Integration of the PROTECT Group into the IPCSA

29. Apr 2020 | IPCSA, Port management

The development and use of global, standardized electronic messaging across ports is taking a huge step forward with the news that the STANDARDS specialist group PROTECT is to be integrated into the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA).


These two influential organisations have an unprecedented level of knowledge and experience in the field of standardised and harmonised electronic information exchange. This important decision will enable PROTECT and IPCSA global port standards experts to combine this knowledge and drive new innovation and progress.
From the notification of dangerous goods to the transmission of berth service requests, the use of a standardised, harmonised electronic exchange of information supports efficient port operations.

PROTECT was established in 1992 by six major ports in Europe to harmonise and optimise the electronic exchange of information through standardised messages required by law in ports. Participants include port authorities and operators of port community systems.
Although it was launched as an EU project, PROTECT is now recognised worldwide. It is responsible, among other things, for the development and maintenance of the notification of dangerous goods according to IFTDGN, the notification of waste disposal according to WASDIS and the notification of the request for berth services according to BERMAN.

PROTECT Group becomes part of IPCSA

PROTECT becomes a working group within IPCSA. Jerome Besancenot, Chairman of PROTECT, said: “PROTECT was established to provide standardised products to facilitate the exchange of EDI messages between stakeholders and port authorities. In recent years, we have seen an acceleration in digitalization, so we are not only talking about EDI, but also about topics such as European and international Maritime Single Window, blockchain, smart containers and the Internet of Things.”

“There is already an overlap between PROTECT and IPCSA in terms of work and membership. Joining IPCSA will help us become more proactive. PROTECT and IPCSA will have a major impact on cooperation with national, regional and international decision-makers, including in the IMO FAL Group. “

Besancenot added: “Although we started as a European group, PROTECT has received requests from ports in Africa, America and other countries that want to work with us for several years. As a small organisation, we have not been able to deal with it. Under IPCSA, this will change. “

He concluded: “I am very pleased with this integration. It will be a rebirth of the activities of the PROTECT group. “The integration of IPCSA and PROTECT will be a clear example of ” strength in numbers,” said IPCSA Chairman Hans Rook. “We bring the two together to get a stronger voice. Our combined expertise will be extremely valuable. As a working group within the IPCSA, the PROTECT group will have a greater influence. “

Richard Morton, General Secretary of IPCSA, said: “Within IPCSA, PROTECT will continue to focus on providing technical standards for EDI harmonisation. The difference is that PROTECT is part of a
international group, so that it is fully focused on the key issues that we all need to address in relation to international trade.

“The integration of PROTECT into IPCSA and the combination of the expertise of both organisations will ensure that the development of new standards in ports has a global reach. We are proud to be able to support PROTECT in building on the work it has almost done
three decades. The need for standards is identified and developed in cooperation with international standardisation organisations such as the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Commerce (UN / CEFACT), the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO). . “