Last week, Mikael Olofsson, Navelink’s Head of Concept and Chief Architect, participated as a representative of Sweden in a pivotal meeting in England hosted by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Here is an overview of the insightful discussions and outcomes from our involvement. 



Work Group 17 (WG17) is a vital segment within IEC TC80, focusing on crafting standards for shipside equipment, essential for enhancing maritime safety and efficiency. Over the years, WG17 has made remarkable strides. Notably, the creation of the IHO S-421 Route Plan format based on the RTZ Route Exchange format in 2020 and its subsequent approval in 2021 showcased the group’s commitment to advancing maritime standards. Similarly, the development of SECOM, which Navelink is actively partaking in, initiated in 2019 and approved in 2022, further underscores the dedication to excellence within the maritime community. 


Day 1 Highlights 

The first day of discussions delved into crucial decisions regarding the handling of comments on S-421 and SECOM. With the aim of expediting the process while ensuring efficiency, the group opted for amendments rather than new editions, aligning with the industry’s evolving needs. Additionally, emphasis was placed on enhancing collaboration between shore and ship, crucial for seamless operations and adherence to international directives. 


Day 2 Insights 

Day two focused on refining input from various stakeholders, including IALA, ECC, NIPWG, Navelink and Korea Maritime University. Noteworthy discussions revolved around the integration of S-products, demonstration of innovative tools such as RTZ to S-421 translator, and the imperative to maintain accurate coding for XML Schema to meet developer requirements effectively. SECOM findings were presented by Mikael Olofsson with endorsement from the Swedish Maritime Industry and Fintraffic.  


Day 3 Wrap-up 

The final day encapsulated a comprehensive review of all changes and delegation of tasks for future meetings. Among the tasks assigned, Sweden took on the responsibility of updating SECOM machine readable interface definition (which will be carried out by Navelink) and supporting Finland with updates to the S-421 XML Schema, reaffirming our commitment to driving standardization efforts forward. 



Participating in the IEC meeting proved to be both productive and enlightening for Navelink. The collaborative environment fostered meaningful discussions, ensuring that standards remain robust and relevant. However, the challenge lies in ensuring that the rationale behind these standards reaches a wider audience beyond the technical realm, a goal we are dedicated to achieving. 

In conclusion, Navelink remains steadfast in its commitment to shaping the future of maritime standards, navigating the waters of innovation and excellence hand in hand with industry partners and regulatory bodies. 

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue our journey towards a safer and more efficient maritime industry. 


Author: Milena Dalinaros