Port Procedures

To access the Port Procedure Survey, click here.

A lack of understanding by authorities, port users and shipowners of the complexities of the role of the ship agent has led FONASBA to develop its Port Procedures Survey, an ambitious project that aims to codify the myriad functions and the often considerable variations therein, undertaken by its agent members in ports across the globe.

It is estimated that up to 150 separate actions may be necessary to get a ship into port, perform cargo operations and sail to the next port, many of which must be carried out in the very short timeframe allowed by the vessel’s schedule. Any delay in the progress of the port call, compliance with statutory requirements or arranging the delivery or collection of the cargo can have a significant effect on the cost of the call (and thus on the overall voyage) and on the vessel’s subsequent employment. There is very little consistency in the way these functions are handled – at the international, regional and even local level. Add this to the fact that no two ports calls are the same, and it soon becomes clear that the engagement of a highly experienced, professional and well-qualified agent is vital to ensure that all the functions are carried out to the highest standard.

In additional to highlighting the complexities of the role of the agent, the survey aims to clearly demonstrate to the ship owner or operator the volume and value of the agency function. It is also anticipated that the results of the survey will be of considerable benefit to regulators at all levels in clarifying and quantifying the variations in port procedures and thus aid endeavours to streamline and harmonise those procedures for the benefit of all port users.

The survey was launched on Monday, 3rd December 2011 and is available here

Clearly a project such as this will be subject to regular updating to ensure that the data remains accurate and relevant. Additional ports will also be added in order to expand the coverage and thus increase the survey’s usefulness to the wider maritime community. More countries will also be added as FONASBA expands its membership.

FONASBA trusts that the survey will prove useful and informative.