Roundtable of Port Organisations to pool resources and prioritise efforts on meeting IMO regulations on safety, environment and operations

New Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) also joins Roundtable meeting in London to discuss cooperation throughout the entire seaborne supply chain.

New Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) also joins Roundtable meeting in London to discuss cooperation throughout the entire seaborne supply chain.

Attending the recent Roundtable meeting of port organisations in London (top L-R) :Nick Cutmore, Secretary General IMPA (pilots) –Spencer Eade, Secretary General, ISSA (ship suppliers) – Ole Krebs, MCP, IPCSA (port community systems) – Jonathan Williams, General Manager, FONASBA (ship agents) – (bottom L- R) Patrick Verhoeven, Managing Director, IAPH (ports and harbors) – Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) – Rachael White CEO Secretariat, ICHCA (cargo handlers)

At a recent meeting in London at the Baltic Exchange, heads of the world's leading associations for the world port community met to establish a Roundtable with view to establishing a stronger, unified voice of the port sector in the maritime industry as a whole.

Each association drew up its main priorities moving ahead with all parties agreeing to collaborate closely on existing and new projects and programmes, particularly those associated with meeting IMO regulations on safety, environment and operations.

Roundtable programmes and projects already in action

During the discussion, follow up actions were planned on several projects and programmes in which several Roundtable member organisations are already involved together:

Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN): FONASBA, ICHCA, IAPH, IMPA, ISSA

Navigating a Changing Climate: IAPH, IMPA –

Taskforce Port Call Optimisation: IHMA, IAPH –

World Ports Sustainability Program: IAPH, ICHCA –

Other priorities discussed included the adoption of "single window" data information exchange between all port players as well as the impact of autonomous vessels on safety. The group also looked at other key port industry hot topics including container weighing standard processes, ISPS adoption, e-maritime and ship reporting, electronic FAL documentation use, CTU packing codes, safe mooring procedures and maritime signage.

The newly appointed Secretary General of ICS, Guy Platten, was also invited to join the meeting to discuss how the ports and shipping sectors could work closer together to achieve common objectives.

Exploratory talks included the adoption of an inclusive 'supply chain approach' towards greenhouse gas emission reductions, bunkering solutions to tackle the IMO 0.5% global sulphur cap on fuel by 2020 and the optimization of port calls to the benefit of all parties.

IAPH's managing Director Patrick Verhoeven, who is also principle coordinator of its World Ports Sustainability Program, expressed his thanks to all participants and stated:

"This first Roundtable meeting of international port organisations sets the ball rolling in terms of sharing information and resources between key players in the port community, and providing a united voice in global fora such as the various working committees of the IMO. This follows the first ever Ports-specific meeting earlier this year at the IMO headquarters in London which aimed at bringing shipping and port interests closer together"

ICS Secretary general Guy Platten commented :

"It is in the mutual interests of shipping and ports to cooperate more closely. The future availability and quality of onshore power facilities as well as quality low-sulphur fuel and LNG bunkering infrastructure in ports will be of vital importance to owner-operators. Optimising ports calls through better use of data, standardisation of procedures and digitalisation will also create a win-win situation for shipping and ports."

Contact details :

Victor Shieh, Communications Partner :

Tel : + 32 473 980 855

Additional information about the Roundtable members

FONASBA – Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers & Agents

The Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers & Agents (FONASBA) provides a united voice for the world’s ship brokers and agents. Founded in 1969, the organisation promotes fair and equitable practices and ensures that the needs of members are understood at international, regional and individual national level across the maritime industry.

FONASBA maintains a close watch on all developments of interest and concern to the ship broking and ship agency professions and takes appropriate action to ensure that those interests are protected.

The Federation has consultative status at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO). It also works closely with ship owning bodies BIMCO, Intercargo and Intertanko.

IAPH – International Association of Ports and Harbors

Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is a not-for-profit global alliance of roughly 170 ports and 140 maritime companies and institutes representing about 90 countries. The IAPH is dedicated to fostering cooperation among ports and harbors and promoting the vital role they play in creating a peaceful, more prosperous world. IAPH has Consultative NGO Status from the United Nations and is active in developing international trade and maritime policy. IAPH member ports handle about 80 percent of world container traffic and more than 60 percent of all international maritime trade.

IBIA – International Bunker Industry Association

The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) is the voice of the global bunker industry and represents all stakeholders across the industry value chain. IBIA's membership includes ship owners/operators, bunker suppliers, traders, brokers, barging companies, storage companies, surveyors, port authorities, credit reporting companies, lawyers, P&I clubs, equipment manufacturers, shipping journalists and marine consultants. With members in more than 80 countries, IBIA represents the industry at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a consultative non-governmental organisation and has also been granted “liaison status” with the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

IBTA – International Dry Bulk Terminals Association

The International Bulk Terminal Association (IBTA) is the representation of  the International Dry Bulk Terminals Group (DBTG) as an NGO at the IMO. DBTG is a forum and voice for the dry bulk industry continuously driving up and setting standards based on the experiences, concerns and expertise of its Members on matters of technical, operational and safety in a non-commercial environment. DBTG continuously monitors developments in ship/port interface  and the impact of bulk carrier design on the safe operation of terminals.

IBTA provided the template for the IMO Blu Code, was instrumental in the implementation of the IMSBC Code, participates in the IMO Working and Correspondence Groups and is actively involved in the United Nations Global Harmonized System of the Classification of Chemicals Working and Correspondence Groups.

ICHCA – International Cargo Handling Coordination Association

Established in 1952, ICHCA International is an independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving the safety, productivity and efficiency of cargo handling and movement worldwide. ICHCA’s privileged NGO status enables it to represent its members, and the cargo handling industry at large, in front of national and international agencies and regulatory bodies, while its Technical Panel provides best practice advice and develops publications on a wide range of practical cargo handling issues.

Operating through a series of national and regional chapters – including ICHCA Australia, ICHCA Japan and ICHCA Canarias/Africa (CARC) – plus Correspondence and Working Groups, ICHCA provides a focal point for informing, educating, lobbying and networking to improve knowledge and best practice across the cargo handling chain.

IHMA – International Harbour Masters' Association

The aim of the International Harbour Masters' Association (IHMA) is to unite those responsible for the safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sound conduct of marine operations in port waters into one professional body. IHMA develops and fosters collaboration and good relations among harbour masters worldwide. It represents the professional views of harbour masters internationally, regionally and nationally. It promotes the professional standing and collects, collates and supplies information of professional interest to the membership.The Association has developed professional contacts with sister organisations within the Marine/Port Industry.

The Association has non-governmental, consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and sends representatives to meetings which impact on the work of the Harbour Master.

IMPA – International Maritime Pilots Association

IMPA is a non-profit making body which seeks to achieve its principal objective – the promotion of professionally sound and safe pilotage – in two main ways.

Firstly, it brings together pilots’ associations from around the world, enabling them to air common concerns, compare experiences and pool their expertise in order to formulate IMPA views and policies that are both convincing and practical to implement.

Secondly, IMPA has a formal voice in relevant international maritime fora. Particularly important has been its accredited consultative membership – since 1973 – at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the recognised authority to set international standards of ship safety and vessel-source pollution prevention and control. IMPA delegates make lasting contributions to different aspects of the work of the organisation through their continued active participation in its many committees, sub-committees, and working groups.

The association was formed on the initiative of pilots’ associations from the five continents whose representatives met in Kiel, Germany in June 1970. IMPA was officially launched in Amsterdam in May the following year. To date, it represents over 8,000 pilot members in 49 countries.

IPCSA – International Port Community Systems Association

The International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA) was originally founded in 2011 as the European Port Community Systems Association, by six European-based PCS operators. It was relaunched in 2014 as an international association, reflecting its growing membership outside Europe. Membership includes Sea and Air Port Community System Operators, Sea and Air Port Authorities and Single Window Operators.

Today, IPCSA’s members operate across the world, exchanging electronic information at more than 150 sea and air ports, rail and inland waterways, and border crossing points. This equates to more than 500 million TEU and 7 billion tonnes of world trade a year, a reach of over 1 million users, and the exchange of more than 30 million messages per day in support of efficient Sea and Air Ports.

IPCSA’s membership provides representation in each of the five UN Regional Commission regions. This geographical reach enables it to address the needs of members on a regional as well as international basis.

IPCSA has consultative status at the International Maritime Organization and Special Consultative Status at UN ECOSOC, both providing an important platform for representing the needs of its members and its members’ users at the highest level. IPCSA also takes part in international standards meetings including WCO, ISO, UN/CEFACT and IATA.

ISSA – International Shipsuppliers & Services Association

ISSA is the international association representing nearly 2,000 ship suppliers throughout the world.The Association was formed in 1955 and celebrated its Diamond Jubilee in 2015 of 60 years of service to the maritime industry.

ISSA has 40 national associations of ship suppliers as full ISSA members and associate members in 51 other countries where no national association exists.

ISSA members have to undergo a rigorous vetting procedure before gaining admittance. To ensure fair trading and best practice ISSA has developed a set of Conditions, which form the basis of any supply contract. To strengthen the relationship between ship supplier and buyer still further, ISSA drew up a Code of Ethics, which Members abide by to ensure the highest standards are applied in day-to-day operations.

The Association has Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) status with both the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and UNCTAD and take part in promoting e-commerce through membership of MeCA (Maritime e-Commerce Association) and the Baltic Exchange. The ISSA Secretariat is certified to ISO 9001:2015 quality standard.