EPCSA launches a new Port Community System guide

EPCSA launches a new Port Community System guide

The guide provides a simple outline to organisations, whether port authorities, Customs authorities, government departments or agencies, or users of sea, air and inland ports, of the basic steps to developing a Port Community System; one that suits the environment in which they operate, and provides the solution to bottlenecks or delays that can create inefficiencies.

Why develop a Port Community System?

• To create efficient port business processes;

• To facilitate the smooth flow of electronic data;

• To avoid inputting the same data several times into several systems, duplicating work and creating obvious room for error;

• To integrate and achieve compliance with national and EU Directives.

“The electronic communication platforms provided by Port Community Systems, and the intelligent and secure exchange of information they enable, are already at the heart of many efficient port operations – but many other ports all over the world have no system in place and may feel challenged by the process involved in creating one,” says EPCSA chairman Pascal Ollivier, from French PCS provider SOGET.

“EPCSA’s new guide does not lay down a definitive way in which a Port Community System should be created but rather gives an outline to show organisations how this issue relates to their local circumstances.”

Community involvement and communication are the most vital parts of setting up a Port Community System, said Ollivier: “Organisations may feel challenged by the technology side of the process, but in fact it is bringing the port community together with a common purpose and understanding, and agreeing the way forward, that proves to be the most time-consuming part.”

The guide, launched in Geneva on December 14, outlines ‘Twelve Actions’ in developing a Port Community System, including creating a common understanding, communication, identification of core business processes, Customs integration, the legal framework and long-term operation.

EPCSA advises using existing knowledge – ‘don’t start from scratch’, and identifying key community stakeholders to work in development groups.

As well as launching the new guide, EPCSA is running a series of seminars explaining how to set up a Port Community System. Port Community Systems are a vital cog in swift and smooth supply chains; they are formed by the community for the community, and give Customs, forwarders, shippers, shipping lines, port and terminal operators, inspection agencies, hauliers, barge operators and railway operators access to smart, real-time information.

Contact: Richard Morton, secretary general, EPCSA:

Tel: 0044 7796 334960

Email: richard.morton@epcsa.eu