Reduction of administrative burden onboard ships

Reduction of administrative burden onboard ships


BIMCO's position on "reduction of administrative burden onboard ships" has been approved by the BIMCO Board of Directors.


The shipping industry uses significant resources at a substantial cost to comply with the administrative work imposed by IMO standards and regulations for safety at sea, maritime security, training certification and protection of the marine environment.

Recent projects, such as EfficienSea 2, have shown that the use of modern digital solutions can substantially reduce the administrative burden onboard ships.  For example, the EfficienSea 2 project showed that a digital solution can reduce the time used for mandatory communication between ship and port by around 80%.

A reduction of the administrative burdens has a number of potential benefits for the industry, such as:

  • Avoiding excessively complex routine procedures that can result in delays or inactivity.
  • Improving ship safety by reducing crew fatigue. 

The IMO consultation in 2015 revealed that it is the accumulation of administrative requirements that becomes a burden, not each requirement in isolation. This is an important issue which IMO has addressed e.g. through the following:

  • Electronic certificates are now generally recognised as equivalent to original paper certificates and similar documents.
  • Reporting to a single entity has been introduced to avoid the need to report the same information to multiple entities, in particular in cases of accidents.
  • By replacing many of the traditional paper logbooks with electronic record books in accordance with the requirements of IMO, MARPOL, SOLAS and several flag states, not only is the manual burden reduced/removed but also the quality has improved.
  • Future administrative burdens are now in focus. Every effort is made to identify possible burdens before approving proposals to develop new regulations or make any amendments to existing regulations.

BIMCO’s position

  • BIMCO will continue to contribute to the development of essential foundations for solutions, which will reduce the administrative burden. 
  • BIMCO continues to work on identifying unnecessary administrative burdens in connection with IMO regulations and finding ways to eliminate them. 


Rasmus Nord Jorgensen
in Copenhagen, DK

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