The Maritime Reporting Model (MRM), developed by BIMCO and partners, can reduce the administrative workload for ship masters by 80% in connection with port calls, which can enhance the masters focus on safely navigating the ship.
"We have developed a solution that allows the master to only type in all the required information related to port clearance one time. The master of a ship should focus on managing the ship and navigating safely. He should not be using his valuable time repeating the same administrative paperwork over and over again," says Anastasios Papagiannopoulos, BIMCO President and CEO of dry bulk shipping company Common Progress.
The MRM was developed as part of the EU-funded EfficienSea2 program, which was led by the Danish Maritime Authority. The solution was demonstrated at the EfficienSea2 Final conference in Copenhagen April 5-6.
The key is ‘tags’
The prototype solution aims at standardising communication between ships and shore. The key to the solution is making sure that each of the different types of information a ship needs to share are associated with a unique name – a tag – that software developers must use.
Using a global standard for tagging information – such as the ship’s name or the number of crew onboard – software systems can make sure that the information transmitted by the ship always ends up in the correct ‘box´ at the receiving end, no matter who the recipient is. In more technical terms, it is a harmonization of data models used by maritime stakeholders.
In tests the BIMCO MRM e-solution can reduce the administrative workload in connection with port calls by up to 80%.
“Reduction of administrative burdens for the seafarers is one of my key focus areas in BIMCO, and I’m very pleased that we have delivered a successful step in this direction,” says Papagiannopoulos.
The next challenge for the MRM project is to get the entire industry to use this standard. To achieve that goal, ship-owners and ports must require their software developers to use this new standard for data modelling – in particular, when identifying data elements.
Support at IMO
Globally, there are initiatives to establish a Maritime Single Window - which is an electronic platform for the exchange of information prior to port clearance.
In short, IMO requires public authorities to establish systems that assist ships in the clearance process.
However, the scenario in 2019, if taken to the extreme, may well be, that shipping will have to report to more than 100 different Maritime Single Windows, potentially, with a similar number of IT platforms. Obviously, such scenario will be very chaotic and is not desirable.
Therefore, it is of outmost importance to ensure a certain harmonization and standardization of the digital reporting between ship and shore.
“We have proved that the MRM works and is suitable for being rolled out across the shipping and ports industries. I hope that we can work with IMO to establish a successful maritime single window environment with this model at the heart of it,” says Aron F. Sørensen, BIMCO Head of Maritime Technology and Regulation.
Available on MCP
The solution is available via the Maritime Connectivity Platform (MCP). BIMCO is pleased to see that several IMO member states have indicated significant support, and that the MRM will be on the agenda for the June 2018 IMO meeting.
Sørensen hopes that ship owners and port authorities will demand that their software developers use the solution, which in turn will push national bodies to implement the MRM – including the unique tags.