Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL)

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: London, United Kingdom
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 05/03/1967


Transport and telecommunications

Sub category

Maritime shipping and load lines



What is it about?

The main objectives of the present Convention are to prevent unnecessary delays to ships, passengers and cargos in maritime traffic, to aid cooperation between governments, and to secure the highest practicable degree of uniformity in formalities, documentary requirements and other procedures. The Convention has been amended several times to enable automatic data processing techniques to be used in shipping documentation, to recommend practices to deal with drug trafficking or the problems of the disabled and elderly, to allow for the submission of advance information to enable the use of selectivity techniques to facilitate customs clearance and the declaration of the personal effects of cruise passengers. New standards have been added concerning inadmissible persons, the obligations of ship-owners to transport persons and co-operation between Governments and ship-owners to establish the validity of passports and visas. A new recommended practice has been added on immigration pre-arrival clearance.

Why is it relevant?

The provisions of the Convention facilitate the arrival, stay and departure of ships of coastal and non-coastal contracting States by simplifying and reducing to a minimum the formalities, documentary requirements and procedures. This includes all documents pertaining to the ship and its passengers, baggage, crew, cargo and mail, required by Customs, Immigration, Health, and other public authorities.

Additional Information


  • -International Convention on Load Lines (LL), 1966 -Special Trade Passenger Ships Agreement (STP), 1971 -International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREG), 1972 -International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC), 1972 -Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea (PAL), 1974 -Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (LLMC), 1976


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