Ireland has signed the Convention on the International Organisation for Marine Aids to Navigation. The purpose of the Convention is to change the status of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities or IALA (https://www.iala-aism.org/) from that of International Association to that of Intergovernmental Organisation (IGO).
This change of status is designed to raise the profile of IALA leading to increased membership and thereby greater harmonisation of marine aids to navigation. The status of IGO will also give added weight to the standards and recommendations of IALA leading to greater compliance and improved navigational safety.
Ireland has been a member of IALA since its establishment in 1957 through its National Member, the Commissioners of Irish Lights. Irish Lights currently participates in the work of the following expert committees
- Aids to Navigation Requirements and Management, ARM
- Engineering and Sustainability, ENG
- e-Navigation Information Services and Communications, ENAV
- Vessel Traffic Services, VTS
Irish Lights Chief Executive, Yvonne Shields O’Connor said “As the organisation with responsibility for delivering essential navigation safety services around the coast of Ireland, Irish Lights welcomes the signing by Ireland of the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation. This will ensure that Irish Lights will continue to work closely with its international counterparts in IALA to ensure that standards for aids to navigation and new technologies continue to be developed in line with the needs of the maritime community”.
As a step towards ratification, the signature of the Convention today in Paris demonstrates Ireland’s ongoing commitment to the goals of IALA and to international maritime safety.
Notes for editors
The International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities or IALA is a non-profit, international technical association dating from 1957. It gathers together marine aids to navigation authorities, manufacturers, consultants, and scientific and training institutions globally and offers them the opportunity to exchange and compare their experience. A key aim of the Association is to facilitate the harmonisation of marine aids to navigation worldwide and to ensure that the movement of vessels is safe, expeditious and efficient while protecting the environment. The National Member for Ireland at the Association is the Commissioners of Irish Lights.
Change of Status of IALA
IALA is seeking to change its status from that of an international association to that of an intergovernmental organisation, or IGO, registered with the UN.
Following a series of intergovernmental conferences, the final act of the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation was agreed in Kuala Lumpur on 28th February 2020. France is the depository for the Convention.
The Convention will come into force once it has been ratified by thirty countries.