Within the CMS Family, National Reporting currently takes place using two main methods. Until recently, the report formats were only made available in standard office software applications (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF). This meant that the standard Word or PDF files were filled in by each country and sent to the Secretariat/Coordinating Unit.

As an alternative, some of the Agreements such as those of IOSEA, ACAP and ACCOBAMS have started providing their National Report formats as online templates which can be accessed and completed via their websites.

A new central web-based reporting platform – the Online Reporting System (ORS) - has been developed to support the National Reporting processes for the CMS Family. Within the Online Reporting System the report formats are provided as online templates. This allows for data to be directly inserted into a web-based system and saved into an underlying database. Currently the Online Reporting System is being used by CMS, AEWA and ASCOBANS. The Online Reporting System is available for all CMS instruments to use and several more of them have already taken steps to adopt it.