EU considers single window for rail freight

After implementing the Maritime Single Window, the European Commission is considering to extend it to the rail freight sector. This move could be set in a new transport strategy that is currently being developed by the legislative body. For rail freight operators and freight forwarders, the single window will simplify their activities.

“We have a single window. For the time being, it is an EU Maritime Single Window. We see no reason to keep this single window only maritime, especially with all the freight coming to Europe from Asia by rail. It is a very good case for having a single window extended to rail,” noted Elisabeth Werner, Director of Land Transport at the commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), during the 9th International Railway Summit having taken place in Warsaw on 20-21 February. She did not clarify the details but mentioned that the Commission is regarding this move as a part of the new strategy in digitalising the railways.

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European Maritime Single Window (EMSWe), source: European Maritime Safety Agency

European Maritime Single Window

In April 2019 the European Parliament approved a proposal for implementing a European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe). It provides a standardised interface system for the information in the same format across the European Union and a maximum dataset of the information necessary for the operation and management of ports and port terminals. EMSWe covers the information flows between the ship data providers, such as ship agent, master, shipping company, the relevant public authorities covering the port of call as well as the other Member States via SafeSeaNet.

“The European Maritime Single Window environment will simplify administrative formalities in shipping and cut costs for operators,” said Violeta Bulc, then European Commissioner for Transport (November 2014 – November 2019). The initiative was welcomed by several industry associations including the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO), the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the World Shipping Council.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines and

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