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Public consultation: E-Maritime initiatiative

Date: 11/05/2010

INTRODUCTION

International maritime transport is the “life blood” of the world economy. EU waterborne transport is also a considerable contributor to the prosperity of the European regions and citizens. For this, it is at the forefront of the EU transport policy. At the same time maritime transport, as other sectors, is becoming part of the digital economy and the information society, which is shaping our lives. Internet has dramatically affected jobs and business practices in all professional sectors. It obliges organisations to search for new ways to realise the full benefits of information and communication technologies for competitive advantage and sustainability.


CHALLENGES


The movements and cargoes of ships are monitored closely in European waters. This information, gathered for regulatory purposes, could be helpful also for the shipping industry, but at the moment it is not available. On the other, hand the Masters of the ships are burdened with administrative paperwork and reporting obligations. Administrative procedures related to maritime transport are complex, time-consuming and, even today, are often paper transactions. Major European ports have advanced information systems, which deliver considerable quality and efficiency gains. However, the interoperability between port information systems is practically non-existent, limiting the potential for new services and economies of scale. Small ports may not be equipped with electronic data transmission systems at all. Most frequently, at each port call, the same data has to be entered by the shipmaster or agent, repeatedly and often manually, resulting in waste and errors. European shipping is dependent on providing quality services rather than competing just on cost. This trend is expected to continue. Increase in efficiency must among other things be based on improved cooperation between shipping parties, including public and private entities. Improved cooperation is dependent on more efficient information management. The idea of paperless transactions and the paperless office is growing. Platforms are becoming dominant for one-to-one transactions and the benefits, such as avoiding double entry of data, are becoming clearer. The integration of logistics and transport services will boost short sea shipping and inland waterways as part of an enhanced European transport system. An additional challenge for the operation of the EU fleet is the shortage of well-trained, motivated seafarers. It is anticipated that internet-based services and advanced telecom developments, such as broadband communication, amongst other benefits such as offering new training and career opportunities and keeping the mariners at sea in touch with their families, will raise the attractiveness of seafaring professions.


PROSPECTS AND OPTIONS

To address these underlying problems and in anticipation of a new era of information technologies, the EU e-Maritime initiative is aimed at fostering the use of advanced information technologies for working and doing business in the maritime transport sector. The EU e-Maritime will focus on promoting interoperability between all stakeholders in the marit The EU e-Maritime will not only use but nd Information System, and it will be developed in full alignment with EU initiatives inspired by advanced electronic means of managing and exchanging information such as e-Customs, e-Freight, etc. The EU e-Maritime shall take into consideration the relevant regulations and initiatives developed by the international UN organisations, such as IMO and ILO, as well asreed set of standards to ensure interoperability between the systems and services, the EU e-Maritime will make easier the upgrading of existing systems and the development of new e-Maritime applications that will demonstrate the potential benefits in real life situations involving administrations and business across Europe. They will be structured around Application Domains in order to ensure both focus on the specific stakeholders needs and conformance to a minimum set of guidelines for interoperability. The following five application domains proposed are:

• Administration Applications

• Ship Operation Applications

• Port/Terminal Applications

• Transport Logistics Applications

• Applications improving life at se OBJ This consultation aims to collect your views on the e-Maritime initiative in order to assess the possible actions that could help meet the above-mentioned e Maritime


PRACTICAL INFORMATION

The consultation is being launched only in an electronic form via the interactive policy-making tool. Interested parties are invited to send their comments, suggestions and replies to the questionnaire to the Commission by the 27th of June 2010 at the latest. All stakeholders and organisations involved in Maritime transport and related logistic services are invited to respond to the public consultation. The summary of the consultations results will be published on the Commissions website. This is an anonymous survey, and therefore, you are not obliged to give any personal details. However, as the e Maritime initiative has stakeholders on all maritime transport sectors we ask you to indicate the sector within which you work, so that we can better use the answers. If you are replying on behalf of an organisation, we also ask you voluntarily to indicate the exact name of the organisation, the department and the contact email. This information will not be made public or used for any other purpose than to facilitate this survey. Please note that this document has been drafted for information and consultation purposes only. It has not been adopted or in any way approved by the European Commission and should not be regarded as representing the view of the Commission. It does not prejudge, or constitute the announcement of any position on the part of the Commission on the issues covered. The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof.

The online questionnaire can be found at:-

http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ipm/forms/dispatch?form=emaritime

 
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