December 1 - BIMCO supports a report identifying ways to reduce red tape for shipping, which will be presented to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) this week in London.

The report comes from the Ad Hoc Steering Group for Reducing Administrative Requirements (SG-RAR), set up by the IMO in 2012, and contains their findings and conclusions on the best ways to lessen administrative burdens associated with mandatory IMO conventions and codes. The report also contains the results and analysis of the first-ever public consultation undertaken by the IMO between May and November 2013.

Key findings of the report for reducing red tape include calls for: electronic certificates and similar documents to have equal weight as original paper certificates; an electronic "single window" information exchange system to be introduced to fulfil multiple reporting requirements; ship owners, administrations, classification societies and commercial parties etc. to accept electronic or software solutions as a suitable replacement for paper documentation; as well as identifying and reducing possible administrative burdens before approving new or existing IMO regulations.

Lars Robert Pedersen, BIMCO's deputy secretary general, commented on the report: "If the recommendations of this report are put into practice, they will establish an enhanced and modern platform for simplifying the daily work onboard ships as well as ashore.

"Shipping needs to be able to use the latest technology for its reporting - and recognition of electronic certificates ought to be a prerequisite in this day and age.

"BIMCO therefore urges the IMO Council to make firm decisions on the basis of the recommendations and remove unnecessary administrative burdens."