BIMCO, NGOs invite the industry to help develop global digital ISO standards


Digitalisation has taken on a new urgency in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular when it comes to digital data exchange in ports, and for facilitating trade and logistics in general. BIMCO and other maritime NGOs are inviting public and private players to help create global digital ISO standards to facilitate the digital exchange of data.

Over the past years, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has put significant effort into the development of common and harmonized data definitions and data models to ease the exchange of digital information between ship and shore.

Early in 2019, the IMO’s Facilitation Committee (FAL) approved a revised and updated Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business to support harmonisation and standardisation of electronic messages, supporting the need to define all elements of the electronic FAL forms across WCO, UN/CEFACT and ISO standard models.

The type and amount of information to be exchanged to get ship clearance before entry to port depend on trade and port business processes, compliancy with IMO regulations, contractual obligations and authorities such as customs, health- and immigration authorities. However, not all levels of the digital port clearance process are fully developed and fit-for-purpose.

For this reason, BIMCO and other maritime NGOs invite public and private players to help create global digital ISO standards for the exchange of administrative, operational and nautical data.

The collective efforts will improve the general quality and availability of data and develop necessary global digital standards, allowing reliable and efficient data exchange between ship and shore.

Shipping is a global industry and therefore, these solutions require global standards which have the commitment of both shipping and ports. They must be robust enough to avoid incompatibility between standards and systems, across countries worldwide.

With this invitation, BIMCO and the maritime NGOs urge existing neutral industry bodies to deploy their expertise and ability to listen to their key stakeholders’ needs in order to co-create a single supporting technical standard under the auspices of ISO.

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Jeppe Skovbakke Juhl
in Copenhagen, DK


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