The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has launched its 'blue belt' pilot project, designed to reduce the dministrative burden on the short sea shipping sector.
The aim of the blue belt pilot project is to explore new ways to promote and to facilitate short sea shipping in the European Union by reducing the administrative burden for intra-community trade.
The project uses information on maritime traffic provided by the EMSA-operated SafeSeaNet European vessel traffic monitoring system to monitor vessel movements, and sends an automatic notification to customs authorities before the vessel's arrival at port.
The information authorities are provided with includes current and previous voyages, expected or actual arrival and departure times, previous and next ports of call, and other pertinent voyage information.
Consequently the authorities can ensure that a vessel declaring intra-EU goods has only visited EU ports, i.e. that it has stayed within the 'blue belt'.
Upon successful assessment of the pilot project, due at the beginning of 2012, existing procedures may be reviewed and adjusted in favour of a permanent blue belt reporting system.
"The blue belt pilot project, by sharing existing information on maritime traffic among different user communities, has a clear potential to further improve intra-Community trade by sea," says Willem de Ruiter, executive director of the Lisbon-based European Maritime Safety Agency.
Source: Digital Ship