19 port authorities from Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, and the US, signed a declaration on their collective response to disruption, digitalisation, and decarbonisation at the 6th Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR). Hosted by the Antwerp Port Authority, this virtual event was held on 22 and 23 June 2021. Please refer to Annex A for the declaration and Annex B for the list of PAR members who signed the declaration.
With this year’s PAR theme being “Ports as Levers for Change”, participants discussed issues of disruption, digitalisation, and decarbonisation facing the maritime industry, and how port authorities should remain agile, adaptable, and innovative in response to the challenges. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) called on PAR members to strengthen collaboration on safe crew change, cyber resilience and response, as well as decarbonisation of the maritime sector.
The declaration recognised work by the Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) Fund, the first global tripartite initiative established in 2020 on safe crew changes, through the CrewSafe audit programme to bring a higher level of confidence and quality control checks into crew change processes. The declaration also reflected PAR members’ agreement to consider joining the Port Authorities CIO Cybersecurity Network (PACC-Net), established by MPA, to foster collaboration on maritime cybersecurity as a global network to facilitate early sharing of cyber threat information and enable timely responses to such threats. Port authorities also agreed to consider collaborating with MPA and like-minded stakeholders on maritime decarbonisation solutions through the maritime decarbonisation centre to be set up in Singapore, as well as overseas decarbonisation centres.
MPA’s Chief Executive Ms Quah Ley Hoon said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of digitalisation and ports have adapted to quickly harness technology for contactless operations. The plight of seafarers amidst tightened border restrictions also has implications on global trade and their health and safety. The PAR is an important platform for port authorities to come together to leverage each other’s experience and expertise to tackle these challenges. Today’s declaration is an important step forward to push forth with digitalisation and decarbonisation solutions in the face of disruption.”
MPA first initiated PAR in 2015 to facilitate the exchange of ideas and to share best practices amongst leading ports.