Shipping will continue to play a vital role in helping national economies to chart a course towards economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This Trade Policy Review outlines some of the major strategic projects undertaken by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) on behalf of the global shipping industry, in promoting and advancing the principles of free trade, fair competition and market access, to ensure that policymakers are equipped with the most accurate and up-to-date industry information
The report also includes thoughts from ICS trade and business representatives, through a series of op-eds, providing unique insights into the key topics and trends impacting the world economy, which will have an impact on the global maritime trade outlook over the next few years. A selection of articles from the publication are previewed below.
Foreword from Guy Platten, ICS’s Secretary General
Global trade has been the focus of greater media and public attention in the past few years as the world reeled from the impact of COVID-19. During this period, shipping faced its share of challenges, including the crew change crisis, yet our industry continued to supply indispensable goods and products, including medical supplies, as the global supply chain buckled under the immense pressure created by the pandemic. Our shipping community showcased its resilience and value to global trade, and shipping will continue to play a vital role in aiding the economic recovery from the pandemic.
I am looking forward to seeing what our centenary year and beyond have in store for a green and equitable global maritime trade agenda. There is still much work to do as ICS continues to shape the future of shipping.
ICS Shipping Policy Principles for Pandemic Recovery
In transporting 90% of world trade – more than 11 billion tonnes of cargo each year – the global maritime transport sector can be an invaluable strategic industry partner, as governments continue to steadily navigate towards recovery while contending with other pressing new challenges, such as the current ‘global energy’ and ‘cost of living’ crises, both of which have had a considerable impact globally with oil and gas costs spiking worldwide. As governments continue to map out the economic recovery, the successful re-emergence of a strengthened global economy depends on not only the duration of this defining global health crisis, but also the effectiveness of regulatory and policy responses. The new ICS Shipping Policy Principles for Pandemic Recovery outlines 10 ‘Policy Priorities’ and 10 complementary ‘Calls to Action’ in critical areas, including those affecting the positive impact that maritime transport makes towards international trade growth, economies and societies
Seafarers: The Real Heroes of the Crew Change Crisis
Seafarers are central to the safe and efficient operation of the global maritime transportation system and the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the fore their indispensable role in facilitating world trade. Charting the course of developments in the global seafarer workforce has never been more important. The Seafarer Workforce Report is prepared jointly by ICS and BIMCO every five years. The latest edition was published in 2021, providing a comprehensive overview of the supply and demand balance for certified seafarers qualified to work on board ships in the global merchant fleet.
ICS Leads Industry Representation at IMO Trade Facilitation Committee Meetings
Shipping is one of the great global industries and it cannot function efficiently if the rules governing it are not truly global. One of the shipping industry’s main regulatory bodies is the UN IMO, the specialised agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. As the first non-governmental organisation (NGO) to be granted consultative status at the IMO, ICS participates actively in all the IMO Committee and Sub-Committee meetings, making regular submissions on global industry positions (the second highest number of IMO submissions by an NGO). ICS represent the voice of the global shipping industry at the highest levels of global governance, ensuring that international regulations agreed at the UN IMO and other regulatory fora are informed by pragmatic industry insights that promote the principles of free and fair trade, supported by harmonised systems for trade facilitation.
Engagement with the WTO
During the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) in June 2022, ICS and other leading business organisations, representing the various branches of the global business community (from MSMEs to MNEs), met with WTO Ministers and their delegations from across the world for the first time since 2017, to deliver concrete results against the backdrop of a completely different set of facts and circumstances surrounding the status of world trade.