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Singapore, China tie-up to ease sea port clearance with the use of e-certificates

THE maritime authorities of Singapore and China will cooperate to issue, use and accept electronic certificates for port clearance and Port State Control (PSC) inspections, they announced on Thursday.

PSC inspections are meant to ensure that visiting foreign ships at national ports comply with international regulations.

This bilateral collaboration comes under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the China Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) signed on Thursday.

International shipping accounts for more than 80 per cent of global trade, by transporting goods and raw materials, both authorities said in a joint media statement.

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The certificates of ships and their crew are key documents used in port clearance. Using electronic certificates will bring benefits such as greater efficiency in port clearance, a lower administrative burden on shipping companies and ships, and effective enforcement by maritime and port authorities.

Cao Desheng, director-general of MSA, and Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of MPA, inked the MOU at the 11th China-Singapore Senior Official’s Committee meeting in Beijing, China.

It builds upon the existing partnership between China and Singapore under the 2011 MOU on maritime, shipping and port cooperation between the transport ministries of both countries.

The latest MOU also advances the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which is the sea route part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, according to the joint statement.