The Assembly of the International Maritime Organization, its highest governing body, has elected new member states to the IMO Council for the 2022-2023 term.
The IMO Council serves as the “executive body” responsible for overseeing the work of the international shipping regulatory body and performs almost all of the functions of the IMO Assembly except for the formulation recommendations to governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention. The Assembly, composed of all IMO Member States, normally meets in ordinary session once every two years and one of its responsibilities is to elect the 40-member Council for a “biennial” term of office. two years.
The 32nd Assembly is currently meeting in London at IMO Headquarters from 6 to 15 December. All 175 Member States and the three Associate Members of IMO are invited to attend, as well as observers from selected intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
The IMO Council is divided into three categories. Category a comprises the 10 Member States with the greatest interest in providing international maritime transport services, b comprises the 10 States with the greatest interest in international maritime trade, and c comprises 20 States which have “special interests in shipping or navigation ”and are selected to ensure that all major geographic areas are represented.
The new members of the Council are Sweden, which replaces Argentina in category b), and the addition of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Vanuatu to category c. Kuwait, Peru and South Africa, currently in category c, have been removed from the Council, along with Argentina. Category a remains unchanged.
Newly elected IMO Council members by category
Category (a): China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States
Category B): Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and United Arab Emirates
Category (c): Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and Vanuatu.
During its current session, the Assembly adopted amendments to the IMO Convention to expand the size of the IMO Council from its current 40 members to 52 members. However, the current structure will remain unchanged until the amendments enter into force, requiring the acceptance of two-thirds of IMO members, or 116 Member States (based on the current membership of 174 States members and two associate members).
The newly elected IMO Council will meet on December 15, following the meeting of the IMO Assembly, to elect its President and Vice-President for the next biennium.