MARITIME LAW1. Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic2. Documents required to be carried on board ship By: Sulaiman Olanrewaju Oladokon
ObjectivesGeneral- Familiarization of marine engineers to areas of Maritime law relating to Cargo Documentation, Arrival and Procedures, Certificates and Documents required to be carried on board the ship.Specific-• Introduction to arrival procedures and documentation• Introduction to certificates required to keep the ship moving and to allow the ships to enter ports
Problems in Marine transportation Ports are the link between maritime and land-based trade. Traditionally ports were located where the geography was favorable. During the last fifty years, however, ports have changed. As trade and industry grew, so the traditional city-centre ports became too small and congested to cope with demand. Ships grew in size and many ports were too small to accommodate the larger ships coming into service. Container ships, bulk carriers and oil tankers all demanded huge land areas for storing and handling cargoes. Container traffic has revolutionized not only the way ports operate but also the way they look. In each case, huge areas of land are required for container storage and for cargo handling equipment. Ports today have to be able to handle a wide variety of cargoes such as refrigerated fruit, general cargoes and containers.
BACKGROUND• Most of the goods traded worldwide are transported by sea at costs that tend to be on average two to three times higher than customs duties of importing countries.• Big differences exist between countries regarding the quality, efficiency and costs of the port and shipping services available to their importers and exporters.• Since the beginning of shipping, local and central authorities have developed a complex set of regulations including on customs, immigration, health, narcotics, quarantine, environment and security protection, many of them independently of each other.• Therefore, a ship visiting several countries en route could be requested to fill out numerous forms that vary from port to port and often require the same information.• In this process, ships and cargoes are delayed and expensive equipment and man-hours are wasted. When comparing documentation requirements and procedures in international shipping with those in the international airline industry, the latter requires fewer documents.• To prevent unnecessary delays in maritime traffic, member countries of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted in 1965 the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (IMO-FAL).• IMO is the UN specialized agency responsible for promoting the adoption of the highest practicable standards to ensure safe and efficient shipping. Its Facilitation Committee seeks to prevent unnecessary delays in maritime traffic and promote uniformity in port formalities and other procedures.
Marine Transportation Problems cont.• As shipping and trade developed, so did the paperwork involved until by the 1950s it was being regarded not simply as an inconvenience but as a positive threat.• The following account indicates the sort of problems that a shipmaster of the time might expect to encounter: A report- Merchant Shipping on a Sea of Red Tape compared the documentary requirements and procedures associated with international shipping with those related to the international airline industry and made it clear that merchant ships were foundering in self-inflicted bureaucracy. Analysis showed that whereas only three or four documents were required of aircraft, ports frequently required no fewer than 22, 32 or even 46 separate documents of a ship.• But experience showed that in addition to physical changes, world ports needed to reconsider their approach to the regulations and paperwork involved in trade. Thus, Few activities have been more subject to over-regulation than international maritime transport.• This is partly because of the international nature of shipping: countries developed customs, immigration and other standards independently of each other and a ship visiting several countries during the course of a voyage could expect to be presented with numerous forms to fill in, often asking for exactly the same information but in a slightly different way.
Summary of problems• • The need to simplify ships documents was urgent and the demands of individual Governments had to be put into clear perspective with the overall welfare of merchant shipping.• The cost savings, which could be achieved from simplification and standardization, were significant both to industry and to Governments and should be sufficient motivation to spur those concerned into immediate action.• The experience of airlines since the establishment of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) provides a pattern for similar action by the shipping industry and Governments within the International Maritime Organization (IMO).• In the final analysis, ship documentation simplification is the responsibility of Governments, and their co-operation is essential if the outcome is to be successful.
Proposed Solution• The report recommended that all possible efforts should be directed towards intergovernmental action, preferably through IMO, which had met for the first time just a few weeks before the report was published.• It reveals a great need to eliminate duplicative forms and to simplify, unify and standardize the remaining maritime documents. The report defined the various tasks as:• Simplification the process whereby superfluous data and unnecessary documents are eliminated or at least modified.• Unification the combining of several similar documents whenever possible.• Standardization the development of definite size, format and language for documents designed for a specific purpose and use, and their general acceptance by and use throughout the industry.
The Facilitation Convention• The problems outlined in the 1959 report, if anything, grew worse over the next few years and by the early 1960s the maritime nations had decided that the situation could not be allowed to deteriorate further. International action was called for and to achieve it Governments turned to IMO.• In 1961 the 2nd IMO Assembly adopted resolution A.29 (II), which recommended that IMO take up the matter. An Expert Group was convened which recommended that an international convention be adopted to assist the facilitation of international maritime traffic.• In October 1963 the 3rd IMO Assembly adopted resolution A.63 (III), which approved the report of Expert Group and in particular recommended that a convention be drafted, which would be considered for adoption at a conference to be held under IMO auspices in the spring of 1965.• The conference duly took place and the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL), 1965 was adopted on 9 April.
IMO- FAL• Its purpose is summed up in the foreword, which says: "The Convention was originally developed to meet growing international concern about excessive documents required for merchant shipping.• Traditionally, large numbers of documents pertaining to the ship, its crew and passengers, baggage, cargo and mail are required by customs, immigration, health and other public authorities.• Unnecessary paperwork is a problem in most industries, but the potential for red tape is probably greater in shipping than in other industries, because of its international nature and the traditional acceptance of formalities and procedures.• "The Convention emphasizes the importance of facilitating maritime traffic and demonstrates why authorities and operators concerned with documents should adopt the standardized documentation system developed by IMO and recommended by its Assembly for world-wide use.".
IMO- FAL• The Convention is a "co-operative" treaty whereby Contracting Parties undertake to bring about uniformity and simplicity in the facilitation of international maritime traffic. It entered into force on 5 March 1967 and outlines general principles relating to international maritime facilitation.• The Conference concluded that formalities, documentary requirements and procedures on the arrival and departure of ships should be simplified and, in particular, that public authorities should not require for retention any declaration other than the eight listed in Standard 2.1 (see below).• The Conference invited Governments to adjust their national legislation when practicable and, to this effect, drafted international standards to facilitate their incorporation into national legislation.• In its Annex, the Convention contains "Standards" and "Recommended Practices" on formalities, documentary requirements and procedures which should be applied on arrival, stay and departure to the ship itself, and to its crew, passengers, baggage and cargo.• This flexible concept of standards and recommended practices, coupled with the other provisions, allows continuing progress to be made towards the formulation and adoption of uniform measures in the facilitation of international maritime traffic.
IMO- FAL• Standard 2.1 lists eight documents which public authorities can demand of a ship and recommends the maximum information and number of copies which should be required. IMO has developed Standardized Forms for six of these documents. They are the:• IMO general declaration• cargo declaration• ships stores declaration• crews effects declaration• crew list• passenger list• Dangerous goods declaration• Declaration required under the Universal Postal Convention, and• Declaration required by international health regulations
IMO- FAL• The other two documents are required under the Universal Postal Convention and the International Health Regulations.• The general declaration, cargo declaration, crew list and passenger list constitute the maximum information necessary. The ships stores declaration and crews effects declaration incorporate the agreed essential minimum information requirements.• The adoption of the Convention was an important step, but the next step was to encourage as many Governments as possible to ratify it.
BENEFIT OF FAL• Reduced delay and improve quick turn around band cost saving due to standardized system of clearing ships with easy completion of clearance documents• Electronics information transmission of information and automation data processing techniques• FAL – Forms minimized difficulties in language barrier• Reduce administrative burden and improve administrative efficiency through elimination of non- essential documents information.• Cargoes due for clearance are exposed to minimum risk of damage and theft.• Reduced impacts of security, ship safety and environment.
Implementation and Recurrent costs• Implementation of the IMO-FAL should include costs relating to re-engineering of the national shipping documents and aligning them with IMO-FAL standard documents.• The information and computer infrastructure and connectivity may involve additional costs.• Single Window concept in ports, ship controls based on risk management, special treatment for law-abiding maritime operators, publication of trade-related maritime regulations (including port and ships security), should be considered as part of the total costs of the general trade facilitation measures.• Currently, 102 countries (60% of the Port States of the world) are Parties to the IMO Convention. Adhesion to the Convention encourages countries to rationalize documentation requirements for arrival, stay and departure of ships based on IMO- FAL forms.• The implementation of maritime facilitation measures will be a relevant step in the whole effort of streamlining and harmonization of trade related regulations.
Implementation• The following factors are essential for implementation:• Political will and commitment to formally accept the FAL Convention (insertion in the national regulatory framework) ·• Coordination and information sharing between the various national institutions involved (creating the National FAL Commission, harmonization of inspections, partnerships, sharing of premises, and the inclusion of FAL forms in the Single Window concept).• Involvement of the private sector (commercial and transport operators)• Close monitoring of ongoing work in IMO related to the development of Message Implementation Guidelines (MIG) for electronic information exchange on all IMOFAL forms and of a Uniform ships pre-arrival electronic message for the transmission of security-related information‘
Implementation• Strengthening trade information centre (TIC) capabilities of the government agency acting as Single Window (if linked to FAL), in hardware, software, broadband connection, intranet and internet exchanges, and system operators.• Personnel training in related subjects: FAL forms, electronic transmission of information, web page management, detecting illicit traffic, ship inspections, etc. In support of such training, IMO is preparing an explanatory Manual on the FAL Convention, which would be ready by the end of 2006. Also, concerning the electronic transmission of FAL forms, the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business, 2001 edition (under revision) is a useful reference.• Local capacity to implement the measure• Concerning the need for technical assistance and capacity building, IMO has carried out expert missions and several regional seminars on maritime facilitation.
Amendments• Despite its value, the Facilitation Convention, like any other international treaty, needs to be kept up to date. Unfortunately, the amendment procedure incorporated into the Convention made this extremely difficult. To enter into force an amendment had to be accepted by two-thirds of the Contracting Parties. But, as the number of Contracting Parties increased, so did the number required to reach the two-thirds target. It became clear that amendments adopted under this procedure would take so long to meet requirements for entry into force that the amendments themselves might be out of date by the time they did so.• This problem was common to a number of other IMO instruments and to overcome it a new amendment procedure known as tacit acceptance was devised under which amendments to a convention automatically enter into force on a predetermined date unless they are rejected by a specified number of Contracting Parties. In 1973 an amendment was adopted to introduce this procedure into the Facilitation Convention. However, the amendment was bound by the original amendment procedure and it did not finally enter into force until 1984 (incidentally proving just how necessary the amendment was).
Other matters• Automatic Data Processing (ADP) - to permit the use of and other modern communications techniques, which had developed rapidly during the preceding years.• electronic data interchange (EDI) - This is basically a means of enabling computers to talk directly to each other. Because modern business transactions were increasingly being computerized this had a number of advantages.• Drug Smuggling: the smuggling of illicit drugs is a major problem in many parts of the world and it is generally recognized that international co-operation is essential if it is to be eradicated.• Working Group on Strategy for Ship/Port Interface- towards the promotion of maritime safety, the protection of the marine environment and the facilitation of maritime traffic
FAL annex- Documents to be carried on board ships
FAL annex- Documents to be carried on board ships The Facilitation Committee, at its nineteenth session, developed a list of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships together with a brief description of the purpose of the certificates and other relevant documents. This work was carried out in connection with the provisions of section 2 of the annex to the FAL Convention concerning formalities required of ship-owners by public authorities on the arrival, stay and departure of ships. The Facilitation Committee considered that these provisions should not be read as precluding a requirement for the presentation for inspection by the appropriate authorities of certificates and other documents carried by the ship pertaining to its registry, measurement, safety, manning, classification and
FAL Annex- Documents to be carried on board ships The list was later revised and circulated under symbol FAL.2/Circ.42-MEPC/Circ.303-MSC/Circ.704, dated 21 September 1995 and FAL/Circ.90-MEPC/Circ.368-MSC/Circ.946, dated 3 July 2000. Due to amendments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention, as amended, which entered into force on 1 January 2002, 1 July 2002, 1 January 2004 and 1 July 2004, respectively; and amendments to MARPOL 73/78, which entered into force on 1 September 2002, as well as the entry into force of Annex IV of that Convention on 27 September 2003. The revised list of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships, approved by FAL 31 (19 to 23 July 2004), MEPC 52 (11 to 15 October 2004) and MSC 79 (1 to 10 December 2004), is set out at annex.
Summary The facilitation of international maritime trade is beneficial to everyone involved - yet there is no doubt that it is a comparatively little-known aspect of IMOs work. IMO and the FAL Committee in particular have stressed the value to be derived from removing red tape and other restrictions on maritime trade and the Organization has organized a series of seminars in different regions to demonstrate how beneficial this work can be. Meanwhile, the FAL Committee continues its work on reviewing the FAL Convention itself, the use of EDI for the clearance of ships, the harmonization of reporting formats, technical co-operation and so on. It is hoped that it will soon will see the conclusion of work on stowaways, at least as far as the adoption of the Assembly resolution is concerned, the compulsory availability of passenger lists and methods of handling passengers with inadequate documents. The SPI Working Group is working on the establishment and operation of reception facilities for ship borne wastes, including funding mechanisms (this is being carried out under the supervision of the Marine Environment Protection Committee). Other subjects that are could be finalized during the year include the revision of the IMO/ILO Guidelines on packing cargo in freight containers, other transport units and vehicles. The Working Group also hopes to finish its work on model courses on cargo handling in port areas, emergency preparedness and response in port areas, the promotion of EDI in matters relating to port management and the availability of adequate tug assistance.