During the meeting, the IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim reminded the audience that the IMO Convention does give the Organization a mandate to regulate in ports and some current IMO regulations do indeed extend to port operations, such as those surrounding security, reception facilities and the Facilitation (FAL) Convention.
He continued that there are additional things to explore and improve the cooperation between shipping, ports and logistics. Also, the Sec-Gen added that the future of shipping will gain many advantages if the port sector achieves streamline procedures, remove of the barriers of trade, embrace new technologies and treat safety, security and reputation as both desirable and marketable.
United Kingdom Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani MP commented that regulation needs to be responsive to new challenges and be fit for purpose.
What new standards will be needed is a question we need to answer.
In addition, today ports play a crucial role in tackling climate change and reducing shipping emissions, including supply of low-emission fuels for ships, port call optimisation and just-in-time operations and moves towards sustainable on-shore power supply, requiring port infrastructure and information exchange.
In the meantime, participants of the meeting referred to IMO's World Maritime theme for 2019, Empowering Women in the maritime community, supporting females in the shipping industry and welcomed increasing opportunities for females, especially with increasing automation of manual tasks in what is still a male-dominated sector, particularly on the dock side.