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Maritime authorities of Singapore, Denmark and Norway sign MOU for mutual recognition of E-Certificates

Signatories of the E-Certs MoU, from left Mr. Andreas Nordseth, Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority, Mr. Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA and His Excellency Tormod C. Endresen, Norwegian Ambassador to Singapore on behalf of the Norwegian Maritime Authority (Photo Credit: MPA)

At the sidelines of the ongoing Singapore Maritime Week, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA), the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) to promote the adoption of E-Certificates (E-Certs) for the shipping community, over hard copy documents.

The press release explains that the shipping business is traditionally a paper-intensive industry. Hard copies of over two dozen certificates, such as Certificate of Registry, Certificate of Class and Load Line Certificates, are kept onboard ships to provide proof that the vessels are compliant with the regulations or conventions applicable to them.  

Because of this, stakeholders such as flag administrations, classification societies, seafarers and shipowners, have to incur significant manpower and financial commitments in the preparation, printing and delivery of these certificates.

Using E-Certs instead of hard copies of certificates would help reduce administrative burden in the shipping industry through digitalisation.

The MOU covers the promotion and use of E-Certs on ships registered under the respective flags of the parties, the acceptance of E-Certs for port entry and Port State Control inspections, as well as the sharing of information and experiences relating to issuance, use and acceptance of E-Certs.

The MOU was signed today by Mr. Andreas Nordseth, Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority; Mr. Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA; and His Excellency Tormod C. Endresen, Norwegian Ambassador to Singapore on behalf of the Norwegian Maritime Authority.   Mr. Andrew Tan said, “Through such initiatives as e-certification, Singapore seeks to harness the growing importance of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to prepare the maritime sector for a digital future. We look forward to working with more partners to promote the use of technology in the industry. The time is ripe for this. I am glad that Denmark, Norway and Singapore have led the way to show the potential of harnessing ICT to improve administrative efficiency while reducing costs for the benefit of the industry.”

His Excellency Tormod C. Endresen, commented, “The time is now ripe to pursue the rewards which can be realised by the prospects of extending the use of and capitalise on the information technology in the maritime shipping industry.”

The success of E-Certs is contingent on the acceptance by the global maritime community. Mr. Andreas Nordseth highlighted that there more to be done before the maritime world can truly reap the benefits of digitalisation, saying, “Our first target is to inspire and support more countries to implement similar solutions. The reduction of paperwork benefits all stakeholders as it makes the entire maritime sector more efficient. We hold high hopes that the Memorandum of Understanding signed today will encourage many countries to complete a similar transition.”

Read the press release here.

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