Denmark is set to become an international frontrunner as ships flying the Danish flag are to be digitally certified. As one of the first countries in the world to make this move, Denmark has put an end to the 100 years old tradition of certifying ships by means of old-fashioned certificates on paper.
Until now, the certification has been carried out by printing, stamping and signing paper certificates and subsequently sending them around the world to be kept on board ships.Digital certification or electronic certification which is the term used internationally – will put an end to these cumbersome procedures, reduce administrative workloads and pave the way for further maritime digitalisation.
The Minister for Business and Growth, Mr Troels Lund Poulsen:
”It is important for our businesses to embrace the digital era. Therefore it makes me proud that Denmark is one of the very first countries in the world to use electronic certification, which will reduce the administrative workload and save time and money in the maritime sector.”
Many years’ worth of international negotiations has laid the ground for launching of electronic certificates. Denmark has worked in the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization, IMO, to keep reduction of administrative burdens on the agenda. And electronic certificates are an excellent example of a simple, digital solution that will make life easier for Danish shipowners and seafarers on board Danish ships.
The Director General of the Danish Shipowners’ Association, Ms Anne H. Steffensen said, ”The Danish Maritime Authority has been working hard in the IMO to gain acceptance of electronic certificates. It is a major step in the right direction that will help reduce administrative burdens and costs imposed on Danish shipowners and ships. Denmark is in the lead here and we hope that other Flag States and classification societies will follow Denmark’s initiative.”
The ships’ old paper certificates will be replaced one at a time as they expire. Ship owners will also get online access to their own certificates, which will further reduce the amount of administrative work.