The PROTECT Group was originally formed in the 1990s. It supports the electronic reporting required by authorities for vessels entering or leaving a port or port area.  PROTECT maintains and develops EDI through the PROTECT Guide.  The PROTECT Group also designed and now maintains the IFTDGN (Dangerous Goods), BERMAN (Berth Management) and WASDIS (Waste Disposal) Messages, which are published through UN/EDIFACT.

In January 2020, PROTECT was integrated into IPCSA in order to support and develop the group’s expertise and design new electronic exchanges for Port Authorities in the global environment.

PROTECT Group aims

PROTECT supports the electronic reporting required by authorities for vessels entering or leaving a port or port area. The PROTECT Group has established a harmonised worldwide recognised EDI standard.

The EDI standard, called the PROTECT Guide (version 2.0, March 2005) describes in detail the messages exchanged between shipping lines and/or their agents or forwarders to and from the Port Authorities or National Competent Authorities.

These messages support, by means of EDI, the reporting requirements for vessels regarding the formal and legal notification requirements for vessels, as well as the requests for services from the authorities and vessel handling companies when vessels berth and/or utilise the waters under the jurisdiction of these authorities.

Vessel reporting requirements

In view of the recent developments resulting from new legislation from the IMO and regional organisations, the PROTECT Group recognises the need for harmonisation of reporting requirements to minimise implementation differences for vessel operators/agents between the participating ports.

Original Members (as at 31 December 2019)

The original members of PROTECT prior to integration into IPCSA are the following port or national competent authorities and their Port Community Systems:

  • Port Authority of Amsterdam – Portbase
  • Port Authority of Antwerp – APCS
  • Port Authority of Bilbao
  • Port Authority of Bremen – dbh
  • Port Authority of Felixstowe – MCP
  • Port Authority of Hamburg – DAKOSY
  • Port Authority of the French ports of Le Havre, Nantes/Saint Nazaire and Dunkerque – SOGET
  • Port of London Authority
  • Port Authority of Rotterdam – Portbase
  • Groningen Ports (Port of Delfzijl)
  • National Competent Authority of Spain – PORTEL

PROTECT secretariat

Chairman – Jerome Besancenot, CIO, HAROPA Port of Le Havre – email: jerome.besancenot@havre-port.fr

IPCSA secretariat – Richard Morton, Secretary General, email: richard.morton@ipcsa.international

PROTECT Documents – Follow this link to the PROTECT Documents Page


The PROTECT website continues to be the main source of information.