19 Ports Jointly Issue an Anti-NCP Epidemic Statement for Smooth Flow of Goods Worldwide

On a video conference held by the Round-table Conference of Port Authorities (PAR) on April 24, PAR issued a statement calling on global port authorities to do utmost to open the ports, so as to maintain the operation of global economy.
According to the statement, ports should open communication channel and promote closer collaboration to ensure ports and maritime authorities can share and exchange information about the fight against the pandemic. Also, ports should ensure the smooth flow of maritime trade and adopt the best practices in accordance with national conditions, including preventive measures, assistance to onshore personnel and crew, safe handling of cargoes and treatment of Covid-19 cases. In addition, ports should ensure that merchant ships can berth at terminals for cargo operations. 
For now, Shanghai Port, Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, Guangzhou Port and other 16 global ports have showed support to the statement. PAR said it would send this statement to the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) and IMO. It recommended that ports can issue the announcement at an appropriate time.
”Over 80% of the global goods are transported by sea. As the junction of international shipping, port has been playing an important role in logistics. PAR members believe that the as a serious global crisis, Covid-19 pandemic has exerted far-reaching implications to global trade and other aspects. “In this fight, port and maritime authorities have been playing a vital role in maintaining smooth global trade.”
After the outbreak of the Covid-19, IMO has issued a guidance to the global shipping industry to cope with the pandemic’s impact on the shipping industry.
“We agree with the IMO statement and stress the importance of minimizing interference with maritime trade and shipping activities, so that goods, especially necessities and basic medical supplies, can continue to circulate freely in the world.” said PAR.
On the video conference, the participating port authorities have exchanged their experience of fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic.
11 port authorities, including Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Abu Dhabi Port, Antwerp Port Authority, Guangzhou Port Authority, Hamburger Port Authority, Kobe Port Authority, Ningbo Port Authority, Port Klang Authority, Port of Long Beach, Port of Rotterdam, Shanghai Municipal Transportation Comission, attended the video conference.
Representatives from IMO and the IAPH also attended the video conference.
Launched by MPA in 2015, PAR is an international and professional seminar. The conference invites about 12 world-known port authority directors and group leaders to discuss the common challenges and opportunities for port development, with subjects focusing on port safety, efficiency and sustainable development.
Its main purpose is to strengthen communication and cooperation in port management and development, port safety, new technology promotion and application among countries worldwide. So far, PAR Conferences have been held for five times in Singapore, Rotterdam, Ningbo, Long Beach and Kobe.