News & Events


Happy festive season!

IALA offices will be closed from 23 December 2022 to 1 January 2023. We look forward to seeing you in the new year!

WWA mission in Seychelles

The IALA World-Wide Academy conducted a mission in the Seychelles islands in September 2022. View the video to know more about this interesting project.

Vacancy Notice

The IALA World-Wide Academy is looking for a new Education and Training Manager. Please see details of the offer below. The deadline for sending applications is extended to 15 August 2022.

Workshop on S-100/S-200 development and portrayal

IALA, IHO and the Norwegian Coastal Administration are holding a workshop on S-100, S-200 development and portrayal from 5 to 9 September 2022 in Alesund, Norway.
The objective of the workshop is to:
Harmonize and open feedback channels between IHO and IALA regarding Product Specification requirements and development processes.
Share visions of the use of S-100 / S-200 among stakeholders.
Identify possible updates and recommend amendments to existing documents.
Provide clarity regarding the development of S-100 / S-200 based Product Specifications.

Flyer and Website

Council 75

the 75th session of the IALA Council was successfully held at the Radisson Royal Collection Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark from 30 May to 3 June 2022.

This was the first face to face meeting of the Council since the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic in 2020. All councilors were in attendance, including three who attended remotely.

The Council was updated about the planning of the change of status transition period, which is the period between the entry into force of the Convention and the first General Assembly of the new Organization.

The Council approved the revised budget for 2022 and noted the sound financial situation of the Association. The Council also approved changes to the Basic Documents.

Reports were given on the technical committees, the Industrial Members Committee, the planning of the 20th Conference, and the progress and future actions of the World-Wide Academy and the World Marine Aids to Navigation Day to be celebrated 1 July in Bulgaria.

The Council approved the Homigot Lighthouse from the Republic of Korea as the Heritage Lighthouse of the Year 2022 together with some changes to the future selection process. As a consequence, the ENG committee will nominate the candidates for the Heritage Lighthouse of the Year 2023 at the upcoming ENG16 in October 2022. For more information, please refer to

New and revised recommendations:

  • R1023 Maritime Resource Names (MRN), Ed1.0, June 2022
  • R0204 Marine signal lights – determination and calculation of effective intensity, Ed3.0, June 2022
  • R0141 Training and certification of Marine Aids to Navigation personnel, Ed5.0, June 2022
  • R0119 Establishment of a VTS Ed4.2, June 2022

New and revised guidelines:

  • Revised Guideline G1018 on Risk management, Ed4.0, June 2022
  • Revised Guideline G1123 on the use of the IALA Waterway risk assessment programme or IWRAP, Ed2.0, June 2022
  • Revised Guideline G1124 on Ports and waterways safety assessment (PAWSA MK II), Ed2.0, June 2022
  • Revised Guideline G1058 on The use of simulation as a tool for waterway design and AtoN planning, Ed3.0, June 2022
  • Revised Guideline G1135 on Determination and calculation of effective intensity, Ed 3.0, June 2022
  • Revised Guideline G1127 on Systems and services for high accuracy positioning and ranging, Ed2.0, June 2022
  • Revised Guideline G1129 on the retransmission of SBAS corrections using MF-radio beacon and AIS, Ed 2.0, June 2022
  • New Guideline G1147 on The use of enhanced radar positioning systems, Ed1.0, June 2022
  • New Guideline G1168 on Quality control of third-party AtoN service providers, Ed1.0, June 2022
  • New Guideline G1169 on Training and certification of marine Aids to Navigation personnel, Ed1.0, June 2022
  • New Guideline G1170 on Solar modules for a marine environment, Ed1.0, June 2022
  • Revised Guideline G1150 on Establishing planning and implementing a VTS, Ed3.0, June 2022
  • New Guideline G1171 on Human factors and ergonomics in VTS, Ed1.0, June 2022

Revoked document

  • Revoked G1097 on Technical Features and Technology Relevant for Simulation of AtoN, Ed1.0

Visit of the Republic of Guinea to HQ, 18 May 2022

Durant cette visite, La République de Guinée a souhaité réaffirmer son engagement auprès de l’AISM à continuer ses efforts pour mettre en place la formation du personnel et la mise en place d’infrastructures locales à travers le pays afin de garantir la sécurité des navires et des personnes. La Guinée a aussi sollicité l’appui de l’AISM pour mettre en route la procédure de ratification de la Convention Internationale pour les aides à la navigation maritime.

During this visit, the Republic of Guinea wished to reaffirm its commitment to IALA to continue its efforts to put in place the training of personnel and the establishment of local infrastructures across the country in order to guarantee the safety of the ships and of the people. Guinea has also requested the support of IALA to initiate the procedure for the ratification of the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation.

M. Sory Camara, Directeur Général de l’Agence de Navigation Maritime (ANAM), ministère des Transports, M. Francis Zachariae, Secrétaire-Général de l’AISM (IALA), M. Mamadou Alpha Baldé, Secrétaire-Général de l’Agence de Navigation Maritime (ANAM), ministère des Transports.

International Day for Women in Maritime

The inaugural IMO International Day for Women in Maritime on 18 May 2022 will focus on the theme “Training-Visibility-Recognition: Supporting a barrier-free working environment” View IMO dedicated page here.

In support to this day, IALA would like to share Monica Sundklev’s words as she has been very important and actively involved in the work of IALA for many years.

-What do you find is the most challenging in your job?

I work mainly with rules and requirements in various fields of maritime traffic and I am active both within IMO, IALA and the European Union, and I have noticed that there are different views on what rules and regulations that should be implemented and how. Maritime transport is a global business and therefore global and harmonized development and implementation is crucial to get a smooth and seamless transport chain.

Being part of developing rules and regulations today as the digitalization and automation is moving very fast, is also very thrilling. I hope that by trying to analyse and understand the complexity of this development without being a hindrance to this progress, I hope that I can contribute with my knowledge and experience so that the marine transport chain is perceived as both safe, modern and environmentally friendly.

The challenge is to get everyone on board, both individuals like seafarers and VTS operators as well as different jurisdictions such as other countries and their authorities, and to move in the same direction for the benefit of all.

-What do you find is the most pleasant in your job?

All the wonderful people that I meet in various meetings and situations! The maritime domain is rather small and it gets very familiar when you meet the same people in different places at different meetings.

Especially within the VTS Committee of IALA, I meet many interesting people from all over the world and it’s amazing what a huge network of contacts you can get within an international organization such as IALA. I have met so many friends within IALA and we still keep in contact. This is also known to be the IALA spirit of the IALA family. Join an IALA workshop or a committee meeting and you will see J

-What could you say the work with IALA brought to you and to your job?

I have learned so much through IALA that I have been able to bring back to my daily work, particularly from the comradery both from the participants from all over the world but also from the IALA secretariat.  This includes, but is not in any way limited to cooperation, collaboration, engagement, enthusiasm, respect and willingness to learn.

Also through IALA I have been involved in producing many recommendations and guidelines for VTS. I have also been able to visit several VTS centres as well as VTS trainings centres around the world. This has given me a better understanding of the different challenges that may exist in different areas and the justification of implementing a VTS, but also that different training methods and course structures may apply depending on the need. All this will definitely be considered when new VTS rules will be developed in Sweden. I would be very happy to be part of such a development.

Monica Sundklev, Senior Adviser at the Swedish Transport Agency, Chair of the IALA VTS Committee.

Academy News

A short video about the signing ceremony of the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation held on 26 January 2022 in France.

IALA is on its way to Intergovernmental status


Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 26 January 2022

27 States signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation at a signing ceremony which took place at the IALA headquarters in Saint Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, on 26 January 2022.

The ceremony was hosted by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs representing the Depositary, the government of France.

This ceremony marked the end of the one-year signature period which started on 27 January 2021 in Paris where France, as Depositary State, represented by Mrs. Annick Girardin, Minister of the sea, was the first State to sign the Convention.

All Member States of the United Nations, and in particular the other signatories of the Final Act of the 2020 Kuala Lumpur Conference, were invited to sign the Convention at the signing ceremony.

The countries that signed the Convention on 26 January 2022 were the following: Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cameroun, Congo (Republic of), Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea Bissau, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu.

That brings the total number of signatures up to 51. Five States have also ratified or accepted the Convention.

From today, all Member States of the United Nations that have not signed the Convention 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.’

Mr. Francis Zachariae, IALA Secretary-General stated in his welcome that: This important progress reflects the respect that the new organization will have based on the many years of IALA’s growth, maturity and excellence. IALA will soon be able to contribute even more to safety of navigation worldwide, protection of the maritime environment and good ocean governance.

More information about the IGO process can be found on IALA website


Adoption of the text and signing of the Convention

The Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation was adopted at a Diplomatic Conference in Kuala Lumpur in February 2020 after three preparatory conferences in Istanbul in March 2019, in Marrakech in February 2018 and in Paris in April 2017. The development of a set of new General Regulations, including financial regulations, is well advanced and the final draft is envisaged to be agreed at the first General Assembly of the new intergovernmental organization (IGO). Meanwhile, the draft Headquarters Agreement is under development and will be finalized in cooperation with the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France.

The Convention was signed 27th January 2021 by France, represented by Mrs. Annick Girardin, Minister for Marine Affairs. France, being the host Country and the depositary State, was the first to sign the Convention.

This event marked the opening for signature of the Convention for a period of one year. All Member States of the United Nations, and in particular the other signatories of the Final Act of the Kuala Lumpur Conference, were invited to sign the Convention at the Protocol of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and then to proceed to its ratification.

At the signing ceremony in Paris on 26 January 2022, 26 states signed the Convention. As of today, 50 States have signed the Convention and five States have ratified or accepted the Convention.

The certified versions of the Convention in the official languages of the organization, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, can be found on the IALA web site:

Smooth transition

The Convention contains robust arrangements for a smooth transition. These will ensure that the activities of IALA’s organs and its technical work in the area of Marine Aids to Navigation (AtoN) will continue uninterrupted and that its responsibilities towards the maritime community will be undiminished and maintained with the customary high level of commitment and expertise.

The change of status will mark a major milestone in the life of IALA. However, it will not, in any way, change the principal aim of IALA, which is, as stated in its present Constitution, “to foster the safe, economic and efficient movement of vessels”. Under the new Convention, IALA will also remain a consultative technical organization.

Strengthening international cooperation

IALA has worked in close partnership with other international organizations for decades and wishes this collaboration to continue and grow. Elevating the status of IALA to that of an IGO will make it a peer to organizations such as the International Maritime Organization, the International Telecommunication Union, the World Meteorological Organization and the International Hydrographic Organization, thereby strengthening existing cooperation. Furthermore, it will allow for a broader participation in IALA by States, at government level. This will assist IALA’s aim to promote the greatest possible uniformity in AtoN, in the spirit of the SOLAS Convention.

Further in this regard, IALA is mindful of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which, under Article 266, requires States that are Parties to UNCLOS to cooperate “through competent international organizations” to promote the development and transfer of marine technology. IALA is already fully engaged with, and will continue to be dedicated to, promotion of technical cooperation on all matters related to the development and transfer of expertise and technology in relation to AtoN. In this context, it is committed to keeping pace with emerging technologies, as appropriate, and working closely together with its Industrial members around the world, as well as with national government agencies and AtoN authorities and other international and intergovernmental organizations.

The objectives and activities of IALA as an IGO will continue to be complementary to those of its peer IGOs. By working together with partner IGOs, with the respective mandate, role, and responsibilities of each transparent, mutually supportive, and commonly accepted, work will become more effective through better coordination and greater integration of standards. Any overlap or duplication would also be easier to avoid, and the resulting creation of synergies would optimize available resources in the interests of the efficient movement of vessels, expeditious shipping traffic, maritime safety and protection of the environment.

The Convention

The Convention draws on the principles and provisions of the present IALA Constitution and those of the conventions of sister organizations.  With respect to the position of Industrial members, the Convention follows the approach of the Convention of the World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), which designates companies involved in the business of promoting tourism as Affiliate members to ensure their inclusion as an important category of its membership. The existing Industrial members of IALA will thus become Affiliate members of IALA as an IGO and this will ensure the continued, strong cohesion between AtoN authorities and providers that has always been important for the work of IALA.

IGO status will best support the aims and activities of IALA into the future. It will benefit the Member States and members, other International Organizations and their Member States and members, as well as the shipping industry. This will be achieved by continuous improvement and enhanced harmonization of AtoN and related services to the benefit of safety of navigation, efficiency of shipping traffic and protection of the environment. The Convention provides for a fit-for-purpose international legal framework that ensures transparency and good governance, strengthens the position of IALA to work in close collaboration with Governments and other IGOs, and fosters its technical and consultative work as the leading international expert body concerned with AtoN and related services.

Notes for Editors are provided below.


Origin and membership of IALA

The International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) was established in Paris in 1957 as a consultative, technical and not-for-profit organization with the aim to share maritime knowledge and work together for safe navigation.

Guided by the motto “Successful voyages, Sustainable Planet”, its mission is to ensure the provision of effective and harmonized marine aids to navigation (AtoN) systems and services worldwide. Its membership embraces both national competent authorities (AtoN providers) and stakeholders from the equipment industry (AtoN suppliers), such as AtoN manufacturers and distributors, and technical advisory services, scientific agencies and other concerned entities.

IALA and best practice

The IALA Maritime Buoyage System is universally recognized and implemented. When it was established in 1980, it superseded the approximately thirty disparate systems that existed around the world in the 1970s. It is referenced in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS regulation V/13).

The IALA NAVGUIDE is the bible on AtoN design and operation. The digital version of the latest edition is available, free of charge, from the IALA website

The IALA recommendations and guidelines are internationally recognized and widely followed and are free to download from the IALA website. They are not mandatory in the legal sense, but they do represent generally accepted best practice. They are developed and maintained by the four IALA committees, which each cover a particular technical domain – ranging from AtoN design, engineering, sustainability and management to vessel traffic services, e-navigation, communications and shore-based maritime information services.

In June 2018, the XIIIth IALA General Assembly, held in Incheon, Republic of Korea, approved a first set of seven IALA standards. These are a vital aspect of the IALA Strategic Goal that coastal States should contribute to a harmonised global network of AtoN by 2026. They are not legally binding. However, they provide high-level, overarching references to the principal technical domains covered by the recommendations and guidelines and IALA will encourage their implementation through capacity-building and training support.

The committees are the ‘powerhouse’ of IALA and benefit greatly from the high-quality input of IALA’s Industrial members. The cohesion between AtoN suppliers and AtoN providers is a unique feature of IALA and invaluable for the continued relevance of its technical work.

The IALA World-Wide Academy

The IALA World-Wide Academy (WWA) became operational in January 2012. Its principal aim is to engage in capacity building and training for the establishment of AtoN networks in targeted developing countries who need cadres of competent personnel to support the development of their maritime economy. Furthermore, as coastal State signatories to the International Convention for the Safety Of Life At Sea, they are required to meet their legal obligations to provide the AtoN that seafarers need.

The WWA has been an undeniable success story in the short period of its existence – as demonstrated by the reduction in targeted coastal States. To date, the Academy cooperates with many accredited training organizations around the world both for AtoN and VTS training in key maritime regions, and Africa is now fast becoming a high priority. There are also promising opportunities in long-distance learning and the Academy has developed a digital platform for this purpose. This will also help to accelerate the pace of training worldwide in response to continued growing demand.

IALA and international cooperation

While IALA is not part of the United Nations (UN) system, it has been cooperating closely with some UN entities and other international organizations for decades and is committed to the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

International cooperation is ever-more important in an era of globalization, rapid technological changes, growing demand for digital connectivity, mounting environmental pressures, and increased public expectations with regard to sound ocean governance. Working together as an equal partner with other IGOs – each with their respective mandates, roles and responsibilities – will bring greater opportunities in terms of effective coordination, increased harmonization and integration of standards, and better use of available resources, in accordance with the UN policy on “Delivering as One”.

It is also against the background of these challenging realities of today’s world that the XIIth IALA General Assembly held in A Coruña, Spain in 2014 adopted a resolution stating its firm belief that IGO status will best facilitate IALA’s aims in the twenty-first century and determine that the new status should be achieved as soon as possible through the development of an international convention.




Francis ZACHARIAE, IALA Secretary-General, has led the IGO Action Project since his appointment in February 2015

Photos from the signing ceremony on 26 January 2022. More photos can be found on the IGO webpage.

20th Conference – Call for abstracts

The 20th IALA Conference is scheduled to be held from 27 May to 3 June 2023 in Windsor Convention Center, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The theme for the event is Marine Aids to Navigation – Innovation for a Sustainable Future.

Here is a list of the proposed topics:

  • Digital connectivity technologies in Marine AtoN
  • Marine AtoN in an increasingly autonomous and virtual world
  • Exchange of information, challenges and implementation
  • Cyber Risk and Resilient services
  • Risk Management
  • Marine AtoN Heritage and legacy
  • Sustainability in the provision of Marine AtoN services
  • Current technologies – best practice and developments

Please download here the Call for abstracts form. And return it to the Secretariat by 31 March 2022.