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e-Maritime related EU policies

A starting point for the EU e-Maritime initiative is the EU directives and international regulations that determine information exchange requirements between businesses and administrations including:

· Directive 2009/17/EC, in the framework of the Third Maritime Safety package, modifying Directive 2002/59/EC for establishing a Community vessel traffic monitoring and information system (the "VTM Directive"). One of the main objectives of the amended Directive is to guarantee that all Member States will be interconnected via the Community maritime information exchange system SafeSeaNet (SSN) [1] in order to obtain a complete overview of the
 movements of ships and dangerous or polluting cargoes in European waters. The integrated maritime transport strategy opens new horizons for SSN as a core platform to support “upgraded EU maritime transport information management”.

· Communication and action plan with a view to establishing a European maritime transport space without barriers COM(2009) 10/2. Short term actions include ‘simplification of customs formalities for vessels only sailing between EU ports’ and ‘clarification of the use of IMO/FAL harmonised forms through a proposal to the European Parliament and the Council for a directive replacing Directive 2002/6/EC on reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports[2]. Further the Commission is preparing measures for "National Single Windows" (systems that allows traders to lodge information with a single body to meet all import or export-related regulatory requirements).

·  The development of the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR), which foresees the gradual creation of a common information sharing environment for the EU maritime domain[3]. EUROSUR, focussing initially on the southern and eastern external borders of the EU, suggests to Member States a roadmap for gradually developing a common technical framework to support Member States' authorities in reaching full situational awareness over the coming years. EUROSUR is closely related to the ‘integration of maritime surveillance activities’ as described in the Commission documents COM 2009-538 ‘Towards the integration of maritime surveillance: a common information sharing environment for the EU maritime domain” and SEC 2009-134.

· The e-customs programme will also impact significantly the development of e-Maritime. Indeed, customs authorities should be users of the e-maritime systems, and this system should be fully compatible with the e-Customs systems introduced by Decision No 70/2008/CE [4].The e-customs vision for ‘electronic declarations as a rule’, interoperable national computer systems and single window solutions will facilitate information exchange on cargo movements and at the same time will create specific requirements for e-Maritime.

· The IMO e-navigation initiative has developed a strategy for organising modern navigation and shipping and intends to produce a specific e-navigation model by 2012 which should be properly considered in the e-Maritime framework.

The EU e-Maritime initiative is also closely aligned with the objectives of TEN-T programme aimed at developing an efficient trans-European transport network (TEN-T) to support the re-launched Lisbon strategy for competitiveness and employment in Europe. The TEN-T programme is the main instrument for EU financing of transport infrastructure developments including Motorways of the Sea which invariably rely on advanced ICT integration technologies. The TEN-T can therefore be seen an important route to the actual application of e-Maritime solutions in the development of the trans-European transport network.


An aspiration of an EU Integrated Maritime Policy is to change the way in which policy [5] is made and decisions taken to create the necessary interaction between the various sectors and to ensure that common tools are developed. The Commission proposes ‘an Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union, based on the clear recognition that all matters relating to Europe's oceans and seas are interlinked, and that sea-related policies must develop in a joined-up way if we are to reap the desired results’(p.2). To this end, integrated maritime policy guidelines have been issued to Member States which include recommendations for setting up a maritime governance system based on international good practice. These guidelines are based on common elements observed around the world and are aimed at encouraging Member States and other players to take steps towards adopting an integrated approach to sea-related affairs within their governance frameworks . [6]

Greater coherence between different policy areas and approaches is particularly needed: 

· to avoid duplication of regulatory powers of different national or regional authorities in the Member States and to create a one-stop-shop approach in each Member State

·    for reliable and comparable statistics to inform maritime policy making on all levels

·    to facilitate closer coordination on maritime surveillance between, and within, Member States.

Member States have, in turn, made a commitment to make information available on a website which detail the way in which maritime strategies have been developed and the dialogue with stakeholders.

Such coherence would greatly facilitate the development of e-Maritime solutions. Conversely e-Maritime capabilities will facilitate the development of new forms of governance frameworks.  


[1] SafeSeaNet aims at the collection, storage and exchange of information for the purpose of maritime safety, port and maritime security, marine environment protection and the efficiency of maritime traffic and maritime transport.

[2] Directive 2002/6/EC of the European Parliament and the Council on reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of the Member States of the Community (OJ L 67, 9.3.2002, p. 31).

[3] Examining the creation of a European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) SEC (2008) 151, 152 13.2.2008.

[4] Decision n° 70/2008 of the European Parliament and the Council on a paperless environment for customs and trade.

[5] COM 2007 575 Final : An Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union

[6] COM(2008) 395 final Guidelines for an Integrated Approach to Maritime Policy: Towards best practice in integrated maritime governance and stakeholder consultation.

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