Integrated maritime policy for the EU working document III

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Courtesy of European Commission

One of the elements of the integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union1 that the Commission is pursuing is enhanced interoperability and integration between existing maritime surveillance and monitoring systems, across the different maritime sectors. As a first step it is necessary to have better awareness of the present situation. This report tries to summarise some information on existing maritime surveillance systems that has recently been gathered at a European level, and aims to focus on data sharing aspects. Information from four main sources is analysed: on fisheries monitoring from Directorate General for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs; on vessel traffic management from EMSA; on southern maritime border security from Frontex based on the BORTEC study; and on vessel reporting systems mandated by IMO. This does certainly not give a complete picture of the maritime surveillance data sharing practices in the EU, but it provides a basis from which to formulate further questions that can in particular be directed to the Member States.

The individual systems discussed include VMS, AIS, VTS, LRIT, several special reporting regimes, GMDSS and SSAS. For each it is discussed what information is transmitted, when and to whom.

Considering integration, it is concluded that VMS is relatively far advanced in operational data sharing between countries, but at the same time quite restricted in any sharing outside the fisheries sector. National and regional sharing of AIS data is developing fast, and Europe-wide sharing of vessel traffic data is progressing under SafeSeaNet based on the Community VTMIS directive of 20022. Concerning integration and cooperation between surveillance systems and authorities in the southern EU countries in the framework of border security, the picture varies widely between almost non-existent cooperation in some countries, via different authorities using the same surveillance system, to relatively advanced integrated systems to which several authorities contribute. All countries have plans to start or further develop the integration.

The annexes summarise detailed information on the maritime surveillance systems in use for vessel traffic management in the entire EEA, and for maritime border control in the southern EU countries.

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