IPCSA Overview

IPCSA and its members play a vital role in global trade facilitation.  Our members are Sea and Air Port Authorities, Port Community System Operators for both sea and air, and Single Window Operators.

The electronic exchange platforms provided by IPCSA’s members enable the electronic flow of Business to Business, Business to Government and Government to Government information.  These platforms underpin smooth, efficient transport and logistics operations at hundreds of sea ports, airports and inland ports, linking the flow of operational and administrative/regulatory processes and removing paper from the supply chain.

A unique association

IPCSA’s emphasis is always on its members. We have a small executive team and rely confidently on the extensive knowledge and experience of our members to represent the association and the interests of its member around the world.

As we have members from both private and public sectors, including governmental organisations, IPCSA focuses its activities on practical advice and guidance, rather than policy.  As a result, IPCSA as respected as a trusted third party, in line with its community system members, and it is recognised as such by international bodies and intergovernmental organisations.

IPCSA focuses on supporting and facilitating systems and innovations for its members and their users, and promoting the use of international data standards in sea and air ports, at border crossings and via Single Window systems around the world.

IPCSA is a recognised NGO with consultative status at UNECOSOC and IMO.


IPCSA is the successor to the European Port Community Systems Association (ECPSA), which was launched in June 2011 by six founding members, all European-based Port Community System operators.

EPCSA was originally formed in June 2011 by SOGET, Le Havre, France; MCP, Felixstowe, UK; Portic, Barcelona, Spain; Portbase, Rotterdam, Netherlands; dbh, Bremen, Germany; and DAKOSY, Hamburg, Germany.

There was a clear reason for forming EPCSA: prior to that point, Port Community System Operators (PCSOs) did not had a common lobbying position at the European Union. The European Commission was, and still is, developing a number of initiatives and Directives such as e-customs, e-freight and e-maritime, and the leading PCSOs agreed that they needed to work together in areas of common interest.  These activities rapidly expanded and it was recognised that the traditional role of lobbying should be accompanied by practical projects and initiatives that support IPCSA members.

On 1 September 2014, the association changed from a European to an international association, to better reflect its rapidly growing membership.  In the same year, the association opened membership to Single Window Operators.

In January 2020, the PROTECT Group, a Port Authority/PCS body specialising in the design of EDI exchanges for Port Authorities and reporting, was integrated into IPCSA – bringing additional expertise and knowledge into the IPCSA family.

For further information on IPCSA, please contact Richard Morton, IPCSA Secretary General