The Shipping Association (SATT) wants a unified, inter-agency protocol for clearing ships and cargoes at the country’s seaports in response to covid19.
In a release Thursday, the organisation called on the ministries and regulatory agencies at the forefront of maritime industry including National Security, Works and Transport, Finance, Health, the Immigration Division, Maritime Services, Customs and Excise and the Chief Medical Officer, standardise regulations and include marine pilots in their decisions.
“In such sensitive times as these, for the nation at large and for the business and trading communities, variation in operating procedures is not only unwise but if left unchecked, will severely hamper the facilitation of trade. While we understand that the borders are closed to passenger traffic, regulations on imports and exports and the handling of vessels has to be properly and precisely defined.”
The association wants the adoption and implementation of “integrative, clear, consistent and appropriate protocols, rooted in current best-practice in the changed environment being faced.”
SATT also suggests that shipping agents and/or shippers be given the opportunity to be part of the process.
“The harmony and consistency of trade depends on it.”