S‑211 standard adopted for Port Call Message

Paul Gunton

Paul Gunton · 10 October 2019


A major step in e-navigation and sea traffic management has been taken with the adoption of the S-211 Standard by the International PortCDM Council (IPCDMC) and the endorsement by IALA which began development of the standard in April last year. The S-211 standard for Port Call Messages has been fully registered in the IHO Registry, which is the foundation of the Common Maritime Data Structure (CMDS) of the IMO e-Navigation initiative.

In recent years, many different projects have worked to develop and validate concepts, services and solutions to improve safety and efficiency of maritime transport. One result was the development of the “Sea Traffic Management” (STM) concept and its Port Collaborative Decision Making (PortCDM) enabler in the MONALISA and STM validation projects.


Within STM, a Port Call Message Format has been developed to enable the coordination of stakeholder activities associated with port calls by providing a standard format to share the necessary information, particular time stamps, associated to movements and operations during port call operations.

In order to ensure sustainability and interoperability with the IMO’s e-Navigation initiative, the International PortCDM Council (IPCDMC), initiated in the STM Validation project, has supported the idea to migrate the Port Call Message Format into a Common Maritime Data Structure (CMDS) format and as such integrate it in the CMDS GI Registry currently managed by the International Hydrographic Office (IHO). IALA has assigned S-211 within the IALA VTS domain as the identifier for this standard. S-211 has been validated, been accepted and is now fully registered in the IHO GI

Registry. It is part of the IALA VTS domain within the CMDS GI Registry. The standard can be accessed through the IHO GI Registry or through the IPCDMC homepage at www.ipcdmc.org. It enables merchant and other types of ships and ports to exchange port call data in a standardized manner to enable enhanced coordination and synchronisation of port visits.

The Journal

Published every February the journal is now recognised as the highest quality publication that covers all aspects of maritime technology and regulation and a must read for the industry.

More Details