Facilitation Convention
The Republic of Mauritius acceded to the International Convention on the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) on the 18th June 1990. The Ministry responsible for shipping matters, as the focal point of IMO, is the parent ministry responsible for the implementation of the FAL Convention in the domestic context.

A seminar was organized under the aegis of this Ministry in 2006 with the collaboration of the International Maritime Organization on the FAL Convention. One of the outcomes of the seminar was a recommendation for the setting up of a National Facilitation Committee having as one of its terms of reference the implementation of the IMO FAL Forms locally.

Indeed the current situation regarding documentation needed upon the arrival and departure of ships to and from Port Louis harbor is heavily burdened by bureaucracy and duplication of paperwork. Masters and ship agents are requested to fill in several forms devised by different governmental departments, most of these forms requesting information on the same subject matter. In fact, nothing has been explicitly mentioned anywhere, these forms reflect the contents of the IMO FAL Forms mostly.

Thus, it is in view of this state of affairs that the National Facilitation Committee set up a sub committee under the chairmanship of the Director of Shipping to work on the implementation of the IMO FAL Forms locally. Several meetings were held with departments and Ministries concerned, i.e. the Mauritius Ports Authority, the Passport and Immigration Office, the Mauritius Revenue Authority, the Ministry of Agro Industry, Food Protection and Security, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life. All the relevant departments thus agreed to the use of the IMO FAL Forms and also agreed to reduce to a minimum the additional information to be sought from masters and agents on the arrivals and departures of ships from our Port. The additional information sought by the respective departments has thus been laid down under annexes.

Hence the reporting formalities for arriving and departing ships has been set under a Merchant Shipping Notice and masters and agents will henceforth, as from the 1st March 2009, be requested to duly fill in and submit only the IMO FAL Forms plus the relevant annexes to the relevant departments/Ministries. 

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