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Document 52021XC0727(01)

Communication from the Commission Multi-annual implementation plan for the European Maritime Single Window environment 2021/C 299/03


OJ C 299, 27.7.2021, p. 3–10 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 299/3


Multi-annual implementation plan for the European Maritime Single Window environment

(2021/C 299/03)

1.   Purpose of this document

Article 19 of the European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe) Regulation (1) requires the Commission to adopt a multi-annual implementation plan (MIP) and revise it on a yearly basis following appropriate consultations with Member States’ experts (2). The purpose of the MIP is to facilitate timely implementation of the Regulation and provide quality control mechanisms and procedures for deploying, maintaining and updating the harmonised interface module and the other related harmonised elements of the EMSWe.

2.   Background

The EMSWe Regulation repeals Directive 2010/65/EU on reporting formalities and, building on the existing maritime national single windows (MNSWs), establishes a common, interoperable environment for the reporting of information from ships to shore during a port call. In particular, it empowers the Commission to define a harmonised data set covering all reporting obligations and to develop and maintain common interfaces and services for the MNSWs. It will apply from 15 August 2025.

2.1.   Delegated powers

Article 3 of the EMSWe Regulation empowers the Commission to adopt delegated acts in order to:

amend the Annex to the Regulation, which lists reporting obligations under EU, international and national legislation, and in connection with a port call; and

supplement the Regulation by establishing and amending the EMSWe data set (the complete list of data elements required under the reporting obligations).

The first such delegated act is to be adopted by 15 August 2021. Others will follow when the Annex and/or the data set have to be amended. Due to the possibility of frequent changes in the relevant legislation, it is expected that such acts will be adopted regularly. Under Article 4(3) of the EMSWe Regulation, amendments to the EMSWe data set can be introduced only once a year, except in duly justified cases. The activity resulting from the exercising of the delegated powers has been spread across the following projects:

Table 1

Projects under the Commission’s responsibility stemming from delegated provisions



Establishment of EMSWe data set

Q3 2021

Amendment of EMSWe data set

2023 (indicative)

Table 2

Deliverables stemming from delegated powers



Delegated act establishing EMSWe data set and amending the Annex

Q3 2021

Delegated act(s) amending EMSWe data set and/or Annex

2023 (indicative)

Report to European Parliament and Council on the use of delegated powers

Q4 2022

For the preparatory work on the delegated acts, the Commission will consult the EMSWe expert subgroup of the High-Level Steering Group for Governance of the Digital Maritime System and Services (HLSG) (3) and possibly other stakeholders.

2.2.   Implementing powers

The EMSWe Regulation confers implementing powers on the Commission, in several instances setting a deadline for adoption by Q3 2021, notably to allow for the timely development of the components and leave the Member States enough time to plan the necessary adjustments to their MNSWs. Where relevant, such deadlines are shown in Table 3.

Table 3

Indicative planning for the adoption of implementing acts

Implementing act


Implementing act listing the entry summary declaration (ENS) information to be made available to MNSWs (4)

Q3 2021

Implementing act(s) on interfaces and other elements of MNSWs (5)

Q3 2021

Implementing act on common user registry and access management system (6)

Q3 2021

Implementing act(s) on EMSWe databases (7)

Q3 2021

Implementing act defining data subject to data re-use mechanisms (8)

2023 (indicative)

Implementing act on the ship sanitation database (9)

2024 (indicative)

Implementing act on common addressing service (10)

Q2 2024

3.   Stakeholder consultation strategy

It is very important that the Commission carries out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level, in accordance with the principles in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making.

Internal consultation

Internal consultation with other Commission services will be ensured by the EMSWe legal and policy steering group, which will be consulted on each major milestone of the project or when a major update is required, or at least twice a year.

Member States

When preparing delegated acts, the Commission should ensure that the Member State experts and the business community are consulted in a transparent manner and well in advance. In this context, it will consult the EMSWe expert subgroup of the HLSG, in which Member States will be represented by experts in maritime matters and by the national coordinators for the EMSWe. The work will be allocated among thematic teams of experts on specific topics, e.g. data, interfaces and databases. For projects relating to the use of SafeSeaNet and the common EMSWe databases, the HLSG’s SafeSeaNet subgroup will also be consulted.

The fact that the scope of the EMSWe Regulation covers several customs entry-exit formalities calls for the appropriate involvement of customs authorities. Where necessary, the Commission will consult the relevant customs expert groups, such as the Electronic Customs Coordination Group and the Customs Business Group (as managed by DG TAXUD). Joint meetings of the EMSWe expert subgroup and the latter may be organised for this purpose.

The Commission will carry out consultations as set out above at an appropriate early stage when preparing draft implementing acts to be submitted to the Digital Transport and Trade Facilitation Committee for its opinion.

The Commission will ensure that Member States’ authorities are consulted at each stage of implementation. Member States are responsible for coordination at national level. They must also ensure proper consultation with national stakeholders for the national implementation of EMSWe.

Other stakeholders

The Commission will ensure that industry associations participate in the expert groups as observers. In addition, it may organise workshops on specific aspects of implementation, in order to collect views and feedback from the main stakeholders in the maritime sector.

4.   IT architecture of EMSWe

EMSWe consists of central and national IT components. The MNSWs are complemented by a harmonised reporting interface module (RIM) for system-to-system communication, a graphical user interface (GUI), a common user registry and access management system, common databases and a common addressing service (CAS).

Image 1

Figure shows the high-level architecture of EMSWe in a Member State, including the MNSW’s interactions with economic operators and the authorities’ systems.

The central component of EMSWe is the MNSW, a nationally established and operated technical platform for receiving, exchanging and forwarding electronic information in line with reporting obligations (Article 2(3) of the EMSWe Regulation).

The parties, components and the common exchange mechanisms are listed below:

Table 4

Indicative list of parties, components and common mechanisms of the EMSWe





Maritime national single window (MNSW)

Article 2(3)


Graphical user interface (GUI)

Articles 2(9), 6(4)


Harmonised reporting interface module (RIM)

Article 2(4), 6(1)


Common user registry

Article 12(1)


Common user access management system

Article 12(1), (2), (3)


Common addressing service (CAS)

Article 2(10)


EMSWe ship database

Article 14


Common location database

Article 15


Common hazmat database

Article 16


Common ship sanitation database

Article 17


SafeSeaNet (national SSN and central SSN system)

Article 8(4)


Additional provisions for customs

Article 11(1), (2)



Article 2(11)


Data service providers

Article 2(13)


Other means of reporting

Article 7


Providers of port services

Article 2(15)

5.   Development and updating of harmonised elements

Harmonised reporting interface module (RIM)

The EMSWe Regulation requires the Commission, in close cooperation with the Member States, to develop by Q3 2022 the harmonised RIM (11) for system-to-system communication. The plan is to adopt the first implementing act laying out the functional and technical specifications of the RIM in 2021.

In close collaboration with the Member States, the Commission may also produce a message implementation guide describing the information exchanges between the users and the RIM. The processing of the information between the MNSWs and the relevant authorities remains the responsibility of the Member States.

After the first release, expected in Q3 2022, the RIM will be updated, where necessary, in the lead-up to the date of application of the EMSWe Regulation (15 August 2025) and thereafter. Once the specifications of the RIM have been adopted, and in accordance with points (a), (d) and (h) in Article 19 of the Regulation, the Commission will set out indicative deadlines for:

Member States’ subsequent integration of the RIM with the MNSWs; and

Member States’ and declarants’ phasing-out of the older versions of the RIM.

Common addressing service (CAS)

In accordance with Article 13(2) of the EMSWe Regulation, the specifications of the CAS will be adopted by Q3 2024. Development of this component is expected to start after development of the RIM and to be concluded in advance of the Regulation’s application date (15 August 2025). Once the specifications have been adopted, and in accordance with points (b) and (e) in Article 19 of the Regulation, the Commission will set out the timing for integrating the CAS into the overall reporting environment and the change management procedure for updating it.

EMSWe user registry and access management system

The Commission will establish, and ensure the availability of, a common user registry and access management system for authenticating declarants and data service providers who use the MNSWs. National authorities will also access the system in cases where authentication is required.

The common user registry and access management system will provide for single-user registration by means of a Union registry with EU-level recognition, federated user management and EU-level user monitoring.

Once the specifications of the user registry and access management system have been adopted, the Commission will set out the timing for its integration into the RIM and the MNSWs.

6.   Implementation phases

EMSWe will be implemented in a series of phases that may partly overlap. The time constraints mean that some tasks will be executed in parallel, where possible. However, some actions will depend on the outcome of previous deliverables, so dependencies must be analysed in detail.

The plan involves the following phases:

Phase 0:

Inception (Q2 2019)

The draft general plan, core organisational structures, communication channels and mandates for coordinated implementation have been established.

Phase 1:

Drafting and adoption of the functional and technical specifications and other related acts  (12) (Q3 2019 — Q3 2021)

Functional specifications will be drafted on the basis of the needs of stakeholders (authorities and industry) and the required data properties. These will help to avoid duplication and inconsistencies, and allow for more accurate estimates of the necessary work and resources. They will provide a precise idea of the needs (e.g. processes and data flows with industry, Member States’ authorities and EU systems, access policies, sizing of data to be processed), so that the system architects can design the system efficiently and estimate the costs of design alternatives. Later, they will provide guidance for the developers and testers implementing and verifying the technical requirements.

The technical specifications will determine the technical structures, formats and protocols for the EMSWe common components, including the interfaces with the industry (e.g. harmonised RIM, common databases, user registry and access management system).

The provisional plan for the finalisation of the projects is as follows:

Table 5

Projects under the Commission’s responsibility


Deadline (13)

Listing of entry summary declaration (ENS) information to be made available to MNSWs

Q3 2021

Specifications for harmonised reporting interface module (RIM)

Q3 2021

Common functionalities of graphical user interface (GUI)

Q3 2021

Templates of harmonised digital spreadsheets

Q3 2021

Harmonised structure for Member States’ national support website

Q3 2021

Technical specifications for arrival and departure times

Q3 2021

Specifications for uniform format for MNSWs’ internet addresses

Q3 2021

Specifications for user registry and access management system

Q3 2021

Specifications for EMSWe ship database

Q3 2021

Specifications for common location database

Q3 2021

Specifications for common hazmat database

Q3 2021

Message implementation guide

2022 (indicative)

Response messages for authorities’ acknowledgements and decisions

2023 (indicative)

Listing of data to be made available to declarants between two port calls

2023 (indicative)

Listing of data to be made available to MNSWs via SafeSeaNet

2023 (indicative)

Specifications for common ship sanitation database

2023 (indicative)

Specifications for common addressing service (CAS)

Q3 2024

Phase 2:

Technical implementation phase — EU and Member States (Q3 - 2021 — Q4 - 2022)

In this phase, the central and national systems are put out to tender (Commission, European Maritime Safety Agency and Member States) and implemented in line with the specifications. In particular, it is expected that the first release of the RIM will be ready in Q3 2022. Documentation (e.g. hosting infrastructure requirements, installation manuals, system interface guides) and training will have to be provided. The provisional plan for the deployment of the various components is as follows:

Table 6

List of deliverables under the Commission’s responsibility



First development of RIM

Q3 2022

Provision of user registry

2023 (indicative)

Provision of access management system

2023 (indicative)

Provision of ship database

2023 (indicative)

Provision of common hazmat database

2023 (indicative)

Provision of common location database

2023 (indicative)

Provision of ship sanitation database

2024 (indicative)

Provision of common addressing service (CAS)

Q4 2024

Phase 3:

Initial testing phase — public administrations (Q1 2023 — Q2 2024)  (14)

During this phase, both the Commission and each Member State are expected to carry out technical tests, as well as functional and non-functional tests. Functional tests verify actions or functions in the functional specifications — they tend to answer the questions ‘can the user do this?’ or ‘does this particular feature work?’. Non-functional tests concern aspects such as scalability and other performance, behaviour under certain constraints, and security. Depending on the test results, several releases of the RIM or other components may be required.

The Commission services will provide the Member States’ authorities with technical assistance during the configuration and setup of the RIM, and carry out tests with each Member State to ensure that installation is successful and fully functional.

Phase 4:

Further specifications and amendments (Q2 - 2023 — Q2 2024)

This phase could start in partial overlap with phase 3. The Commission will adopt implementing acts (15), probably in the second half of 2023, to determine the EMSWe data to be re-used at arrival and the data to be shared via SafeSeaNet. It will also develop the response messages for authorities’ acknowledgements and decisions. The SafeSeaNet data exchange mechanisms and interfaces, including the necessary security measures, will be defined where necessary. Before the full application of the EMSWe Regulation, the interface and functionalities control document (IFCD) and the SafeSeaNet reference guide and relevant documentation will be amended (16).

If new reporting obligations are notified and approved by the Commission in line with Articles 3 and 4 of the Regulation, the Commission will adopt the delegated act amending the Annex and the new data elements will be included in the EMSWe data set. Subsequently, it will update the RIM.

It is envisaged that the Commission will adopt the implementing act on the common ship sanitation database (17).

Phase 5:

Implementation and second testing phase — industry and new systems (Q1 2024 — application date)

Once the necessary technical specifications have been adopted and the interfaces and other components established, it is expected that the industry will develop and test their connections and related procedures. The overall reporting environment will be aligned with new systems developed under other EU initiatives.

Each Member State is expected to set up a technical helpdesk and an online support website. By the date of application, the Commission will upgrade the MNSWs and SafeSeaNet in order to exchange the relevant data in line with Article 8 of the Regulation.

Phase 6:

Initial operation phase (Q1 2025 — application date)

During this phase, the industry and the Member States will be able to verify the functioning of the environment.

Phase 7:

Application phase (application date — onwards)

From the date of application of the Regulation, all information necessary for the fulfilment of reporting obligations will be provided by means of and in compliance with the EMSWe data set through the harmonised interfaces and, where relevant, other means of reporting. Each Member State will provide a helpdesk in the first 12 months (from 15 August 2025) and an online support website for its MNSW, with clear instructions in its official language(s) and, where relevant, a language that is used internationally.

(1)  Regulation (EU) 2019/1239 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 establishing a European Maritime Single Window environment and repealing Directive 2010/65/EU (OJ L 198, 25.7.2019, p. 64);

(2)  This document has been drafted in consultation with the Member States’ maritime and customs experts in the High-Level Steering Group for Governance of the Digital Maritime System and Services and the Customs Business Group.

(3)  As established by Commission Decision (EU) 2016/566;

(4)  See Article 11(3) of the Regulation.

(5)  See Article 6(1) and (4) of the Regulation.

(6)  See Article 12(4) of the Regulation.

(7)  See Articles 14(4), 15(4) and 16(6) of the Regulation.

(8)  See Article 8(5) of the Regulation.

(9)  See Article 17(3) of the Regulation.

(10)  See Article 13(2) of the Regulation.

(11)  See Article 6(2) of the Regulation.

(12)  See Table 3 above.

(13)  Planned date of finalisation of the documents.

(14)  See point (f) in Article 19 of the Regulation.

(15)  See Article 8(5) of the Regulation.

(16)  The amendments will be approved by the HLSG in line with the tasks in point 2.2 in Annex III to Directive 2002/59/EC.

(17)  See Article 17(3) of the Regulation.