The proposed project aims to establish and operate a network of port authorities and transport experts in the Mediterranean region, focusing on the exchange of knowledge and expertise with regard to port and custom procedures and simplification of clearance for vessels and cargoes. This is expected to enhance the common understanding and promote the introduction of information systems to ports operation and potentially to other intermodal modes. The MEDNET project intends to make a significant contribution towards customs procedures and simplification of clearance for vessels and cargoes in Mediterranean area through a series of activities. Initially, a state of the art analysis will record the past and current customs practices and related legislation and create a -Port Operations Observatory in the Mediterranean-, whose purpose is the transparent sharing of best practice solutions with all stakeholders, extending, thus, the knowledge dissemination among European countries and along the port community. Subsequently, the bottlenecks that hinder the efficient flow of information will be identified and current administrative, regulatory and technical barriers will be analysed.
In addition, the project will identify windows of opportunity in view of simplifying and speeding up procedures. One of the main actions of the proposed project is the benchmarking of best practices, which will be carried out with the use of appropriate criteria, such as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), specifically defined to reflect the specificities of the project. Apart from the MEDNET best practices, the project will also identify the required improvements for a specific port to reach the status of best practice. Pilot activities applied on specific ports, will test the selected best practices and their results.
Moreover, a Strategic Action Plan will be developed, which will focus on the harmonization and normalization of procedures among ports to create an open market with the use of information systems and simplified procedures. More specifically, the Strategic Action Plan will include recommendations for best practices promotion and transferability to be used by ports, but also by decisions makers and private actors. The development of a Strategic Action Plan will have obvious implications to the facilitation of transport by removing non-physical barriers and will enable a more rigorous push towards seamless maritime traffic across borders.
Finally, a suitable exploitation plan, developed during the project, will assist in the capitalization of the long-lasting effects of the project results. The exploitation plan will aim at creating an environment for harmonization and normalization, where project impacts will be maximized in the whole Mediterranean port community.
State of the art of project implementation since the project start. With the start of the project, the consortium defined the terms and conditions of all managerial, technical and financial activities of the project. The respective decisions taken amongst the partners were presented through the Management Plan. The consortium has also established excellent communication channels, while three bodies were formed: the Steering, the Regional and the Scientific/Technical Committee.
Concerning the simplification and standardization of procedures, the consortium has developed the methodology and a respective questionnaire for the identification of relevant activities, studies and projects, the inventory on legislative framework and bilateral, multi-lateral and other agreements and the classification analysis. During this first period, all partners have written and sent to medias different press releases in order to disseminate the start of the project.
Latest project activities and outputs: During this first period, all partners have written and sent to medias different press releases in order to disseminate the start of the project and the holding of the Steering and Technical Committee in Valencia.
The following activities have been carried out during the reporting period: - Management and progress report - financial report - submission of the ERDF Subsidy contract and Partnership Agreement - Technical and Steering Committee Meetings - meetings with experts and other interested bodies - proceeding of meetings - Mednet communication plan - Mednet website (not complete) - definition of the open conference - start of the Deliverable 4.1 - establishment of the Steering Committee - definition of the function and structure of the RC
Next key steps for the project: The next steps of the project are to enhance awareness on the opportunities of simplification actions, enable networking for knowledge transfer on good practices and relevant policy changes, deliver communication platforms to create new interactions.
WP1 definition of the Regional Committee and 2° Technical and Steering Committee
WP3 Joint conference with FutureMed WP4 preliminary results
Furthermore, those partners who haven't done it yet will finalize the selection of FLC