A Preliminary Market Consultation (PMC) titled "Provision of a Vessel Management System as part of the Digitalisation of the Merchant Shipping Directorate" is being launched by the Merchant Shipping Directorate (MSD) as part of their efforts to shift services to digital platforms.

The aim of this PMC is to examine market conditions for a Vessel Management System (VMS) which will include functions already offered by the existing Fleet Management system as well as new features. This platform includes an electronic register of vessels according to the Malta Flag Administration.

The VMS shall consist of:

  • A Data and Document Management System;
  • A Vessel Management System;
  • A Seafarer Management System;
  • A Maritime Analytics System.

Other functionalities include:

  • A user interface accessible by the public. Through this, clients will be able to register, login, apply and pay for services digitally;
  • A private portal which would enable MSD users to log in and process requests for services;
  • Form functionalities which will act as online applications for services;
  • Workflow functionalities will also enable applications to be processed in an organised manner;
  • Users will also be able to access digital certificates and documents from the platform.

This initiative is part of the "Target Digital Maritime Architecture" or "Global Project", a project financed by the European Union under the NextGeneration EU Recovery and Resilience Facility; Measure Ref. MT-C[C3)-I(I2).

The initiative included an extensive study on the operations of the Merchant Shipping Directorate, conducted by Transport Malta. The initial phases of the study have been finalised, while the third and final phase is currently underway. The first two phases consisted of an in-depth analysis on operations, through which the key aspects which needed to be improved were identified. The requirements needed for the development of the Data and Document Management System were also discussed at this stage. Currently at the last phase; technical requirements for the Vessel Management System and the Maritime Analytics System are being identified.

This new innovation is certainly an exciting new chapter for the Merchant Shipping Directorate and a step in the right direction for Shipping and Maritime services in Malta.

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