Recognising the important role that Port Community Systems play in the smooth flow of cargo around the world, the INCU established collaboration with the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA).
Among other things, IPCSA aims to ensure that the importance of Port Community System (PCS) operators is recognised internationally and in the EU and to promote the highest possible standards in European and international PCS operators.
Having identified the potential synergies and common areas of interest, the INCU and IPCSA have resolved to develop a long-term strategic alliance that will mutually benefit both organisations and their members. On 23 May 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between INCU and IPCSA (which was then known as the European Ports Community Systems Association (EPCSA)) was signed with the goal of:
- developing a long-term strategic alliance that will mutually benefit both organisations and their members; and
- promoting cooperation in the development and provision of world-class research and education.
The MOU was signed by IPCSA Chairman, Mr Alan Long, IPCSA Secretary General, Mr Richard Morton, INCU President Prof. David Widdowson and INCU Head of Secretariat, Dr Mikhail Kashubsky on the last day of the Inaugural INCU Global Conference 2014 “Trade Facilitation Post-Bali: Putting Policy into Practice”.
As part of the MOU, INCU became an Associate Member of IPCSA and in turn, IPCSA became an Affiliate of INCU.
The initial objective of the two organisations is to develop new curriculum modules based around PCSs and their important role in international trade facilitation and to stimulate multidisciplinary academic research in this area.
The INCU supports and participates in the IPCSA Research Committee, which monitors multidisciplinary initiatives launched by organisations and academic institutions about PCS and related topics.
The inaugural meeting of the IPCSA Research Committee with the theme “Future Challenges and Opportunities for Port Community Systems” took place on 13 November 2014 in Le Havre, France. The purpose of the meeting was to have an open discussion between experts in the field of PCS and to review and understand how PCS will be involved in the ever changing environment of trade facilitation and the electronic exchange of information.
The meeting was attended some 40 participants and featured a number of speakers from European and international organisations who spoke about existing research relevant to PCS and the impact it has on the future of trade facilitation. INCU Member, Dr Christopher Dallimore, represented INCU at this meeting and updated the participants on INCU academic and research activities relevant to PCS.