Coinciding with 44th IMO FAL Committee meeting, IAPH launches global ports questionnaire on electronic data exchange

Confidential survey of world ports initiated by IAPH to gauge how far processes have been digitalized


Confidential survey of world ports initiated by IAPH to gauge how far processes have been digitalized to track movements of ships, cargo and passengers

The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) announces the launch of a global questionnaire of the world’s ports as part of its commitment to support the wide-ranging adoption of secure electronic data exchange.

This follows the call to action communiqué initiated by IAPH back in June which includes assessing the state of implementation of the requirements defined in the International Maritime Organization’s Facilitation (IMOFAL) Convention.

IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven commented : “The COVID19 pandemic and the need for safe ship-shore interactions have pushed ports to digitalize. While some IMO member states and ports have achieved some gains, implementing electronic data exchange remains work in progress. Ultimately the aim is to enable and accelerate trade through the world’s ports. This questionnaire aims to assess the status of that work in progress and the challenges being faced by all parties in the process

The different FAL conventions are in place to support transmission, receipt, and response of information needed for the ships’ arrival, stay, and departure as well as the data on both cargo and passengers.

IAPH Technical Director Antonis Michael added : “The ultimate aim in adopting harmonized electronic data exchange is to save time and effort on board and ashore through secure, streamlined electronic reporting. By understanding exactly how electronic data exchange is currently being used at ports, a concrete plan can be drawn up on how to support that adoption.”

The questionnaire on electronic interchange, which is confidential and open to all ports, consists of eight questions which will provide key insights into where most efforts are needed to provide expertise, capacity building and in some cases technical infrastructure to streamline efficient data exchange between the port community and the ships calling at their ports.

Antonis Michail concluded : “As a neutral, non-governmental organisation representing global ports, IAPH is conducting this survey in complete confidentiality and will only publish overall results as well as on a regional scale. Consolidated feedback will be shared, in the first instance, with the ports who have responded. We can then also identify the main challenges, and take these to work alongside colleagues at IMO, the World Bank, UNCTAD and other institutions to see what levels of assistance and support ports need to digitalize, especially in emerging and developing counties.

The questionnaire is available for all ports and can be accessed here. Responses are requested by close of business on Friday 16 October.

Contact details for the news item :

Victor Shieh – Communications Partner, World Ports Sustainability Program

email :

About IAPH (

Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is a non-profit-making global alliance of 170 ports and 140 port-related organisations covering 90 countries. Its member ports handle more than 60 percent of global maritime trade and around 80 percent of world container traffic. IAPH has consultative NGO status with several United Nations agencies. In 2018, IAPH established the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP). Guided by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, it aims to unite sustainability efforts of ports worldwide, encouraging international cooperation between all partners involved in the maritime supply chain. WPSP ( covers five main areas of collaboration: energy transition, resilient infrastructure, safety and security, community outreach and governance.