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G20 MUST KEEP MARITIME TRANSPORT MOVING SAY ICS AND IAPH

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) have joined forces to call on G20 leaders to act quickly to protect global supply chains from the impact of COVID-19.

A joint letter has been sent to G20 government leaders and UN bodies ahead of their extraordinary G20 summit on Tuesday, 24 June 2020. The two organisations representing the global shipping industry and the world's ports and harbours jointly state: “In this time of global crisis, it is more important than ever to keep supply chains open and maritime trade and transport moving. Leadership from the G20 in calling for a co-ordinated approach by governments, working in conjunction with the UN International Maritime Organization, WHO, and other relevant agencies is therefore of the utmost importance.”

The letter sent to G20 leaders highlighted that: “90% of global trade is transported by commercial shipping, which moves the world’s food, energy and raw materials, as well as manufactured goods and components – including vital medical supplies and many products sold in supermarkets, items that are necessary (due to complex supply chains) for the preservation of many jobs in manufacturing – without which modern society simply cannot function.”

Guy Platten, ICS Secretary General said: “Shipping is the lifeblood of the world. Without the efficient and safe transportation of food, medical supplies, raw materials and fuel, countries could face an even more difficult situation than the one we are all facing. We need nations, led by the G20, to work together to provide coordinated rather than kneejerk restrictions to protect us all from COVID-19. We need pragmatic, science-based and harmonised guidance for the global maritime sector that ensures the safe delivery of the goods that we are all going to rely upon in the coming months. This is a simple ask that can deliver a win-win for all.”

Patrick Verhoeven, MD IAPH said: “Whilst the primary objective of protecting public health should not be jeopardised in any way, ports must remain fully operational with all their regular services in place, guaranteeing complete functionality of supply chains. Governments should support shipping, ports and transport operators in doing everything possible to allow transport of goods in and out of ports so that food, medicine and other vital supplies will continue to reach people worldwide.”

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