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3 ratifications/acceptances of the Convention

14 signatures of the Convention

Ratification/acceptance of the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation

By 13 July 2021,  Norway has ratified the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation and Japan accepted the Convention.

On 9 March 2021, Singapore ratified the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation. It is the first country to do so shortly after it signed the Convention on 1 March 2021.

Press Release here

On 21 April 2021, a diplomatic note was sent from the French government to 190 ambassadors around the world to invite them to sign the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation.

Communication from the Depositary (France)

Download the note here (in French) Download the note in English. Download the note in Spanish.

Please find below communication from the Depositary about the opening for signature of the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation:

Download the process for signature – EN

Télécharger le processus de signature – FR

Descargar el proceso de firma – SP

Please find below the certified versions of the Convention in the official languages:

French versionEnglish versionSpanish version
Russian versionArabic versionChinese version

Signing of the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation

July 2021

On 13 July 2021, Junichi Ihara, Ambassador of Japan to France, has signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation.

Japan has a very long outstanding cooperation with IALA and has shown interest in the activities of the Association from its inception and before they could formally join in 1959. In 1975 by decision of the 3rd IALA General Assembly, they were given a seat to the Executive Committee and since that time they have constantly been re-elected to Council. In 1980, they hosted the 10th in the series of Conferences which started in 1929. The official title of “XTH IALA CONFERENCE“ was born in Tokyo. It was also during this Conference that the Industrial members created an Industrial Members Committee (IMC) with the view of improving the relations with the IALA Executive Committee at that time. Japan has also organized Council meetings in May 1999 and May 2008. With three Associate members and eight Industrial members, Japan is one of the most active member country. They are also a Board Member of the World-Wide Academy.

On 13 July 2021, Chakib Benmoussa, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to France, has signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation.

Since the Kingdom of Morocco joined IALA in 2016, it has been bringing a strong support to its activities. Morocco organized the second Preparatory Diplomatic Conference in February 2018 which proved to be a success. Morocco has been supporting the ally of the project all along and is now the first African country to sign the convention. They were elected to be part of the Council in 2018 at the General Assembly in Incheon.

Depuis son adhésion en 2016, le Royaume du Maroc n’a cessé d’apporter son soutien aux activités de l’AISM. En proposant d’organiser la deuxième conférence diplomatique préparatoire en février 2018 qui fut un réel succès, il est devenu un allié indiscutable du projet. Il le confirme encore en devenant le premier pays africain à signer la ConventionSon engagement a été salué par l’Assemblée Générale qui l’a élu au Conseil dès sa première candidature à Incheon en 2018.

On 1 September 2021, Jawed Ashraf, Ambassador of India to France has signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation.

Member since 1957, India is one of first Executive Committee members to be elected by the General Assembly at its fourth session in 1980. Since then, its involvement in IALA activities was continuous as their seat to Council was constantly renewed. India is  a very active member of the IALA Council and has hosted the 35th session in New Delhi in December 2005 and the 56th session in Goa in December 2013. India also organized a VTS seminar in 2014 and will host the 21st IALA Conference in 2026.

June 2021

On 24 June 2021, Isabelle Hudon, Ambassador of Canada to France has signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation.

Canada has been one of most active and supportive members of IALA since they joined at the inception of the Association in 1957. In 1970, with the decision to host the 1975 Conference, they were first granted a seat at the Executive Committee and the Vice-Presidency. Since that time, their commitment has led to their re-election by the General Assembly. They are also at the initiative of the achievement of the “ System B” to complete the “System A“  of the buoyage system, the work of which started during the Ottawa Conference in 1975. These two systems will consist of Regions A & B as a compromise to reach a unified “IALA Maritime buoyage system” in 1980. They held the Presidency of IALA for the period 1975- 1980. They are very active in all the Committees and involve in all IALA activities. They have  also recently offered to support IALA in the translation of documents as an English and French speaking country.

On 14 June 2021, Issamary Sanchez Ortega, Ambassador of Panama to France has signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation.

Panama has a long-standing relationship with IALA since 1999 when they first joined. As one of the world’s major flag states, responsible for a large percentage of the world’s commercial shipping they are also primary user of IALA-developed services. In 2015, they hosted a Safety of Navigation Seminar on Hydrography and Aids to Navigation services, the first one delivered to a Competent Authority of a Single State, delivered by the Worldwide Academy with the participation of the IHO. The objective was to enhance the awareness and competency of managers and officers responsible for the safety of navigation in Panama and update participants on the latest developments relating to hydrography and Aids to Navigation (AtoN). In 2016, they also hosted a IALA World-Wide Academy Risk Management Toolbox Seminar with a worldwide participation.

On 8 June 2021, Mr Teemu Tanner, Ambassador of Finland to France has signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation.

Finland has been a member of IALA since 1959. They were first Elected  to Council in 1994 by the 7th General Assembly in Honolulu, the United States, and then constantly re-elected. Finland has been very supportive to the work of IALA . They are very active in the legal advisory panel and particularly from the beginning of the diplomatic process.  They are also active in the Technical committees and they are part of the IMC.

April-May-June 2021

On 2 June 2021, Mr José Manuel Albares Bueno, Ambassador of Spain to France has signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation. Spain has been a member since the inception of IALA in 1957. Their 1st election to Council was in 1994 by the 7th General Assembly in Honolulu, Hawaii and they have been constantly re-elected since. Strongly supportive, they have hosted many IALA events: seminars, Council meetings and the 18th IALA Conference in conjunction with the 12th General Assembly which adopted the Resolution on the Change of Status. They hosted the 1st edition of the World Marine Aids to Navigation Day in Palma de Mallorca on 1st July 2019. Spain is also highly involved in the translation of IALA documentation. They play a major role for the IALA World-Wide Academy with Spanish speaking countries which includes the implementation of the IALA Model Courses in Spanish.

On 5 May 2021, Mr Michael Starbaek Christensen,  Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark to France has signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation. Denmark joined IALA from the inception of the organization in 1957 and immediately became one the most active members, at the forefront of many initiatives and projects. It was depositary of the “Agreement on the implementation of the Maritime Buoyage System A” which was signed in Copenhagen on 16 March 1977. During the drafting process, they have played a major role in the Technical Committee on the “Unification of the Buoyage Systems”. Their first election to Council was in 1980 and they have always been reelected since then.  Denmark has hosted several IALA Meetings ENAV and VTS committee, LAP and Council. The IALA Council has also appointed two Secretary-Generals from Denmark since 1994

On 15 April 2021, Mr Yoo Dae-jong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to France has signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation. The Republic of Korea joined IALA in 1962. They have a seat at the Council since their first election at the 10th General Assembly on May 27, 2006 in Shanghai, China.  They have hosted the 19th IALA conference in 2018 and they now hold the IALA Presidency for the period 2018-2022. With four Associate and nine Industrial members, they are one of the most active countries in the committees work. They are also an important sponsor to the World-Wide Academy since 2015.

March 2021

On Monday 22 March 2021, Ms Oda Helen Sletnes, Ambassador of Norway to France has signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation. Norway has been a member of IALA since the inception of the association in 1957. They were first elected as council member at the 6th General Assembly in Veldhoven, The Netherlands in 1990 and they have always been re-elected since. Norway has been very active and supportive through their participation in IALA activities and technical committees. They hosted the VTS Symposium in Bergen in 2008.

On Tuesday 16 March 2021 Malaysia signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation. Malaysia was represented by Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Ir. Dr. Wee Ka Siong, Minister of Transport as signatory to the Convention. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of the Ambassador of France to Malaysia, His Excellency Roland Galharague, members of the Light Dues Board as well as MOT top management. Also present were His Excellency Serge Segura, Ambassador for Special Representative for Maritime Negotiations, Mr. Jean-Marc Séré-Charlet, Deputy Director of United Nations, International Organizations, Human Rights and Francophony, France as well as Mr. Francis Zachariae, Secretary General of IALA and also the Malaysian Embassy in France, which participated virtually. See the video of the ceremony here.

On Monday 1 March 2021, Mr Zainal Arif Mantaha, Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore to France has signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation. Singapore is a member of IALA since 1966 and they were elected to be part of the Council in 2018. Singapore is long standing member continuously involved in the work of IALA and is also a generous sponsor of the World-Wide Academy. They will be host country to the 15th Symposium in 2024.

January-February 2021

n Wednesday 24 February 2021, Mr Pieter de Gooijer, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to France signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation. The Netherlands was part of the Founding fathers and have always been part of the Council, formerly called Executive Committee at the inception of IALA. They actually took part in the informal meeting organized in 1926 by France during the International Navigation Congress held in Cairo to discuss the need for co-operation in the field of aids to navigation. It was during that meeting that France and the Netherlands reached an agreement on the ways and means to achieve such co-operation.

The ceremony for the first signing of the convention by the French minister of the sea and the opening to signature of the convention was held on the 27th of January 2021 in France, host country of the organization.

See the speech from the Secretary-General here.

Voir le discours du secrétaire général ici.

February 2020

Adoption of the Kuala Lumpur Convention at the Diplomatic Conference held from 25 to 28 February.

Please see the White Book here.

March 2019

Roadmap towards a Diplomatic Conference.

Download here the report from the 3rd Preparatory Diplomatic Conference held in Instanbul, Republic of Turkey, from 12 to 14 March 2019.

Roadmap towards a 3rd Preparatory Diplomatic Conference.

February 2018

Please download here the Invitation letter to National members and Points of contact for the 2nd Preparatory Diplomatic Conference held in Marrakesh, Kingdom of Morocco on 7-8 February 2018.

April 2017

1st Preparatory Diplomatic Conference held in Paris, France, April 18-19, 2017. Please download here the agreed roadmap in 3 languages:

Roadmap towards a Diplomatic Conference – EN

Roadmap towards a Diplomatic Conference – FR

Roadmap towards a Diplomatic Conference  – SP

January 2017

In accordance with the Draft Convention text (see below) Article 6.7 Council has approved the Draft General Regulations and Draft Financial Regulations:

Draft IALA General Regulations

December 2016

Letters about the pre-diplomatic conference to be held in Paris, 18-19 April 2017 are sent to all IALA National Members. Please see below the letters and explanatory note in 3 languages.

Pre-diplomatic Conference Letter – English and Annex A Draft IALA Convention Explanatory Note – English

Pre-diplomatic Conference Letter – French and Annex A Draft IALA Convention Explanatory Note – French

Pre-diplomatic Conference Letter – Spanish and Annex A Draft IALA Convention Explanatory Note – Spanish

November 2015

The information paper on Change of Status of IALA from NGO to IGO was submitted to IMO 29th General Assembly. It was noted by the assembly without comments.

Information paper on change of status of IALA in English.
Information paper on change of status of IALA in French.
Information paper on change of status of IALA in Spanish.

December 2014

The General Assembly Resolution directed Council to prepare IALA for a change of status. At its December meeting IALA Council established a Working Group for that purpose.

The new Change of Status Working Group will deliver a high level action plan for the transition of IALA to an IGO and will also finalise IALA’s version of the required Convention text.

The Working Group will meet at least twice yearly, with the first meeting taking place in Madrid on April 9-10, 2015. Assistance will be provided to the Working Group by the Legal Advisory Panel and the Strategy Group.

The Government of France has commenced diplomatic activities and will continue to work closely with Council and the Working Group.

27 May 2014

The IALA General Assembly debated the issue of a change of status for IALA at its General Assembly meeting today.
Forty National Members were in attendance (from a possible 77), and robust discussion took place.

Some National Members remained concerned about the identification of risks and their potential impact, whilst others expressed the view that the time is right to move this initiative forward whilst recognising that risk is always associated with change.

National Members were asked to approve a Resolution, which amongst other things directs Council to further consider the preparation of IALA for a change of status. The Resolution was passed by 29 votes to 11. Council will give further consideration to this important project at its meeting later this year.

The full report of the General Assembly is available here.

28 April 2014

The IALA General Assembly will determine whether IALA should direct its efforts towards achieving International Intergovernmental Organisation status at its meeting in A Coruna, Spain, next month.  The General Assembly will consider a Resolution on this issue at its first session on 27 May 2014.

The current draft text of the International Agreement and the text of the IALA information Brochure are available via the links provided in the text below.

19 March 2014

Thirty six participants from 16 countries attended the second extraordinary Legal Advisory Panel meeting at IALA Headquarters last week. The group completed the tasks set by Council (see Roadmap and Explanation) by finalising proposed changes to the IALA Constitution, creating a Project Risk Register for the Change of Status Project and developing a draft General Assembly Resolution.

The group also identified additional benefits that may arise as a result of the change of status.  These documents will be forwarded to Council for out of session approval or noting, following which they will be used to prepare an information package to be sent to all National Members before the General Assembly.

The Report of the meeting is available here.  Further consideration of the draft International Agreement (the latest version is here)  will take place after the General Assembly meeting in A Coruna in May 2014.

06 February 2014

IALA National Members are invited to the second extraordinary Legal Advisory Panel meeting, 12-13 March 2014 at IALA Headquarters.  This meeting will consider three issues related to the change of status project – the IALA Constitution, risk assessment and text for a Resolution for General Assembly to support this change. The meeting will also provide for working groups to consider matters relevant to the success of this project. Please see the LAP Ex2 Agenda for further details.

December 2013

Council remains committed to a change of status for IALA and provided further direction to LAP in regard to matters that will required consideration prior to the General Assembly meeting in May 2014.  Please see item 11.1 of the Council 56 Report.

05 September 2013

IALA National Members have been invited to an Extraordinary meeting of the Legal Advisory Panel to work on the text of the International Agreement. Please see the LAP Meeting details. All National members are encouraged to comment on the draft International agreement by 27 September, and to attend the meeting in Copenhagen.

The brochure explaining the benefits of a change of status for IALA can be accessed by clicking here