International Maritime Pilots’ Association

About IMPA

IMPA is the International Maritime Pilots’ Association. The International Maritime Pilots’ Association was formed on the initiative of pilots’ associations from the five continents whose representatives met in Kiel, Germany in June 1970. IMPA was officially launched in Amsterdam in May the following year. To date, it represents over 8,000 pilot members in 50 countries.

IMPA is a non-profit making body with a truly international outlook. It seeks to achieve its principal objective – the promotion of professionally sound and safe pilotage. Particularly important has been its accredited consultative membership – since 1973 – at the International Maritime Organization (IMO)

IMPA’s role as a NaCC partner is important not least because of the unique symbiotic relationship between the navigation of ships in restricted waterways and the marine environment.


IMPA’s objectives

IMPA aims to:

  • Represent the international community of pilots.
  • Use the resources of the membership to promote effective safety outcomes in pilotage as an essential public service.
  • Make maximum use of our formal voice in relevant international maritime fora. Particularly important as an NGO at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
  • Seek out the best available knowledge and information and make it available to members in order to advance the profession and maintain its relevance to the modern world.


IMPA’s aspirations for Navigating a Changing Climate

Existing knowledge about climate change varies across IMPA’s membership.  Some, who rely on freshwater levels daily are very aware; others are sceptical. By participating in the Navigating a Changing Climate partnership, IMPA will be able to facilitate the essential greater understanding of the ramifications of climate change: not only amongst its members but also within the membership’s wider port communities that may otherwise not be aware of its impact on their future operations and how they may be able to deal with it.

The effects of climate change are well known and all affect port traffic management and present challenges for the manoeuvring of ships, particularly in confined waterways:

Wind - Increased strength; Visibility – impaired for longer periods; Tidal levels – both increase & decrease; Tidal currents – strengthened; River levels – raised & lowered; River currents – increased; Siltation – higher risk.

IMPA works to raise awareness of these issues with its members and other sister organisations such that new operational methods and parameters might be devised and additional training be implemented to deal with the challenges safely and efficiently in the future.


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