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Press Release

ICS launches new ‘Shipping Policy Principles for Pandemic Recovery’ during WTO Ministerial Conference

13 June 2022


  • ICS will join the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva this week, as shipowners’ global trade association launches ‘Shipping Policy Principles for Pandemic Recovery’, setting out Calls to Action to governments as national economies seek to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • WTO Conference takes place against the backdrop of ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which has forced WTO economists to reassess expectations of merchandise trade growth downward to 3% in 2022, from previous forecasts of 4.7%.
  • WTO Director General, Okonjo-Iweala, has proposed a formal Dialogue between the WTO and the maritime transport sector, highlighting the importance of collaboration between the WTO and the global shipping industry which moves about 90% of global trade.

Geneva, Switzerland. 13 June 2022: the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), alongside other leading business organisations, is joining WTO Ministers from across the world in Geneva this week, aiming to deliver concrete results at the organisation’s upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12).

This Dialogue will serve as an opportunity for senior government officials and industry to exchange views on critical issues and challenges confronting the Multilateral Trading System, in the context of recent developments impacting the global economy, including the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, global energy crises and recovery from COVID-19.

Speaking ahead of the upcoming Ministerial meeting, Guy Platten, Secretary General at ICS, commented:

“We were very encouraged and fully support Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s message to the shipping industry proposing a formal Dialogue between the WTO and the maritime transport sector. There have been a number of developments which have further emphasised the need for WTO and industry collaboration this past year. ICS and the WTO, as the facilitators of free trade throughout the world, are united on many issues but none more so than our shared values and principles of open and unimpeded access to international markets.

We are committed to engaging with the WTO in this comprehensive Dialogue, and hope that our ICS Shipping Policy Principles will provide a building block for discussions between the shipping industry and governments.”

The new Shipping Policy Principles strengthen the shipping industry’s commitment to the maintenance of a rules-based global trading system and a global regulatory framework which embraces open markets and fair competition; plus strict adherence to internationally adopted standards. ICS outlines ten ‘Policy Priorities’ and complementary ‘Calls to Action’ by governments in critical policy areas, to help support  efficiency of the global maritime transport system which carries about 90% of world trade, the majority which now serves the economies of developing countries.


Notes to editors

For the full Shipping Policy Principles for Pandemic Recovery publication please see here.