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The Interoperability Test Bed will be used by EMSA for the conformance testing of Member States using the EMSWe Common Databases

ITB in support of EMSA and the EMSWe

Published on: 29/05/2024 Last update: 05/07/2024 News

The Interoperability Test Bed (ITB) will be used to support the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) for the conformance testing of Member States using the European Maritime Single Window environment Common Databases.

Maritime network

The European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe) is a legal and technical framework for the electronic transmission of information in relation to reporting obligations for port calls in the Union defined by Regulation (EU) 2019/1239 establishing interoperability and reducing the administrative burden for shipping companies. The EMSWe facilitates the transmission of information between declarants, relevant authorities and other Member States through the definition of a common dataset, harmonisation of the front facing interfaces of maritime National Single Windows, and application of the once-only principle for the fulfilment of reporting obligations.


A key technical element of the overall solution are the EMSWe Common Databases (EMSWe DBs), the goal of which is to enable the reuse of the information provided through the maritime National Single Window (MNSW) established in the Member States, and to facilitate the ship reporting by the declarants. From a technical perspective, the exchange of information between the MNSWs takes place through a central EU node by means of JSON messages sent over web services (REST) and Avro messages sent over event-driven protocols (Kafka).

Development of the EMSWe DBs specifications, as well as the software for the central EU node, is the responsibility of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). As part of its activities, and to facilitate Member State development, EMSA plans to make available a conformance testing service for the MNSWs to ensure that their implementations match the data exchange specifications. It is in this context that EMSA adopted the Interoperability Test Bed in view of realising the envisioned testing service, drawing inspiration from the recently published conformance testing service for the EMSWe Reporting Interface Module, the EMSWe building block harmonising the exchange of formalities.

Following a successful proof-of-concept phase that completed in April 2024, the envisioned approach to use the ITB was presented shortly after to the Member States and was well-received. The proof-of-concept mirrors the architecture of the future service, incorporating custom test service extensions and validators, in support of test cases that trigger and validate message exchanges with the systems under test.

EMSA testing architecture

The next step is now to elaborate the initial set of implemented test cases so that the service can be brought online in advance of Member States’ conformance testing. From a planning perspective the implementation by EMSA of the EMSWe DBs central node is expected to complete within the summer of 2024, whereas the conformance testing of Member State implementations is expected to begin in the last quarter of 2024.

Besides extending its support for the EMSWe, the conformance testing for the EMSWe DBs represents a milestone for the Test Bed as it will be the first time it is used by EMSA. From EMSA’s perspective, the envisioned testing service represents a similar opportunity, as it will also serve to assess the Test Bed’s future use for further EMSA solutions.

More information on the EMSWe and EMSA’s role in its elaboration are available on EMSA’s website. Regarding the Test Bed itself, general details on its services and other use cases can be found in its Joinup space, with its value proposition being a good starting point for newcomers. Remember to also subscribe to the Test Bed on Joinup to stay updated on its latest news and releases.

The Interoperability Test Bed is a service provided by the European Commission’s DIGIT, offering conformance testing and validation solutions in support of IT systems’ cross-border interoperability.

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