The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) covering key issues impacting international ship owners and operations of the Suez Canal on Saturday.
The yearlong commitment that was signed during a meeting at the SCA’s head office will increase information sharing and negotiations on the movement of global trade through the canal. It will also open communication on long-term strategies for toll pricing, environmental protection, and decarbonisation.
This MoU represents a formalisation of dialogue between the ICS and SCA, with the two sides hoping it will lead to in-depth collaboration on operational and structural policies of the canal; the safety and security of transiting vessels; and enhancing pilotage, towing, and repair services.
The MoU follows a period of close cooperation between the two organisations, who have been in regular contact over the COVID-19 pandemic and during the grounding of the Ever Given in 2021.
Egypt is increasingly positioning itself as a key figure in the shipping sector’s decarbonisation ahead of its hosting of the UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP 27) in Sharm El-Sheikh this November.
A maritime delegation led by the ICS is scheduled to return to Egypt for the COP 27 to continue meaningful dialogue on the sector’s transition to net-zero.
Osama Mohamed Rabie — Chairperson and Managing Director of the SCA — remarked:
“We are adopting an ambitious vision to reinforce the pivotal role of the SCA amid the international community of maritime navigation, and the benefit of our clients is our major priority.”
Esben Poulsson — Chairperson of the ICS — added that the “ICS has enjoyed a close liaison with the SCA for almost a century,” thanking the authority for its hospitality and expressing his keenness to building on their cemented relationship.
“The maritime industry is at an inflection point as we earnestly begin our transition to a renewable future. The conversations we have had this week leave me with great confidence that Egypt will be one of the leaders of industry’s green transition, leaning on its position at the heart of the maritime world,” Poulsson said.
This was the first in-person meeting between the ICS and the SCA since July 2015.
The previous visit focused on the widening of the southern canal and an overview of the dual canal construction system, which has since been completed.