Trade facilitation - IMO

Trade facilitation - IMO

Information dated: 2017

Nicolaos Charalambous

Director, Technical Co-operation Division

Tel: +44 20 7583 3175

Fax: +44 20 758 7 3210

E-mail: ncharala [at] imo.org ()


Julian Abril

Head, Facilitation

Maritime Safety Division

Tel: +44 20 7587 3110

E-mail: jabril [at] imo.org ()


Maritime traffic facilitation

The IMO Facilitation Committee aims to promote the facilitation of maritime traffic and develop appropriate measures to expedite international maritime traffic and prevent unnecessary delays to ships and cargoes, and to persons and property on board. To achieve this, the Committee has adopted the following strategies:


  • Promote wider acceptance of the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL) Convention and adoption of the measures contained therein;

  • Ensure that an appropriate balance is maintained between measures to enhance maritime security and measures to facilitate international maritime traffic;

  • Encourage the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to drive continuous improvement and innovation in the facilitation of maritime traffic;

  • Enhance cooperation and coordination with other international organizations and stakeholders on matters related to the facilitation of maritime traffic.

The annex to the FAL Convention contains rules for simplifying formalities, documentary requirements and procedures on the arrival and departure of ships and, in particular, it reduces to eight the number of declarations that can be required by public authorities. These are the General Declaration, Cargo Declaration, Ship’s Stores Declaration, Crew’s Effects Declaration, Crew List, Passenger List and the Dangerous Goods Manifest, as well as two documents required under the Universal Postal Convention and the International Health Regulations. IMO has developed standardized forms for the first seven of these. Three additional declarations will enter into force from 1 January 2018: Security-related information as required SOLAS, Advance electronic cargo information for customs risk assessment purposes and Advance notification form for waste delivery to port reception facilities.

As a further aid to compliance, the annex to this Convention contains “Standards” and “Recommended Practices” on formalities, documentary requirements and procedures which should be applied to ships, their crews, passengers, baggage and cargo, on arrival, during their stay, and on departure. As part of its technical cooperation programme, assistance is provided by IMO to promote the ratification of the FAL Convention, its effective implementation, and to show the potential role of maritime transport facilitation in the reduction of poverty (MDG 1).

For more information: www.imo.org