EPCSA becomes IPCSA, reflecting association’s global reach
Today marks the launch of the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA) – a new name for an organisation which was founded three years ago and whose influence has expanded rapidly since then.
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.
The association and its members play a vital role in global trade facilitation; the electronic communications platforms provided by Port Community Systems ensure smooth transport and logistics operations at hundreds of sea ports, airports and inland ports.
Today, EPCSA – now IPCSA – has 21 members, including 18 from within the EU and one each from Ukraine, Israel and Australia. In addition, many of its European members operate in ports outside Europe, including Indonesia and Morocco as just two examples.
“Our membership today operates in ports handling in excess of 90 million containers and 2.5 billion tonnes of cargo a year – statistics that show the growing importance and influence of Port Community Systems in supporting effective trade facilitation,” said Richard Morton, secretary general of IPCSA. “We have expanded to the point of having a strong global presence. The executive committee felt that, based on the increasing interest from international areas outside Europe, it was time to change our name from ‘European’ to ‘International’, to ensure we represent all of our members’ needs.”
He added: “IPCSA will still remain close to its roots. Port Community Systems were, to a large extent, conceived and developed in Europe. IPCSA will continue to maintain a significant focus on European Union policy, always remembering that European policy has a wider geographical influence. At the same time, we will continue to focus on the international policies, relating to trade facilitation, of the International Maritime Organization, the United Nations and the World Customs Organization.
Alan Long, chairman of IPCSA, said: “The decision to become an international association is a natural step, as our membership and interests have expanded globally. Port Community Systems play a vital role in the exchange of information and in the simplification of administrative processes, enabling the efficient electronic exchange of millions of messages every week. By working closely with international organisations such as the IMO, UN and WCO, we can contribute enormous experience and knowledge in the area of trade facilitation, particularly as we move towards the Single Window environment.”
IPCSA will continue to expand, said Richard Morton. “We are in discussions with potential new members from within the EU and internationally.”
Information and news about the International Port Community Systems Association can be found at www.ipcsa.international – this new website will provide a discussion forum for members, a public forum for comments, and details of IPCSA events.
One of the first events on the calendar after the relaunch will be a meeting of the IPCSA research committee in Le Havre on 13 November 2014.
● Membership of the International Port Community Systems Association is open to Port Community System operators and port authorities. For further information on IPCSA, please contact Richard Morton, secretary general of IPCSA.
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