCMR (road transport), the rail e-consignment note or electronic air waybill; ii) the possible harmonisation of modal transport documents/multimodal transport documents; and iii) the digitalisation of other transport documents, e.g. vehicle registration certificate, ship certificates etc.

Main responsible at the European Commission: DG MOVE

Target date: 2018

Status: On track

More info (website): http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/maritime/e-maritime_en; http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regexpert/index.cfm?do=groupDetail.groupDetail&groupID=3280&NewSearch=1&NewSearch=1


[1] http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/maritime/studies/doc/safeseanet/2014-02-support-study-for-ia-on-vtmis.pdf

[2] http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/maritime/doc/2015-06-11-nswguidelines-final.pdf

[3] http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/maritime/studies/doc/safeseanet/2014-02-support-study-for-ia-on-vtmis.pdf

[4] http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/maritime/doc/2015-06-11-nswguidelines-final.pdf

[5] http://ec.europa.eu/transport/media/events/event/commission-launches-forum-digital-transport-and-logistics_en; http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regexpert/index.cfm?do=groupDetail.groupDetail&groupID=3280&NewSearch=1&NewSearch=1