A new phase in a project to develop a maritime single window for Antigua and Barbuda has begun, with the installation of the first, basic system platform, the IMO announced. Testing and implementation will now begin and if successful, the system, developed by Norway, could potentially benefit other countries of the Caribbean region and other regions of the world.
Namely, a technical team from Norway has explained the basic platform, now available to all stakeholders in Antigua and Barbuda, during a week-long series of related activities, on 25-29 June.
The operational implementation phase now begins. New versions of the system will be released every three-four weeks, based on the feedback of the users in Antigua and Barbuda, including Customs, Immigration, Port Authority, Health, the Maritime Administration, and shipping agencies.
The maritime single window system allows for the streamlining of procedures, via electronic systems, for provision of information related to the arrival, stay and departure of the ship itself, and data on its crew, passengers and cargo, in line with the requirements of IMO’s FAL Convention. Amendments to this Convention make it mandatory for countries to establish systems for the electronic exchange of ship-related information by April 2019.
The visit of the passenger cruise ship Freedom of the Seas to St John’s provided an opportunity for stakeholders to experience on-board clearance processes. The week’s activities also included a two-day stakeholder workshop and an implementation planning brain-storming session.
Antigua and Barbuda and Norway are the main stakeholders of the maritime single window project, one as recipient and the other as donor, while IMO is the project coordinator and provides administrative assistance to the parties during the project timeline.
The project is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industries and Fisheries, with technical expertise provided by the Norwegian Coastal Administration.