This step towards efficiency and simplication of procedures is regarded by both SDM and ship owners registered in MAR as an important factor of competitiveness of the Register.
In fact, the use of paper documents and certificates had already not only become an obsolete procedure in itself but, given the growing number of vessels registered in MAR and their respective crews, was also leading to delays and creating serious constraints in the normal operation of the Register.
An efficient digital system allowing for the dematerialisation of all procedures and the issuing of electronic certificates has been therefore one of the main concerns of SDM, which has strongly supported its implementation.
In a recent communication, the Technical Commission of MAR has stated that “Portugal considers digitalization in the maritime transport as a very relevant development, namely in respect to expediting sharing of information, improving security and traceability of documentation and reducing administrative burdens.”
This measure is in line with the overall Portuguese policies concerning digitalization within public services and administration, including the introduction by the Portuguese maritime administration of e-certificates and e-documents to ships and seafarers following the IMO Guidelines for the use of electronic certificates and, as such, allowing foreign authorities and other parties to promptly verify the validity of the electronic statutory certificates and documents issued by Portuguese authorities.
The Portuguese maritime administration has duly communicated the decision to the IMO which has also circulated such information to all member States.
For further information regarding the applicable procedures to issue, authenticate and verify e-certificates, please consult the circular issued by MAR’s Technical Commission.