Outcome of FAL 41

FAL 41 (the 41st session of the IMO Facilitation Committee) was held on 4 - 7 Apr 2017.

Further to the pre-FAL 41 brief on 28 Mar 2017, here is the outcome of FAL 41 on relevant issues:

1. Tragic loss of bulk carrier Stellar Daisy

FAL 41 was opened on Tue 4 Apr with updates by relevant parities on search and rescue operations for the 22 missing crew and condolences to the families affected by the casualty of the Very Large Ore Carrier Stellar Daisy in the South Atlantic off Uruguay on Fri 31 Mar.

2. Cyber security

FAL 41 decided not to discuss any further amendments to MSC.1/Circ.1526, issued right after MSC 96 in Mar 2016. It also agreed that a joint MSC-FAL circular on Guidelines on maritime cyber risk management would be issued after concurrent of MSC 98 in Jun 2017.

3. Development of Maritime Single Window

The work program of Maritime Single Window (MSW) has been on the agenda of FAL for many years, but still no concrete progress is made by many sessions of FAL including this just concluded FAL 41.
MSW aims to streamline “government to business communication” and clearance of ships and cargo by means of electronic exchange of information, including machine-to-machine communication, web-based services, and graphic user interfaces.

FAL 41 has identified that FAL.5/Circ.36 on Guidelines for setting up a single window system in maritime transport needs to be reviewed, to facilitate bilateral cooperation for promoting the implementation of MSWs, including annex A in order to update the list of existing MSWs, with a view to making sure it still accurately reflects developments in maritime trade, electronic and automated machine-to-machine communication and cooperation between Member States since its approval in 2011.

The difficulties that held any progress of MSW development, include both technical and policy issues that needed to be addressed as part of the harmonization and standardization of data reporting formats between different existing MSW platforms in order to, among other things, reduce the administrative burden on board ships. Without harmonization and standardization of data reporting formats, there would be no “single” window. Harmonization and standardization issues are often driven by unavoidable differences in national legislation, organization, and data needs among the various receivers of information, including individual ports and port States.

Future work after FAL 41 includes:
• Development of Performance Standards for electronic signature
• Preparation for a new work program (output) to amend the Guidelines for setting up a single window system in maritime transport (FAL.5/Circ.36).

4. Stowaway

There was a proposal at FAL 41 to include port, terminal, and berth information when reporting the place of boarding of stowaways in appendix 3 to the annex to the FAL Convention, and in the appendix to the annex to resolution FAL.11 (37) and in the annex to FAL.2/Circ.50/Rev.2, respectively.

But there is legal element with the proposal and FAL 41 agreed that the FAL Committee is not the forum to discuss the legal status of the appendices to the annex to the FAL Convention, Instead, the subject should be referred to the IMO LEG Committee for its consideration.

FAL.2/Circ.50/Rev.2 is to be revised to include the additional information on port, terminal, and berth information when reporting the place of boarding of stowaways in the reports of Member States and international organizations to the Secretariat on stowaway incidents.

In terms of numbers of stowaways, the IMO database shows total 2,052 stowaway cases reported between 2008 and 2016, with details as follow:

  • 2,052 stowaways in 2008, 1,070 in 2009, 721 in 2010, 189 in 2011, 64 in 2012, 203 in 2013, 120 in 2014, 80 in 2015 and 163 in 2016.

The International Group of Protection and Indemnity Associations (P&I Clubs) informed FAL 41 that a third data collection had been carried out for the policy year 2014-2015 and a full analysis of this data will be published on the International Group's website ( in due course.

The P&I Clubs also informed FAL 41 that details of the third data collection exercise would be reported to FAL 42 in 2018.

5. List of certificates to be carried on board and electronic certificates

A consolidated draft list of certificates and documents (FAL 41/16) was considered at FAL 41 and a revised list will be issued subject to concurrent decision of LEG 104 to be held on 26- 28 April 2017.

The issue of electronic certificates was also discussed at FAL 41:

GISIS (, the IMO data, has a module "Survey and certification" showing Administrations issuing electronic certificates. This information was to be accessible to the general public, but registration and application for username and password may be necessary (contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if assistance is needed).

Bahamas, Denmark, Germany and Sierra Leone have informed IMO of their decision to issue electronic certificates. Denmark, Germany and Liberia have confirmed the availability of their websites for verification of e-certificates via GISIS.

IMO had contacted the PSC regimes in December 2016 with the intention to establish if they had released instructions to PSC officers for the acceptance of electronic certificates:
• the Secretariats of the Paris, Black Sea, Riyadh and Tokyo MoUs and the Viña del Mar Agreement informed that it had submitted FAL.5/Circ.39/Rev.2 to their PSCOs; and
• the Secretariat of the Paris MoU informed further that it had also circulated PS circular 81 of 19 September 2016, with guidelines for the use of electronic certificates.

Pre-FAL 41 brief on 28 Mar 2017

At IMO next week, there will be the 41st session of the IMO Facilitation Committee (FAL 41). Following agenda items are relevant to the work of INTERCARGO members:

Agenda item 2 - Outcomes of MEPC 69, MSC 96, LEG 103, C 116, III 3, TC 66, MEPC 70, MSC 97, C 117
• Aspects of Cyber security will be discussed, reflecting the outcome of MSC 97 (see brief below).

Agenda item 5 - Report on the progress of the IMO project on the development of a prototype Maritime Single Window
• FAL 40 in 2016 adopted amendments to the Annex to the FAL Convention that are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2018. This includes new mandatory requirements on Electronic Data Interchange that would require public authorities to establish systems for the electronic exchange of information to assist ship clearance processes. According to the new Standard, Public Authorities have to establish systems for the electronic exchange of information by 8 April 2019.
• To assist Member States in implementing the proposed amendments, there is an IMO project on the development of a prototype maritime single window (MSW) in progress.

Agenda item 8 - Amendment to the collected reported data on the location of stowaway embarkation
• P&I Clubs jointly pay out an average $46,300 per day on stowaways; there is an average of 64 incidents per month mostly emanating from African ports, and Port and Facility Security Officers have very limited access to timely impact or cost data to support effective risk mitigation.
• There is a proposal to amend two instruments adopted by IMO to collect information on stowaway incidents, i.e. the appendix to the annex to resolution FAL.11(37) and the annex to FAL.2/Circ.50/Rev.2, to include port, terminal and berth information when reporting the place of boarding of stowaways.

Agenda item 16 - List of certificates and documents required to be carried on board
• There is a draft list of certificates and documents required to be carried on board, for the consideration and approval at FAL 41.

Brief on cyber security

On the cyber security issue, some discussion is expected under item 2 when FAL 41 receives the update from MSC 97 (97th session of IMO Maritime Safety Committee), based on following progress made:

An industry paper FAL 40/9/1 by (BIMCO, INTERCARGO, et al), while recognizing the benefits in a goal of developing a single set of cyber risk management guidelines as a long-term objective that would address the safety of cyber systems on board ships including the "trade related information", believed that anything outside of the "facilitation aspects" would best be discussed by MSC.

Progress at FAL 39 in 2015:
• considered the need for the development of Guidelines on maritime cybersecurity in light of the dramatic increases in the use of cybersystems across the maritime sector;
• agreed to include in the post-biennial agenda of the Committee an output on "Guidelines on the facilitation aspects of protecting the maritime transport network from cyberthreats" to be completed in 2016.

Progress at FAL 40 in 2016:
• noted that the issue of cybersecurity was also being considered by MSC and that the task for the FAL Committee is to focus on the facilitation aspects of protecting the maritime transport network.
• recognizing that MSC is responsible for maritime security, agreed that in order to avoid duplication, proper coordination with the Maritime Safety Committee was needed in order to develop a single set of non-mandatory cyber risk management guidelines, including the protection of trade-related information.
• agreed to extend the target completion date for this agenda item to 2017, due to the need to wait the outcome of MSC on this issue.
• should MSC decide to develop guidelines on cybersecurity, this should be done as joint FAL/MSC guidelines, to avoid duplication, and whose principles could be applied to all stakeholders, including both the ship and the shore side.

Progress at MSC 97 in 2016
• Recognising that MSC 96 issued a circular approved MSC.1/Circ.1526 on Interim Guidelines on maritime cyber risk management, MSC 97 agreed to wait for FAL 41 to complete the work on facilitation aspects before giving any further consideration to the possible mandatory nature of the Guidelines.
• Industry welcomes view at MSC 97 that:
o a careful assessment should be conducted before developing any mandatory provisions on maritime cyber risk management in order to avoid additional administrative burdens.
o maritime cyber risk management should be addressed through the existing management practices set out in the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code.

Possible outcome of FAL 41 next week:
• In response to the decision at MSC 97 above, FAL 41 may consider whether to review and amend the MSC circular MSC.1/Circ.1526 on Interim Guidelines on maritime cyber risk management.