Singapore & Netherlands Accept IMO Amendments

Singapore & Netherlands Accept IMO Amendments

The IMO's amendments to the Convention governing the composition of the IMO Council, the terms of its members, and the linguistic texts have been accepted by Singapore.

Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, said, "Singapore supports the proposed amendments to the IMO Convention. These amendments recognize and reflect the need to build a more inclusive international maritime community to address our common challenges collectively. Singapore looks forward to fellow IMO Member States accepting these amendments."

Following Singapore, the Netherlands has also agreed to the IMO Convention's changes, which will increase the Council's size, lengthen the terms of its members, and recognize three more language texts as the Convention's official translations.

On December 1, the Netherlands instrument of acceptance was deposited with Secretary-General Lim at the IMO by Paul van Gurp, Head of Division, Unit Maritime Shipping, Directorate-General for Civil Aviation and Maritime Affairs Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and Ms. Inge F.M. Boers, Alternate Permanent Representative.

The two countries agreed to the amendments adopted by the IMO Assembly on December 8, 2021. These specific changes are:

  • The expansion of the size of the IMO Council from 40 to 52 Members;
  • The extension of the term for its Council Members from two to four years;
  • The recognition of three additional language texts as authentic versions of the IMO Convention.

The IMO Council will grow by 12 Member States, from its current 40 Members to 52 Members, upon implementing these proposed Council amendments. In addition, twelve seats each for Categories (a) and (b) and 28 seats for Category (c) would be added to the IMO Council if it were to grow in size (c).

The categories include:

  • States most interested in offering services for international shipping are shown in column A.
  • Each of the States having the most significant interest in global seaborne trade is categorized as B.
  • States not elected under (A) or (bB) above, with unique interests in maritime transportation or navigation, whose election to the Council will guarantee representation from all significant geographic regions of the world shall be referred to as C.

After the conclusion of the following two consecutive ordinary sessions of the Assembly, Council Members would become eligible for re-election.

Members would typically serve four-year terms because Assemblies generally are held every two years.

Seven countries—Honduras, Malaysia, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, and Spain—have now ratified the modifications.

The revisions were approved at the IMO Assembly's 32nd session, which took place in December 2021. However, for them to become effective, they must be ratified by two-thirds of the IMO Membership (117 Member States based on the current total of 175 Member States).

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