Georgian Economy Minister Levan Davitashvili on Tuesday said implementation of the Maritime Single Window, a system for digital exchange of information used by ports for arrival, stay and departure of ships, would make Georgia “even more attractive” as a logistics hub.
Speaking at the opening meeting of Digital Ports I, a programme which includes the final stage of MSW implementation in the country, Davitashvili highlighted the significance of the maritime transport digitisation programme, which is being carried out in Georgia with the help of the United States.
The programme aims to boost Georgia's competitiveness as part of the Middle Corridor, the trans-Caspian international transport route aiming to connect supply chains and logistics between China and Europe.
The official said it was “essential” to be able to provide “effective and client-focused” services considering the “growing interest” in Georgia as a logistics hub “on a global scale”.
Digital Ports involves digitisation of state services provided to the port industry and their consolidation onto a single online platform or single window system. Its implementation will simplify and fully digitise port procedures for vessels, enhance port management, automate logistics operations, encourage interagency cooperation and drastically cut the time required for necessary port procedures, the Ministry of Economy said.
The MSW and Digital Ports will also allow for a full implementation of marine directives and rules outlined in Georgia’s 2014-signed Association Agreement with the European Union. Their implementation will ensure the maritime sector is up to par with EU norms, with domestic port infrastructure compliant with the standards, the body added.
The Georgian Maritime Transport Agency, the Export Control and Border Security programme of the US Embassy in Georgia and the US Government all contribute financially to the process of implementing the MSW in Georgia's port industry. The support extends to both software and system-related materials.
The German consulting company Hamburg Port Consulting won the international tender to implement the programme in Georgian facilities.