The International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) and International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have called on G20 leaders to help support the maritime sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an open letter, the two organisations point out the importance of ensuring that global supply chains are kept open and maritime trade keeps operating.
“Leadership from the G20 in calling for a coordinated approach by governments, working in conjunction with the UN International Maritime Organisation, WHO, and other relevant agencies is of the utmost importance,” states the letter.
The letter was sent to G20 leaders and UN bodies ahead of their video-linked extraordinary G20 summit this week.
It points out that commercial shipping moves 90 per cent of the world’s goods, including food, energy, raw materials, and vital medical supplies.
“Shipping is the lifeblood of the world,” says Guy Platten, secretary general of ICS.
“Without the efficient and safe transportation of food, medical supplies 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 knee-jerk restrictions to protect us all from COVID-19 – and we need pragmatic, science-based and harmonised guidance for the global maritime sector that ensures the safe delivery of the goods that we will all rely upon in the coming months.”
Last week the ICS and International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) wrote to four UN bodies calling for crew changes to be facilitated during the COVID-19 crisis.