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Maritime Single Window


“Electronic maritime notifications by a seagoing vessel on arrival or departure from an EU port should be simplified. A harmonized system should be used, with separate data only having to be submitted once.”

Priority KVNR: to reduce administrative burden by introducing the Maritime Single Window.

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Niels van de Minkelis
Head of Operational Affairs

+31 6 4824 0287
+31 10 2176 282

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Press inquiries


Nathan Habers
Public Relations

+31 10 2176 264


In 2010, the EU prescribed that all EU member states develop an electronic system for the exchange of reports for ships arriving in and/or departing from member state ports. Called the Maritime Single Window, this is defined within directive 2010/65 ('MSW directive').

The purpose of this MSW Directive is to ensure that ‘EU Member States deepen cooperation between competent authorities, such as customs, border control, public health and transport authorities, to further simplify and harmonize reporting formalities in the EU and to make the best possible use of electronic data transmission and information exchange systems, with a view to ensuring, as far as possible, the simultaneous removal of obstacles to maritime transport and the creation of a European maritime area without frontiers’.

However, the current MSW directive has not, as intended, led to a reduction in the administrative burden on board ships; on the contrary, it has resulted in a sharp increase in recent years. This happened because the various EU member states and their ports were given the freedom to interpret the MSW directive in their own way. To this day, this causes great frustration among captains, crews and ship owners.

After considerable pressure from the shipping sector, the European Commission started a recovery process a few years ago. This eventually led to a new EU regulation 2019/1239 establishing a European maritime one-stop-shop (‘EMSWe Regulation’).

The main objective of this Regulation is to ‘to lay down harmonised rules for the provision of the information that is required for port calls, in particular by ensuring that the same data sets can be reported to each maritime National Single Window in the same way. This Regulation also aims to facilitate the transmission of information between declarants, relevant authorities and the providers of port services in the port of call, and other Member States’.

The challenge

The implementation process of the new EMSWe Regulation will start mid-August 2019 and will take a total of 6 years. Until 2025 there is still a lot of (implementation) work to complete. It is important that this implementation process runs smoothly and actually ensures that on-board administrative burdens are reduced and that ships arriving or departing at every EU port can report in the same way and do not have to submit the same reports over and over again within the EU (following the ‘once -only principle’).

It should also be ensured that only the essential reporting data is requested from ships and that the number of reporting elements is kept to a minimum. This is as stipulated in the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention).

Depending the implementation process, ships should also be able to submit maritime reports in the old method by means of so-called FAL forms. These are standardized forms, as laid down in the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention). Article 7 of the current MSW directive explicitly allows the use of FAL forms.

State of play - 1 August 2019

The new EMSWe Regulation was published on 25 July 2019 and will enter into force on 15 August 2019.

The new EMSWe regulation will replace the current MSW directive after a 6-year implementation period. The current MSW directive will be formally withdrawn on 15 August 2025.