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E-navigation is a strategy developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a UN specialized agency, to facilitate digitalisation and automated exhange of information between vessels and between vessels and authorities ashore.

E-navigation was put on the agenda after many ship accidents could be related to human error. A lack of standards and coordination of digitalisation in the maritime sector had been identified as some of the underlying causes.

The interaction between ships and land-based activity, and how they communicate, is at the centre. The purpose is to increase maritime safety for commercial shipping through simplified exchange of electronic information between ships and between ships and countries, and to simplify the work process of navigators and authorities.

International work

The United Nation's Maritime Organization (IMO) coordinates the international regulation of e-navigation. In 2014, the IMO approved a strategic implementation plan for e-navigation, which proposes that five defined e-navigation solutions be introduced globally in the period 2016 to 2019.

IMO's strategic implementation plan provides a framework and roadmap for how national authorities, maritime industry and organisations nationally and internationally can further develop practical e-navigation solutions.

International efforts are being made to develop and test e-navigation services in various collaborations and projects.

On behalf of Norway, the Norwegian Coastal Administration is leading one of these efforts on automatic ship reporting. This work is underway in the intergovernmental organization IALA (International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities).

National work

IMO selected six e-navigation solutions to be tested and implemented globally by 2019. In Norway, the Norwegian Coastal Administration and the Norwegian Maritime Authority is responsible for facilitating the development of e-navigation nationally.

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