PKA in a statement today said the declaration was a pledge by 20 members of the Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR), comprising leading ports such as Abu Dhabi, Antwerp, Tokyo, Busan, Guangzhou, Hamburg, Singapore, Montreal, Yokohama and Shanghai.
The PAR is a platform for port members to network and share best practices related to port operations, environmental sustainability, security, safety, trade facilitation, and PKA has been a member of PAR since its initiation in 2015.
PKA said the declaration, initiated by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, was signed virtually by member ports across different geographical regions via a video conference yesterday, adding that PKA was represented by its general manager, Captain K Subramaniam.
Under the joint declaration, PAR members have committed to share best practices and implement measures to ensure that the ports remain open to trade.
“The members pledged to ensure minimal disruption to shipping activities and that merchant ships can continue to berth at terminals to carry out cargo operations.
“Members will also facilitate closer coordination by establishing an open communication channel so that like-minded port and maritime authorities can share experiences or exchange information in combating COVID-19, while safeguarding unimpeded maritime trade,” said PKA.
It added that PAR members will continue to adopt best practices according to national circumstances, including taking precautionary measures for the shipping community, issuing advisories for shore personnel and ship crew, safe handling of cargoes and measures taken in dealing with COVID-19 cases.
The PAR had also expressed its appreciation to seafarers, shore-based workers and the maritime community who had worked tirelessly amidst the on-going pandemic in enabling international trade to continue during these challenging times.