Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Chamber of Shipping White Paper on Canada’s Need for a Maritime Single Window


The Chamber of Shipping in Vancouver has released a White Paper underlining the importance and challenges for Canada to join other nations in implementing the Maritime Single Window (MSW) mandate, which came into force globally on January 1st, 2024.

The MSW acknowledges the need for standardized reporting and data exchange and sets forth guidelines to facilitate efficient clearance of ships, cargo, and crew, promoting a more secure and responsive international maritime environment. A recent study by Kale highlights that paperless cross-border trade operations can possibly lower export border compliance time from 44% to 24% and export cost from 31% to 17%.

As a member state of the IMO, Canada is bound by the obligations outlined in the Facilitation of International Traffic Convention (FAL) of the International Maritime Organization, emphasizing the importance of adopting measures such as the Maritime Single Window to ensure compliance with these international standards.

“This transiton towards a more streamlined, efficient, and paperless system of vessel reporting  and data exchange is not just a compliance measure but a significant leap towards  enhancing the  efficiency and competitiveness of Canadian maritime trade,” the White Paper states.

The transition to a singlepoint entry system, as exemplified  in  the European Union, Singapore,  Australia,  and  other  trade  nations  reflects  a  global  movement towards optimizing marine operations.

However, the journey to realizing a fully functional MSW in Canada is not without challenges.

Interagency  coordination, data standardization, legal and regulatory alignment, privacy and security considerations, and  technological compatability are significant hurdles requiring collaborative planning and execution. The role of stakeholder engagement, capacity building, and training cannot be overstated in ensuring  MSW’s  smooth  adoption.

Vessel arrival and clearance system in Vancouver

The White Paper outlines  the process for reporting vessel  arrivals in Vancouver –  involving several crucial steps and timelines to ensure compliance  with the  Canadian  regulations.

Vessel  agents  are  typically  required  to  submit  various  forms  to  different government agencies at least 96 hours before vessel’s ETA to Canadian  waters,  providing details about  the vessel,  crew, and  cargo.

This includes information  on cargo nature, stability, quantity, and value, as well as crew details such as names, positions, nationalities, and  passport information.

(Photo: Chamber of Shipping’s representation of the reporting forms and intimations, at various timelines, required for a vessel to call at the Port of  Vancouver.)