Australia announces candidacy for Category B of IMO Council

Media Release


11 November 2016

Australia is standing for election to a key role on the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations agency responsible for setting international shipping standards.

If successful, in 2018–19 Australia will join Category B of Council as one of 10 nations with the largest interests in international seaborne trade.

Historically, Australia has been represented in Category C of Council as one of 20 nations with special interests in maritime transport or navigation.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said while membership of Category B had never been successfully contested, election at this level would more accurately reflect Australia's significant role in international maritime trade.

“Australia is the world's largest exporter of bulk commodities and 99 per cent of our international merchandise trade is carried by sea,” Mr Chester said.

“We receive nearly 29,000 ship visits every year and Australian ports handle 1.4 billion tonnes of cargo annually.

“With such a prominent role in maritime trade and equally significant interests in protecting the marine environment and providing search and rescue services, Australia has a strong interest in engaging at the highest levels of the IMO and shaping the future of world shipping.

“Australia is a foundation member of the IMO and has contributed as an IMO Council member for nearly 50 years.

“In that time we have developed a reputation for working across the IMO to develop shipping standards, which are fair, effective and sustainable.

“Election to Category B of IMO Council will allow Australia to build on those decades of positive engagement with the international maritime community.”