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Maritime Navigation and Information Services

Exploitable results

The demise of the Erika and the Prestige projects resulted in a number of initiatives that have been introduced on the European stage. The Erika packages introduced a number of measures to remedy the safety situation in European waters. However, it has long been recognised that a more proactive approach to the management of vessel traffic in European waters, and the enhancement of services provided to shipping in general, will further the promotion of a safe, efficient and environmentally friendly platform for maritime transport. In many respects technology is already very advanced, and this has been proven in limited demonstrations in recent years. Vessel traffic management (VTM), including vessel traffic services (VTS) and automatic identification system (AIS) coastal networks, has been successfully developed for local and regional use to varying degrees however pan-European operational systems require further development and integration in order to become a reality. Whilst there is a recognised need for a more pro-active management regime of vessel traffic in all EU waters, there is also a recognised need to achieve this without increasing the burden placed upon the vessel itself, i.e. through increased reporting. In fact it has long been understood that the burden on the master should decrease from present day levels in order to allow the master to concentrate on the primary function, i.e. that of the safe navigation of the vessel. The framework for seamless reporting as a basis for 'one stop shopping' is available, but national and international efforts are required to bring all stakeholders and actors together to build up and link all elements required to establish a pan-European system. The European Commission (EC) is currently promoting the development of eMaritime, a meeting of services and systems, in response to the need for a more transparent and harmonised approach within the maritime sector in general in order to secure its position as a leading transport mode. It goes further than the present meaning of eNavigation through exploring ways in which the whole transport chain may become involved and benefit. It may be said that the whole eMaritime concept encompasses eNavigation as a component, but not necessarily vice versa. The EC co-funded project 'Maritime navigation and information services" (Marnis) goes a long way to supporting the EU in their ambitions through providing a substantial and valuable contribution to the eMaritime concept. The focus is placed on the improved exchange of information from ship to shore, shore to ship and between shore-based stakeholders, both on an authority and business level. The stakeholders may include on the one hand the vessel itself, together with the ship owner, operator and agent, and on the other hand shore-based entities, including maritime authorities (e.g. search and rescue (SAR), coastal and port), related authorities (e.g. customs and immigration) and commercial parties within the port sector. Key results include: - Maritime operational services (MOS) - Safeseanet++ - Single window/electronic port clearance (EPC) - Marnis node and port community systems (PCS) - Marnis broad band platform. The Marnis eMaritime concept will potentially affect the tasks and responsibilities of the various authorities related to maritime transport and traffic, including not only maritime safety related authorities but also enforcement such as customs and immigration. In order to clarify and support the interaction between all authorities and actors involved a European Maritime Directive, describing the legal structure, is recommended and under development in the project. When developed as a framework Directive there is sufficient flexibility to exploit existing technologies as well as allow for the emergence of new technologies. Whilst respecting the principle of subsidiarity, a general Directive on maritime transport and traffic will also provide uniform and transparent responsibilities for competent authorities.