The Netherlands re-elected to Council of IMO International Maritime Organisation

This Friday, 10 December 2021, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has been re-elected as a council member of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO.

Caretaker Minister for Infrastructure & Water Management, Barbara Visser, says: “There are about 25.000 seafarers on Dutch ships, and a fleet of 2.200 ships is managed from the Netherlands. The maritime sector contributes to 3% of our economy. 90% of all goods worldwide are transported by sea, including most of the products we buy in our shops. In a global sector like the maritime sector, a level playing field is important – and international agreements have to be made to secure that. I also think of our ambitions for zero-emission shipping and safe transport. It’s also about a safe working environment, with the IMO’s call for access to vaccines for seafarers as a recent example. The Netherlands has made an effort to ensure seafarers could get a Covid-19 vaccine in Dutch ports – regardless of their nationality. I am proud that we can contribute to safe, secure and sustainable shipping.”

Dutch priorities

The Netherlands is part of the group of countries that aims for more ambitions for a greener maritime sector, to become climate neutral in 2050. Within this group, the Netherlands works to promote the interests of the Dutch maritime sector.

Furthermore, the Netherlands wants to work on the safe transport of containers and the development of safe autonomous vessels. The Netherlands also wants to support renewed training standards for seafarers and to pay more attention to the smaller member states (like islands).

An important contribution to this successful re-election has been the level of knowledge present within our maritime cluster of the Netherlands and the Caribbean countries and public bodies. Additionally, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has been actively contributing to the IMO working groups dealing with safety, climate and environmental issues. The seat in the Council will be filled by representatives of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

International Maritime Organisation (IMO)

The International Maritime Organisation, founded in 1948, is a UN agency responsible for the international regulations in maritime shipping. On 10 December, the Assembly – consisting of all member states – elected a new Council. Next to the Netherlands, 39 other countries sit on the Council.

The Council meets twice a year and acts as a daily board governing the International Maritime Organisation. In addition to the Assembly of all member states, the IMO compromises five committees active in maritime safety and security, the environment, facilitation, legislation, and technical cooperation to support member states with insufficient knowledge and means.