The International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL), adopted in 1965, contains procedures for ship's arrival, stay and departure from port. The FAL Convention includes mandatory "Standards" and "Recommended Practices" on formalities, documentary requirements and procedures which should be applied on arrival, stay and departure. Updated FAL forms are in effect from 1 January 2018, covering IMO General Declaration; Cargo Declaration; Ship's Stores Declaration; Crew's Effects Declaration; Crew List· Passenger List and Dangerous Goods.
The FAL Convention is covering internationally agreed Standards and Recommended Practices in respect of the arrival, stay and departure of ships, persons and cargoes and includes provisions in respect of stowaways, public health, and quarantine. The FAL Convention also assists in the reduction of “administrative burdens ” through the application of standardized documentation by using “FAL Forms”.
Revised IMO FAL Forms effective from 1 January 2018:
Requirement for three additional declarations also entered into force from 1 January 2018:
All ships are required to carry certificates that establish their seaworthiness, type of ship, competency of seafarers and others. These certificates are provided by the flag State or a recognised Organisation (RO) acting on behalf of the Flag State of the ship and will be inspected by Port State Control during such visits. The certificates to be carried on board ships are listed in FAL.2-Circ.131-MEPC.1-Circ.873-MSC.1-Circ.1586-LEG.2-Circ.3
Seafarers' rights to shore leave have been strengthened through amendments which enter into force globally on 1 January 2018, under the revised treaty which aims to achieve the smooth transit in ports of ships, cargo and passengers.
The amendments to the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) also bring in a new requirement for national governments to introduce electronic information exchange, including electronic data interchange (EDI), to transmit information related to maritime transport. This should be in place by 8 April 2019, with provision for a transitional period of at least 12 months during which paper and electronic documents would be allowed.
Use of a "single window" for data is encouraged, to enable all the information required by public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, persons and cargo, to be submitted via a single portal, without duplication.
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Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) publish regular Bunker Alerts based entirely on fuel samples and have kindly permitted BIMCO’s Members to access this information.
The Bunker Alerts are not intended to be an evaluation of overall bunker quality in the port or area concerned, but usually highlight a specific parameter within the fuel which has raised a quality issue.
For general guidance and information on cargo-related queries.
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