News & Events


e-Navigation Underway Asia-Pacific 8-9 September 2020

e-Navigation Underway Asia-Pacific is scheduled from 8 to 9 September 2020 and will be held virtually. This year the conference focuses on digital technologies in the maritime sector, including e-Navigation and autonomous ship, ultimately aiming at establishing the Digital@Sea Initiative.

The theme for this year is ‘Collaborating to harmonize maritime digitalization’ See the programme :

More information and registration available on the website:

Virtual Committee Working Arrangements

The committee meetings of the second half 2020 will be virtual. Please download here the document explaining what the working arrangements are.


31 August, 2 – 3 September 2020 (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday)


Input paper deadline – 24 August 2020

Opening Plenary – 21 September 2020

Closing Plenary – 15 October 2020


Input paper deadline – 31 August 2020

Opening Plenary – 28 September 2020

Closing Plenary – 22 October 2020


Input paper deadline – 28 August 2020

Opening Plenary – 29 September 2020

Closing Plenary – 23 October 2020


Input paper deadline – 2 September 2020

Opening Plenary – 30 September 2020

Closing Plenary – 16 October 2020


13 –15 October 2020 (Tuesday to Thursday)


World Marine Aids to Navigation Day 2020

On the 1st of July 2020, IALA celebrated the World Marine Aids to Navigation Day virtually. Photos of Marine Aids to Navigation have been shared through social media to tell the world about how important Marine Aids to Navigation are for the global safety and efficiency of navigation and the protection of the environment. See our dedicated page!

This picture of “Ponta do Boi” Lighthouse in Brazil is taken by Mr. Luciano Candisani. It symbolized well the IALA motto and theme of the WATON DAY “Successful Voyages, Sustainable Planet”!


Council 71

The 71st session of the IALA council was held by video conference on the 3rd and 4th of June 2020. All councilors were present, despite the numerous time zones. The Council could proceed in a great spirit of cooperation and the testimonies of the important work that IALA’s members are continuously providing through the world was highly appreciated. Report available here for members.

And here is a highlight of some of the decisions taken at the meeting:

Virtual Committee meetings

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, IALA decided all the Committee meetings in the second half of the year would be held as virtual meetings.

It has been foreseen that a more extended period than one week of the ordinary Committee meeting would be needed considering the time differences around the globe and efficiency of the remote and virtual meetings. The secretariat believes that communication is vital, and the procedure and details will be conveyed to members via circular letters and information posted on the website.

Heritage lighthouse of the year

Since the Heritage Lighthouse of the Year was established in 2019, ENG 11 reviewed a high calibre of nominations submitted, emphasising the variety and cultural value of lighthouses around the world. In all, 16 nominations from 9 member countries were received for consideration in this, and in future years’ accolades. And, ENG shortlisted the following three nominations;

  • Santo Antônio da Barra Lighthouse, Brazil
  • Kõpu Lighthouse, Estonia
  • Mahabalipuram Lighthouse, India

Council 71 decided the Santo Antônio da Barra Lighthouse, Brazil as the IALA Heritage Lighthouse of the Year 2020.

Guidance document

Revocation of Guideline 1072

ARM reviewed the Guideline 1072 on AtoN Information Exchange and Presentation and considered if the contents of Guideline 1105 on Shore-side Portrayal Ensuring Harmonisation with e-Navigation related information may be incorporated.

The Committee concluded that both guidelines are point-in-time documents that have been overtaken by events. Therefore, the Committee recommends the revocation of Guideline 1072 and significant revisions to Guideline 1105, to be coordinated with the VTS Committee, and the proposal has been approved by Council 71.

Guideline G1143 – Unique Identifiers for Maritime Resources Ed.2.0

The draft document was an update of Guideline 1072 on the MRN. Since the first edition of the document, ARM revised the document reflecting the developments in the domain. The revision includes more examples of MRN, and MRN for publications, and the wildcard for use where it is unknown or impractical to assign any namespace identifiers.

Council 71 decided to send Guideline G1143 edition 2.0 back to the ARM Committee for further discussion.

New publications

VTS manual 2020

The VTS Committee updates and publishes the VTS manual every four years.  The VTS manual 2020 (Edition 7) became more clear and concise to assist better those who are in any way involved in the policies and management responsibilities.

The Council approved the VTS Manual. The Secretary-General expressed his warmest thanks to Neil Trainor of AMSA who devoted a lot of work to this new edition of the VTS Manual.


IALA publications catalogue

The secretariat keeps trying to enhance the accessibility and visibility of the technical guidance documents. This catalogue covers the technical guidance and contains an over-all view of the standards, recommendations, guidelines, and model courses in force with a summary. IALA hopes this document could be useful for the work of all the members.

IALA members continue to work to ensure the safety of navigation during lockdown around the world.

As the world continues to be locked down, provision of Aids to Navigation services are essential services vital for the safety of marine navigation and the continuous flow of food, fuel and medical supplies, along with the many other commodities upon which we all depend daily.

IALA national members, who provide Aids to Navigation services, as well as our industrial members, who produce and deliver Aids to Navigation equipment, follow the advice given by their governments and most of their personnel are now working from home where possible. However, some staff are required to attend their normal workplace due to the essential nature of their work when responding to outages and performing vital maintenance work and keeping their service operational.

One of our national members, the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) of India have produced this video reassuring the general public of their commitment to keeping their service fully operational and ensure safety of marine navigation along their coastline despite the lockdown.


The 14th IALA Symposium is postponed

Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and IALA regrettably announce that the 14th IALA Symposium and all activities planned for 24 – 29 May 2020 will unfortunately have to be postponed. We have now found a suitable date and the 14th IALA Symposium will be held from 19 to 23 April 2021.

We look forward to seeing you in 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – IALA Precautionary Measures

The IALA Secretariat has been closely monitoring developments of the impact of COVID-19 at local and global levels and has followed the advice provided by the World Health Organization, the Government of France, other Governments and actions taken by sister organizations. Based on available facts and in consultation with relevant stakeholders, the following precautionary measures have been implemented to avoid further transmission of the virus in our domain.

Previously announced:

  • VTS-48 in Saint Germain en Laye, 02-06 March 2020 – cancelled
  • ENAV-25 in Saint Germain en Laye, 16-20 March 2020 – cancelled

New initiatives:

  • Heritage Seminar in Salvador, Brazil, 25-26 April 2020 – postponed
  • ENG-11 in Salvador, Brazil, 27 April to 01 May 2020 – cancelled
  • Joint IALA-IHO S-100/S-200 Workshop in Norway, 08-12 June 2020 – postponed

Furthermore, the IALA office in Saint-Germain-en-Laye will be physically closed until further notice, however the Secretariat will continue to function, as the staff will be working from home, attending to e-mails, mobile telephones and responding to the main telephone number +33 1 34 51 70 01. The staff of the IALA World-Wide Academy has decided to cancel its physical meetings and travel arrangements in the period 16 March to 13 April 2020.

To minimize the impact on the committee work programme and advance work on important work items, the Secretariat is prepared to facilitate online meetings as requested by chairs and vicechairs. Requests should be sent to

In the latter half of 2020, meetings are expected to take place as planned. ENG-12 is expected to be moved to Salvador, Brazil together with the Heritage Seminar. Also, the Joint IALA-IHO S-100/S-200 Workshop is expected to take place in Norway in the latter half of 2020.

The Secretariat will continue to monitor developments, updating our website with any further news that may affect members and our operations. Decisions on further postponement or cancellation of events will be taken on a case by case basis.

Francis Zachariae,

IALA-IHO Joint Workshop on S-100/200 Development and Portrayal

IALA and IHO in association with the Norwegian Coastal Administration are hosting a technical Workshop on S-100/200 development and portrayal, to be held in the Scandic Parken hotel, Aalesund, Norway on 8 – 12 June 2020. EVENT POSTPONED

A flyer will be available soon.

Heritage Seminar

The 4th Heritage Seminar ‘The Challenge of Change’ will be held in the city of Salvador, Brazil at the CEMCOHA. EVENT POSTPONED

Farol de Santo Antonio da Barra. Photo by Tunisio Alves Filho