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FAL Convention Amendments introduced to enhance electronic information exchange, strengthen seafarer’s rights to shore leave

FAL Convention Amendments Introduced
January 19, 2018

New legislation for maritime traffic has introduced requirements for enhanced electronic information exchange and strengthened seafarer’s rights to shore leave.

The revisions to the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic, or FAL Convention, require national governments to introduce electronic data interchange, or EDI, to transmit information related to maritime transport by April 8, 2019, with provision for a transitional period of at least 12 months.

“The revised annex, which was developed following a comprehensive review of the treaty, will ensure the convention adequately addresses the shipping industry’s present and emerging needs and serves to facilitate and expedite international maritime traffic,” the International Maritime Organization said in a statement.

Seafarers’ rights to shore leave have also been strengthened through amendments which enter into force globally on Jan. 1, 2018.

The convention was orginally adopted in 1965 to harmonize marine traffic procedures, to aid cooperation between governments, and to secure uniformity in formalities and other procedures.