What are Information Systems of Port Community?
PCS (port community system, PCS) is an electronic platform that connects several systems managed by various organizations that make up the community of a seaport or an airport.

They stand out(in relation to other IS of electronic interaction, including public-private) in the sense that it is created, organized, and used by organizations in the same sector — in this case the port community.

"Port Community Systems can and will play an important role as countries move towards a "Single Window" environment; IPCSA members will work together to provide expert advice on the proposed new regulations and contribute to the harmonization and coordination of formalities, processes and reporting procedures" (Dr. Alan Bersins).

PCS in Europe has a long tradition. The first systems, which were installed in ports in Germany, France, and Great Britain, began to operate in the late 70s or early 80s. Countries such as the Netherlands and Spain, have launched their PCS in the 1990s or at the turn of the century.

The key drivers for the creation of port community information systems were, on the one hand, the need for a standardized communication platform to improve systems in terms of punctuality, reliability, or cost, and on the other hand, the need to improve competitiveness among ports.

Productive collaboration with key authorities, as well as with stakeholders, potential clients, and local trade associations, has been critical in creating the appropriate PCS, which have been — and continue to be — implemented through dedicated training and seminars with end users.

Although the target market areas vary greatly in terms of existing IT infrastructure and use of functionalities, it can be argued that where automated processes are virtually non-existent at the border, in the port, at the fiscal and regulatory level, PCS is ideal for forming the foundation or core of the concept "Single window".

The number of ports connected to PCS varies from one to many. In particular, smaller ports often join forces to install a PCS or connect a larger port or ports to an existing PCS.

* according to IPCSA — International Port Community Systems Association..

The role of PCS in ports today

In 2012, not every port and port terminal had its own developed system, not speaking about interaction with customers and other participants in technological processes. The same applies to government agencies and the state as a whole. At the same time, PCS was often perceived almost as a replacement for port or terminal control systems.

Nowadays the situation has radically changed for the better — government services are migrating to the digital sphere, it becomes possible to track not only postal items but also the status of processing citizens' requests, a number of terminals bring their systems to the WEB, offering customers an additional way of interacting with their departments.

What is the role of PCS in a modern port?

First of all, it is important to note the key difference between the information systems of the port community from the internal systems of terminals — this is the unification in a single information space of a large number of participants with common software, technical and organizational requirements that are transparent to everyone. At the same time, each of the terminals requires connection to its own system according to its own rules and regulations, often with its own document formats. This leads to a significant increase in costs (both for software development and for interaction with such terminal systems) for end users who cooperate with several terminals at the same time. The situation is similar with the state "single windows".

History of the PCS project in Ukraine

On June 01, 2011, an international seminar on this issue was held in Odessa with the assistance of the Ukrainian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC Ukraine), the National Institute for Strategic Studies, the State Customs Service of Ukraine, and with the participation of representatives of Ukrainian business.
The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Y. Kubish highly assessed the results of this seminar and appealed to the Prime Minister of Ukraine with a request to support the initiative of the Ukrainian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC Ukraine) on the implementation in Ukraine of the pilot project "Single Window — local solution".

In pursuance of instructions and with the support of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, on the initiative of the Ukrainian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce, an Interdepartmental Working and Expert Group was created on the implementation of the "Single Window — Local Solution" system in the area of activity of the Southern Customs and ports of the Odessa region, which began activities in December 2011.

Considering the highest technical readiness of the Odessa port to implement the project, it was chosen as the base one for its implementation. At that time, the port already had its own operational management system, which made it possible to successfully integrate it into the port community system in the shortest possible time.

The main methodological tool for the implementation of the project was the recommendations of The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN / CEFACT) on the creation of single window systems, data harmonization, and the definition of the legal system (recommendations Nos. 33, 34 and 35).
Recognition of the PCS project in Ukraine by the world community
PCS activities in Ukraine have been repeatedly highlighted at the international level and have been noted in publications and on websites.
UN Global Compact

In 2018 PCS became the winner of the Global Compact network competition in the category "Fight against corruption".

Enterprise Europe Network – EEN
At the invitation of Enterprise Europe Network, PPL 33–35 took part in a study to assess the level of development of the enterprise management system.
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In 2019 in the IMO FAL Compendium on Governance and Electronic Business (Annex A.8 of FAL 43/9), as an example of marine single windows and other systems and best practices in this area, along with leading systems from Germany, Japan, Sweden, and France. Read more
International Chamber of Commerce
In May 2019, the project "Single Window — Local Solution" took 3rd place and was awarded a certificate in the category "Fight against corruption" in the European ICC region.