IMO-Singapore project on Maritime Single Window delivery at Angola Port completed at Angola Port completed

IMO Project SWiFT_banner image

Single Window for Facilitation of Trade (SWiFT) project successfully
 handed over at Port of Lobito, Angola

     A handover ceremony to mark the completion of the pilot Single Window for Facilitation of Trade (SWiFT) project of the newly developed generic Maritime Single Window (MSW) platform was conducted at the Port of Lobito in Angola on 20 November 2023.

2   The ceremony was held after a successful week-long user acceptance testing session, organised virtually by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), involving officials from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), MPA and Port of Lobito. The new MSW digital system allows the electronic submission, through a single online portal, of all information required by various agencies to ensure efficient clearance of ships during port calls there.


Maritime Single Windows mandatory from January 2024

3   From 1 January 2024, it will be mandatory for ports around the world to operate Maritime Single Windows for the exchange of information required at the point of a ship’s arrival, during its stay and at departure. The change is in line with international shipping’s aspirations to accelerate digitalisation and decarbonisation of the sector and is the result of amendments to the IMO’s FAL Convention.


4   The SWiFT project, one of IMO’s strategic partnerships with donors, was established by IMO and Singapore in March 2021 to support medium-size ports in establishing secure digital interconnectivity with counterparts worldwide, to meet IMO’s mandatory obligations under the FAL Convention.


Collaboration to support digital transformation

5   Under the SWiFT project, IMO and MPA worked closely with relevant Angolan stakeholders, including the Port of Lobito and Agência Marítima Nacional, to develop a functional generic MSW platform configured to the needs of the Port of Lobito. Mr Julian Abril, Head of the IMO’s Facilitation Section said: “With single window for data exchange requirements under the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic becoming mandatory in ports from 1 January 2024, the lessons and experience gained from the SWiFT project will contribute towards the implementation of MSWs globally”.


6   MPA Deputy Director (Sectoral Systems Development), Mr Gavin Yeo said: “The MSW platform developed under the SWiFT project draws from Singapore’s experience in the implementation of our national MSW, digitalPORT@SGTM. MPA is pleased to have partnered IMO and the Port of Lobito on this digital transformation journey, which has the potential to enhance the efficiencies for international shipping, port operations and global supply chains.”


7   The SWiFT project was supported by Singapore via in-kind contributions and by IMO via the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) which assists countries in building up their capacities to enable effective compliance with the Organization’s regulatory framework.


8   The initiative builds upon an earlier successful project coordinated by IMO that saw successful delivery in 2019 of a Maritime Single Window system in Antigua and Barbuda.

Read more here on how the shipping and ports sectors can realise opportunities that the operation of an MSW platform can bring, and potential approaches to designing and implementing one.