For the first time in Equasis history, the Equasis Editorial Board meeting was held through video conference on 9 October 2020.
The meeting was hosted by the Equasis Management Unit which is run by EMSA.
The 36th Editorial Board meeting gathered 31 participants from 20 data providers. The meeting proved to be very constructive and fruitful in view of all the comments and interventions and successfully completed some of the deliberations included in the agenda.
Among other issues, the action plan for 2020, the long-term strategy (2021 – 2026), and the program of events for the “Coming of Age” 21st Anniversary of Equasis, were discussed.
The 40th meeting of the Equasis Supervisory Committee, for first time in remote mode, was organised by EMSA acting as the Equasis Management Unit.
The next five years action plan, 2021 budget and tasks were some of the issues discussed.
The parties to the Equasis MoU are members of the Supervisory Committee, with the IMO, as the main international regulator, having observer status on the Committee. The role of the Committee is to supervise the management of Equasis, and to decide on policy matters related to the operation and future development of the system. The cost of Equasis is shared equally between the members of the Committee. Maritime administrations worldwide are encouraged to participate in the Equasis Supervisory Committee in order to ensure a broad geographical coverage.
The Supervisory Committee was previously meeting twice a year, in May or June and in November. Since 2019, there is only one meeting at the end of the year, and, if needed, a written consultation can be organized during the year
The Editorial Board comprises the Equasis data providers and organisations that represent the users, and members of the Supervisory Committee can also attend board meetings. The Editorial Board is composed of public and private organisations, such as maritime administrations, classification societies, insurers' organisations, ship owners' associations, commercial data providers, etc. It is consulted before the Supervisory Committee takes a decision on all policy matters, such as developments, accreditation of new data providers, etc. Apart from advising the Supervisory Committee, the main task of the Editorial Board is to promote Equasis and to suggest improvements to the system which better suit the needs of its users.
The Editorial Board meets twice a year, in spring and approximately one month before the Supervisory Committee meeting.
The daily management of Equasis is carried out by the Management Unit, a body having the capacity to conclude agreements on behalf of Equasis with, for example, data providers, users, consultants and providers of IT service, staff, etc. The Management Unit implements the decisions of the Supervisory Committee to which it reports. The Management Unit is in charge of the daily operation of Equasis, including financial and promotional aspects. It is in contact with the users to answer their questions. The Management Unit acts as the secretariat of the Supervisory Committee and of the Editorial Board.
Since 2009 the Management Unit has been hosted at the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Technical Unit is in charge of the technical operation, development, maintenance and hosting of the system. The unit is in contact with all data providers in order to retrieve and load the data, and it also acts as technical support to Equasis users and partners. The Technical Unit reports to the Management Unit and participates in both the Editorial Board and the Supervisory Committee meetings.
These functions are performed by the information centre of the French Maritime Authority ( Sous Direction Modernisation, Administration, Numérique ), which is located in Saint-Malo, France.