Maritime traffic into Germany could face administrative delays and increased satellite communication costs on 1 June when new ship reporting standards are introduced, the German shipbrokers and ship agents’ association ZVDS has warned.
Germany then becomes one of the first countries to implement the ‘national single window’ for all notifications and declarations of ships calling at EU ports. “We are very sceptical about the implementation,” ZVDS managing director Alexander Geisler said.
Shipowners and their agents have still not been fully informed about the required data formats for submission of IMO FAL forms, notifications of dangerous goods, security, and wastes, to the national single window through one of the accredited interfaces.
“All we have on the whole issue is one information pamphlet,” Geisler complained, adding that agents are under pressure to explain the changes to shipowners and charterers.
ZVDS calls upon the federal government to postpone the implementation date and launch a trial phase for the new reporting formalities from 1 June until end of February 2016 so the authorities, masters and agents get time to familiarise themselves with new procedures. Many data links between the national single window and local authorities that handle the ship calls have not even been established so there are bound to be communication glitches, Geisler warned.
The new formalities will also add extra costs for increased data entries required by masters and agents. Most shipowners and charterers are expected to opt for third-party service providers to file the data with the national single window. Bremen-based data provider Bremer Schiffsmeldedienst BSMD advised clients last week about the launch of its EU-NOAD service for all German ports and the Kiel Canal.
BSMD said it will charge EUR55 (USD62) for the data filing service per ship call or canal transit. The company is about to hire five extra staff to offer a 24/7 stand-by service for incoming vessels from 1 June, managing director Captain Peter Langbein told IHS Maritime.