Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan and Minister of State with responsibility for maritime transport, Jack Chambers today (October 19th) announced the commencement of the first phase of a public consultation for the Review of the National Ports Policy. Interested parties are invited to actively participate and contribute to shaping the future of maritime policy in Ireland.
The National Ports Policy provides the overarching policy framework for the governance and future development of Ireland's state port network. Since its introduction in 2013, the National Ports Policy has played a pivotal role in fostering competition among ports and reducing barriers for shipping companies entering the Irish market.
However, with the increasing environmental, technological, demographic, and geopolitical challenges facing the maritime sector, a revised approach is required to effectively address the needs of our ports in the coming decade. A new roadmap is needed not only to navigate these challenges successfully but to capitalise on the new opportunities they present.
Launching the consultation, Minister Ryan emphasised the importance of engaging stakeholders and the public:
“Our Ports will continue to play a critical role in the future economic development of the country. As well as continuing to act as crucial hubs for the export and import of goods, a number of ports are expected to be central to our move to off-shore renewable energy. This is a timely opportunity for stakeholders and the public to have their say on the type of ports infrastructure and maritime sector we need to develop and build so that we balance the demands of the economy, the environment and wider society in a sustainable way.”
In support of the public consultation, Minister Chambers stated,
"The review of the National Ports Policy is a significant step in ensuring the development of our maritime transport industry. As facilitators for our national economy, the efficient functioning of our ports directly impacts the life of every citizen and it is essential our ports continue to have the capacity required to support continued growth while also embracing new opportunities. I strongly encourage all stakeholders to actively engage in the consultation process and contribute their valuable insights and expertise."
Submissions by citizens and stakeholders will play a fundamental role in shaping the revised National Ports Policy during the consultation period, which is set to conclude on 15 January 2024. Further information can be found on Public Consultation for Review of National Ports Policy.
Irish International Freight Association will seek Volunteers from within the Membership body to take part in a Working Group for the National Ports Policy. This Working Group comprising Representatives from the IIFA Membership body will investigate the questions sought through the consultation and will formulate a collective association response on behalf of the Irish Freight Forwarding industry.