Maritime Forum

Frequently asked questions on CISE

Published on: Mon, 14/07/2014 - 11:24
Table of Contents

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What is Maritime CISE?


    Maritime CISE is a voluntary collaborative process in the European Union seeking to further enhance and promote relevant information sharing between authorities involved in maritime surveillance.

    Its ultimate aim is to increase the efficiency, quality, responsiveness and coordination of surveillance operations in the European maritime domain and to promote innovation, for the prosperity and security of the EU and its citizens.

    To do so, the Maritime CISE seeks to ensure that maritime surveillance information collected by one maritime authority and considered necessary for the operational activities of others can be shared, and should be made subject to multiuse rather than collected and produced several times.

    Maritime CISE does not replace or duplicate, but builds on existing information exchange and sharing systems and platforms.


    1. Why Maritime CISE?


    Europe depends on safe, secure and clean seas for sustainable growth and welfare, and in a constantly changing Global context, the EU needs appropriate systems to increase its awareness and the capacity to react at local, regional and global level.


    CISE will equip maritime authorities with an almost real-time overall picture of surveillance assets across the European maritime domain, ensuring that decisions are based on the best available data covering the different maritime information layers. The current sub-optimal level of cooperation also affects the acquisition, deployment and maintenance of expensive surveillance assets such as radars, helicopters, ships, planes and satellites. Sharing information means harnessing the cumulative potential from all European assets for awareness and response in the most efficient and cost-saving manner.


    Europe needs CISE, which will offer the ability to build upon existing information exchange, and allow for the sharing of systems and platforms between sectors and authorities. If they work together, collaborating and sharing information, all surveillance authorities will be able to adapt to new threats and guarantee the security, safety and environmental condition of their territory. As most of the EU’s external trade enters and leaves via the sea, any threat that enters jurisdictional waters can rapidly escalate throughout all Europe.   


    1. Who does it?


    CISE is done by and for maritime surveillance stakeholders: Member States, their maritime surveillance authorities and European Agencies. The EC coordinates its development, but can only guarantee the interoperability standards, and encourage stakeholders to engage, share and contribute towards CISE. The current players are:

    • EU Coastal Countries
      • Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden, UK,
    • EEA Countries
      • Norway, Iceland
    • Maritime surveillance authorities in the sectors of:
      • Defence, Customs, Border control, Fisheries Control, Shipping control, Environmental Protection, General Law Enforcement, (other)
    • EU Directorates :
    • Other EU Institutions and Agencies :

    Because CISE is voluntary, it relies on the commitment and participation of its stakeholders.

    Maritime surveillance authorities and Member States need to understand the necessity for fully developing CISE, cooperating across sectors and borders, as it will greatly enhance their capacity to cost-effectively comply with their duties of ensuring secure, safe and clean seas around Europe.

    In particular, military and civilian sectors are called to strengthen communication and cooperate towards their common goals.


    1. What will be the geographical reach of the Maritime CISE?


    CISE is meant for the EU23 jurisdictional waters (in most cases out to the 200 nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zones as defined under UNCLOS[2]), including all outermost regions. CISE also extends to anywhere in the European maritime domain, which is commonly referred to include any other maritime areas where the EU has a security or commercial interest (such as important passageways) and all the maritime-related activities carried out by EU bodies or Member States under civil and military authority in accordance with our obligations under international and EU law (such as search and rescue operations or fisheries control operations).


    1. Is it part of something larger? When will it come into operation?


    Enhancing information exchange between maritime surveillance authorities is one of the key strategic objectives of the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) and an important building block of the joint Maritime Security Strategy[3]. CISE also belongs to the transversal efforts contained in the Europe 2020 strategy, such as digitalisation, collaboration, cost-efficiency and smart development. Finally, CISE is a fundamental part to unleash all potential for sustainable ‘Blue Growth’.


    CISE was first defined in the 2007 European Commission communication describing IMP, and is an on-going effort, targeting full operational usage by 2020. Other countries and sectors are carrying out similar initiatives to foster data sharing and strategic collaboration.


    Several Member States have already put in place CISE related national coordination mechanisms, and have participated in international projects to assess and advance on CISE, such as ‘BlueMassMed’, ‘MARSUNO’ and ‘CoopP’.


    1. What kind of information will be shared? What happens with sensitive, personal or private data?


    CISE will allow for sharing of all types of information, which will be classified and accessible according to protocols developed and agreed upon by the stakeholders.


    Maritime surveillance authorities and sectors deal with different kinds of data, including entity (e.g. ship register or crew lists), traffic (e.g. declared origin or density), spatial (e.g. passageways or hydrography), and event management data (e.g. accident or landing of dangerous cargoes), as well as their associated metadata (e.g. police reports or fisheries legislation) and information about meteorological conditions or environmental parameters, among others.

    Maritime surveillance information shared can be either raw or unprocessed data, formatted in a specific way, or information derived from data that has been treated and then taken a specific meaning relating directly to its particular usage.

    CISE complies with EU and national legislations regarding the recording, sharing and usage of data, ensuring protection, security and confidentiality of sensitive data, be it personal, private or operationally strategic.


    1. How will CISE improve Maritime Surveillance in Europe?


    CISE will help to put an end to inefficient use of resources and lack of communication, avoiding overlapping in functions, redundant gathering of information, slow and complicated collaborative protocols, and the inability to access relevant data when needed.


    CISE will allow for timely sharing of data between interoperable systems, meaning more awareness, more prevention, better decisions and faster responses. CISE will allow data gathering to be collaboratively planned and more cost-efficient, making sure that information can be used at its full potential and collated with other sources.

    By increasing real time and overall awareness, CISE will also directly improve operational response capacity and regional governance.


    1. How will CISE integrate with the current surveillance systems we have in place?


    Because CISE is neither a programme nor application, it is compatible with any system as long as it adapts to its interoperability and collaborative guidelines. However, as part of the overall effort for modernisation and data sharing, all countries and authorities are invited to revise their organisational and material resources to properly adapt to CISE and better equip themselves for present and future challenges.


    1. What are the technical aspects of allowing systems, sectors and countries to inter-communicate?


    The first step is the political determination to contribute in the collective efforts to develop CISE and made its usage widespread.

    There are also a few technological challenges, like the definition of interoperability standards, the development of a common language and data classification system, the design of interfaces (which will be integrated in the current screens and systems of users) and the network infrastructures to link machines together.

    Last, there is a set of organisational issues to collectively define the who, when and how to exchange data, which will in part come from large scale simulation projects, and the publication of a CSIE handbook including best practices, specifications and practical advice.


    1. How much will it cost on an organisational, national and European level?


    The economic costs are almost negligible: only 0.14% of the current yearly cost of maritime surveillance in Europe, which adds up to 10B€ per year. To implement CISE, costs of around EUR 14.3 million per year  are envisaged (during the first 10 years), with direct savings of up to EUR 40 million per year, and overall benefits of up to EUR 4B€ in those first ten years.


    On the organisational side, Member States and maritime surveillance authorities will need to invest in modernisation, but will gain the immediate benefits of enhanced awareness and responsiveness, as well as free resources and operational savings, which can be reinvested to expand the reach of their activities. All in all, the necessary adaptations are very small when compared to the exponentially increased access to information, the renewed operational empowerment and the enhanced capacity to properly comply with their duties, as well as the strategic ability for regional collaborative planning and global maritime domain awareness.


    [1] Safety, Security and prevention of Pollution by Ships

    [2] REF

    [3] 2014 Comm

    Add new comment

    It is not necessary to be logged in to provide comments but in that case comments will need to go through a moderator.
    This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.