IALA Council adopts guideline for digital services

At its 65th session, the IALA Council adopted a new specification guideline for digital services in the maritime domain. Based on input from EfficienSea2, the new guideline will help ensure that the best digital solutions work across different oceans and different equipment.

Digital services in the maritime industry have for years been drafted in many different formats, making it difficult to achieve interoperability between different systems and across different geographical spheres. Now, however, a new specification guideline has been adopted by the IALA Council that will strengthen the harmonisation of digital services in the future.

The guideline was originally proposed to the IALA Council by the organisation’s e-Navigation Committee’s 20th session in Paris. Thomas Christensen, Work Package Leader for EfficienSea2 and Senior Advisor at the Danish Maritime Authority, explains:

“In order for digital services to truly be beneficial at sea, there is no question about the need for interoperability and globalisation, but we cannot get that without having a shared reference. We are confident that this guideline will serve as that reference in the future.”

Global perspective

The ‘IALA guideline on the specification of e-Navigation technical services’  will be made available on IALA’s website and spread throughout the national authorities joined together in IALA. While proposed under the umbrella of e-Navigation, Thomas Christensen makes clear that the guideline can be used for many different kinds of services:

“The specification guideline is general and it will be very useful for a wide range of maritime services. The main ambition is to make it easier and more viable to take the service you’ve developed within a specific country and make it usable in other parts of the world,” Thomas Christensen says.

The new specification guideline is compatible with the MCP (formerly known as Maritime Cloud), and for Thomas Christensen, this will provide an easier path for a company with global ambitions:

“The service specification guideline will boost interoperability across the world and, once you achieve that, you need a solution for actually finding the trustworthy and secure services across the world. In EfficienSea2 we believe MCP is such a solution”