Harbour Masters Add Weight to Group Seeking Action on Crucial Safety Issues

The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) has joined in an industry initiative to promulgate a vision for the improved safety and security of global trade by taking advantage of unified information and data sources to bring greater awareness and understanding of concerning issue.

The IHMA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as a result of collaboration with the * Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS); Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP); Container Owners Association (COA); International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) and Ship Message Design Group (SMDG) which inaugurated the MOU in March of this year.

Concentrating on improved safety during the global transport and handling of goods that have the potential to cause injury to the workforce and/or damage to the environment, all the signatories have a commonality of purpose. The chief aim is to create a framework for cooperation that enables each signatory to benefit from any of the other’s activities in respect of their areas of joint interest.

The five, now six leading industry bodies will be able to coordinate data, research and best practices across global cargo supply chains to further develop awareness throughout the freight industry, amongst operators, regulators and policy makers as to practical and effective measures to improve safety.

Captain Paul O’Regan, President, IHMA made comment on his Associations commitment to the MOU, “As the professional body for those with responsibility for the safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sound conduct of marine operations in port waters, IHMA recognises that accidents and incidents happen in port as well as at sea,” he said. “This collaboration with the MOU partners and the other organisations will help us to enhance safety throughout the ports sector and create a platform for mutually beneficial work on safety initiatives in the maritime environment.”


In welcoming IHMA, the CEO of ICHCA, Richard Steele said, “it is a first-class addition to have the IHMA on-side because harbour masters play a crucial role in both maritime safety and the ship shore interface. Their leadership on navigational safety along with an essential contribution to wider operational safety, security and environmental protection puts them at the crossroads of the activities that the MOU partners are seeking to continuously improve.”

About the Industry MOU

Established in 2023, by working together CINS, CHIRP, COA, ICHCA, IHMA and SMDG aim to greatly increase the force and effectiveness of their safety efforts in key activities including developing joint publications, coordinating efforts on domestic and international issues of common concern and taking advantage of working together to initiate innovative worldwide health, safety, security and environmental studies and strategies.