Declaration by members Port Authorities Roundtable on the COVID-19 situation
Members of the Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR) recognise the COVID-19 pandemic as a serious global crisis that has far-reaching impact on many fronts, including global trade. As more than 80% of goods are transported via sea-lanes, we recognise that the port and maritime sector play a crucial role in keeping trade flows open in our global fight against COVID-19.
We also acknowledge the recent Statement made by International Maritime Organization (IMO), emphasising the importance of minimising the disruption to maritime trade and shipping activities so that vital goods, especially necessities and essential medical supplies, can continue to flow seamlessly across different regions in the world. No one country can win the fight against COVID-19 on its own without having continued access to these vital goods in our inter-connected world.
As a multilateral platform consisting of leading port authorities across Asia, Middle East, Europe and the America, members of the PAR would like to declare a commitment to collaborate closely, through the sharing of best practices and implemented measures, such that the ports remain open to seaborne trade to help sustain the world and support the fight against COVID-19.
We therefore are committed to work together and strive to:
- Keep global supply chain and trade/cargo going, and that merchant ships can continue to berth at terminals to carry out cargo operations.
- Facilitate closer coordination by establishing an open communication channel so that like-minded port and maritime authorities can share experiences/exchange information in combating COVID-19 while safeguarding unimpeded maritime trade.
- Continue to adopt best practices according to national circumstances, including precautionary measures for shipping community, advisories and assistance for shore personnel and ship crew, safe handling of cargoes and measures taken in dealing with COVID-19 cases.
Finally, we would also like to express our deepest appreciation to seafarers, harbour pilots, shore-based workers and the maritime community who have worked tirelessly amidst the on-going pandemic in enabling international trade to continue during these challenging times. Together, we can do our part to help the world defeat COVID-19!