Mobility and Transport


National Single Windows and e-Maritime

National Single Windows and e-Maritime

National Single Windows

On 20 October 2010, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2010/65/EU on reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of the Member States. This directive is more commonly known as the Reporting Formalities Directive (RFD).

The objective of the RFD is to simplify and harmonise the administrative procedures applied to maritime transport and it sets an obligation for Member States to establish National Single Windows (NSW) for reporting formalities from ships arriving in and/or departing from ports by 1 June 2015 for the 14 reporting formalities listed in the Annex of the RFD. The information should be submitted only once thus removing the need of submitting same or similar information separately to different authorities. Furthermore, the Directive requires that the reporting formalities are requested in a harmonised manner in all ports within an EU country.

On 25th June 2014, the Commission issued a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the reporting formalities directive. The report noted that Member States were making progress in the implementation of the NSW, but were facing difficulties that seemed to be not solely financial or technical but also organisational. The report urged the EU Member States to step up the efforts for this major simplification and harmonisation of the current reporting procedures to become reality.

In order to assist in the implementation of RFD, the Commission established an expert group on maritime administrative simplification and electronic information services- known as the eMS group - with a mission to identify business processes and develop specifications for the NSWs. The group is composed of representatives from the national maritime administrations. Additionally the industry representatives – European Community Shipowners' Association, European Sea Ports Association, World Shipping Council, FEPORT and International Port Community Systems Association – have been invited to the meetings as observers. European Maritime Safety Agency supported the Commission during the eMS group meetings and was actively contributing to the drafting the functional, technical and testing specifications.

On 25 February 2015, the eMS expert group validated the so called Data Mapping Report which establishes the common data set for submitting information to the National Single Windows. The elements were identified earlier by the specific subgroups of respective national administrations which also created Business Rules for each reporting obligation. The data set consists of 177 data elements which were first clearly defined and then mapped with ISO 28005 XML standard and World Customs Organisation Data model.

A number of different authorities and services such as transport, customs, border control, safety, security, health and environment have been participating to the work of the eMS group to produce the single window definition, harmonised business rules and the unique NSW data set aligned with regulatory requirements and existing standards. Over the time this work has been merged to produce the National Single Window Guidelines document, which was validated by the eMS group on 17 April, 2015.

The contact details document below provides contact information on the national contact point in each Member State for country specific information.


The e-Maritime concept aims at promoting the competitiveness of the European maritime transport sector and a more efficient use of resources through better use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools.

The widespread use of electronic information and the Internet are changing the world. In maritime transport and transport in general, notifications, declarations, certifications, requests and service orders are increasingly submitted, managed and stored in electronic rather than paper format. Modern ICT systems provide undeniable benefits that are not allowed by paper based information as automated information verification and analysis, processing of data and optimisation routines, easy sharing of information already submitted or stored and so on.

However, many of the current processes and regulations, even if electronic, are still based on procedures established for paper transactions decades ago. For example, notifications are still required to be submitted at certain times, as when using telexes and telefaxes, even if this information has already been received by some other related authorities in a digital format and could be shared.

Possible solutions to allow re-use of data already submitted, remove unnecessary reporting obligations and optimise port and ship processes will be discussed in the context of the Digital Transport and Logistic Forum.

The Forum, set up by the Commission, will gather experts, business operators and policy makers in order to identify the needs and prepare for common actions at EU level for improving freight transport and logistics with more efficient use and reuse of digitalised information currently produced and stored by many different stakeholders. Such actions would aim to improve sharing of information that allows shippers to choose the transport service most suited to their needs, reduce the time and resources absorbed by compliance with administrative requirements and enable transport and logistic service providers to optimise the management of transport assets in real-time, thus facilitating the establishment of environmentally efficient transport and logistic services for all users.

Related documents


Directive 2010/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 on reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of the Member States and repealing Directive 2002/6/EC Text with EEA relevance


Report on 25.June 2014 on the functioning of Directive 2010/65/EU on reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of the Member States

National Single Windows guidelines

Data Mapping Report

Contact details in the EU Member States for the National Single Windows