E-Bulletin June 2024

Message from the SG

Looking back over a great year we have not ceased to reflect on the wonderful hosting by Marinha do Brasil of the twentieth IALA Conference, exemplary in every facet, as we order full speed ahead to achieve our aims to 2027.

WWA Shanghai

On 7 September the World-Wide Academy visited Shanghai as a part of the IALA level 1.1 AtoN Manager training in China which has now come to a conclusion. Seventeen participants from ten countries, including the People’s Republic of China, were hosted by the China Maritime Safety Administration (CMSA) to follow IALA AtoN manager training.

The Shanghai programme included visits to the Wudong VTS Centre, Shanghai Chart Centre, China Maritime Museum, and Shanghai AtoN division, the latter with a special focus on the most recent buoy tender in service. Here was a great opportunity for participants to ask questions and exchange practices with China MSA.

Bicentenary of the Fresnel Lens

With the Phares de France Association, supported by the French State Secretariat for the Sea, we collaborated in events of 23 and 24 October in Le Verdon-sur-Mer, being a closing seminar for the celebratory events of the bicentenary of the lighting on 25 July 1823 of the first stepped lens by Augustin Fresnel at the Cordouan Lighthouse.


In October a highly successful Workshop was held at IALA HQ on the rapidly evolving world of Marine Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) now at the forefront of innovation and transformation.

MASS is no longer a “new” topic and we have several Recommendations and Guidelines relative to the topic in our publications catalogue.

IMO has been making headway and a non-mandatory goal-based MASS Code is due to take effect in 2025 to establish a robust safety regime for autonomous ships that ensures safety of life at sea, as well as safety of cargo on board and of the MASS itself.  

It is clear that for the foreseeable future there will be a mixed fleet of conventional ships with different degrees of automation in combination with an increasing number of MASS. The current outlook on implementing MASS technology in tanker, medium and large passenger ship categories is cautious, with concerns about operational and safety challenges specific to these vessel types. The take-up timing for MASS varies.

Delegates considered in depth vessel types and the potential challenges of MASS and we are grateful to the contributing organizations for their fine support to the Workshop.

Risk Management

At the time of writing the IALA World-Wide Academy had just organised from 27 November to 1 December a training course on the IALA Risk Management tools with In-person training at the Directorate General of Coast Safety HQ in Istanbul, Türkiye.

Here were introduced the IALA Risk Management Toolbox comprising: IWRAP, PAWSA MK II, SIRA, IRMAS and Simulation. The Academy offers a series of training and courses based on the model course Use of the IALA Risk Management Tools.


Readers are strongly encouraged to keep in touch with our events calendar here:   

The Convention

I am pleased to report that ratifications, acceptances or accessions of the Convention now total 25 with recent signings by Germany, Oman and Mexico.

States that have signed the Convention are invited to transmit the instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval to France, the depositary State. All Member States of the United Nations that have not signed during the signature period, may accede to the Convention, which will enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit of the thirtieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

e-Bulletin contributions

With regard to this medium, the e-Bulletin, I am once again most grateful to the valuable contributions from our worldwide membership and long may this continue.

To close once, again I thank all our valuable contributors to the e-Bulletin for their excellent efforts and extend the invitation to our worldwide Membership to submit articles in the months ahead.

Potential authors are invited to contact Audrey Guinault the editor at with ideas for consideration as forthcoming articles.

Wherever you are, ashore or afloat, in the service craft, at the VTS centre or in the buoy yard or part of a maintenance team, or staffing the administration, we send you and your families every good wish for the Festive Season and the Year ahead.

Let us hope 2024 is a good, new, year.

With fair winds and a following sea,

Francis Zachariae

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