PORT ST. MAARTEN – On Monday, March 9, Port St. Maarten Management coordinated a meeting between the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labour (Ministry VSA) Collective Prevention Services (CPS)/Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) and Port Agents/Handlers, about strengthening the procedural details that are in established protocols related to maritime health declarations. Also present were representatives from the St. Maarten Police Force and Immigration and Border Protection Service.
The tri-partite meeting was a success on Monday, said Port St. Maarten Management. The Port Community System (PCS) will be the key tool to be used to centralize all communications with port stakeholders. The PCS involves data-sharing among stakeholders and third parties covering cargo and cruise operations at the country’s seaport of entry.
CPS protocols were clearly communicated during the meeting to all stakeholder’s present. Vessel agents were advised of their role and the ship’s responsibility with the provision of the necessary documents required for entering the country.
The Ambulance Department will be added to the PCS system. During the meeting a demonstration of the system also took place.
Secretary General of Ministry TEATT Miguel de Weever said on Wednesday: “The meeting which brought all key stakeholders together was a very productive and successful one as all concerned have clarity about the procedure.
“We worked diligently together to solve a potential challenge and built in checks and balances based on an established timeline to ensure the protocol based on CPS processes works efficiently and effectively via the Ports Community System.”
The PCS software is being adapted which will allow key port operational staff to review the status of the maritime health declaration which would indicate the approval process from Ministry VSA CPS; immigration and border control will also have access to the system. This is part of the new and improved digital solution where this matter is concerned, will be rolled out on Thursday and ready for next week. Agents and stakeholders will be taking part in PCS training sessions.
According to Port St. Maarten Management, the PCS system is part of the port’s long-term strategic approach in digitization planning and building a more inclusive data center platform. The port’s PCS is also in line with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL) which allows the shipping process to move more quickly, easily and efficiently.
PCS is an extension of Port St. Maarten’s Terminal Operating System that would further enhance the port’s operational excellence platform linking for example cargo/container manifest to an incoming/outgoing vessel to warehouse/storage handling and receiver pick-up.
The tri-partite meeting is a follow-up due to cruise vessel AIDAdiva of AIDA Cruises recently being denied making its scheduled call and to disembark passengers due to a gap in communications related to the existing protocols.