After Singapore, the Netherlands has also accepted amendments to the Convention on the IMO, which will expand the size of the Council, extend the term of its Members, and recognize three additional language texts as authentic versions of the Convention.
aul 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 to the IMO, deposited the Netherlands instrument of acceptance with Secretary-General Lim at IMO, on 1 December.
The amendments have now been accepted by seven States: Honduras, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Spain.
The amendments were adopted at the 32nd session of the IMO Assembly held in December 2021. They require acceptance by two thirds of the IMO Membership (117 Member States based on the current number of 175 Member States) for entry into force.
Expansion of the Council
Upon entry into force of these proposed Council reforms, the IMO Council will increase by 12 Member States, from its current 40 Members to 52. Expanding the size of the IMO Council would see 12 seats allocated to Categories (a) and (b) each and 28 seats to Category (c).
The categories are:
- A – States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services
- B – States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade each;
- C – States not elected under (a) or (b) above, which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.
Member term length
Council Members would remain in their roles until the end of the next two consecutive regular sessions of the Assembly, after which they would be eligible for re-election.
Since Assemblies are usually held every two years, this would generally mean that Members would serve a four-year term.
Additional authentic languages
Furthermore, the IMO Assembly adopted an amendment to the IMO Convention, such that Arabic, Chinese and Russian will be added as authentic texts of the IMO Convention, supplementing the current authentic texts in English, French and Spanish.
Current Council Members
The current Council Members elected for the 2020-2021 biennium are:
- Category (a): China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States.
- Category (b): Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.
- Category (c): Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey.