Port community to cooperate for a stronger voice in IMO – IAPH President delivers his ‘maiden speech’
“The port community is represented in IMO through various organisations, including port authorities, cargo handling companies, harbour masters, maritime pilots, port community systems, ship agents and port police. Through closer cooperation between our respective organisations we will be able to take on the challenges of trade facilitation, climate change, automation, cybersecurity and others in dialogue with the shipping community and the maritime administrations represented in the IMO.”
This was the key message IAPH President Santiago Garcia Milà gave in his ‘maiden speech’ at the headquarters of the International Maritime Organisation this morning. The IAPH President spoke at the first dedicated port event that was ever held at the IMO, following an initiative of IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim, who also initiated the theme of last year’s World Maritime Day ‘Connecting Ships, Ports and People’.
The IAPH President referred concretely to the ‘single window’ concept that is promoted by the IMO in the context of the Convention on the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL). “Shipping companies and ports both support the concept, but all too often we focus on the different needs of the ship and the shore side. Technically speaking, considering the possibilities offered by today’s innovative digital technologies, it should be relatively easy to resolve our differences however.”
Considering the wider agenda of the IMO, Mr Santiago Garcia Milà added: “Digitisation and improved ship-to-shore communication will also come up in other topics that are on the agenda of IMO. If reduced vessel speed is going to become a mainstream short-term measure to reduce GHG emissions of ships, then this will need a thorough debate with the port community. The same applies for the introduction of automated vessels.”
IAPH is undertaking steps to establish a coordinated ‘round table’ of port interests in IMO, inspired by the existing round table of international shipowner organisations.