The Permanent Mission of Canada to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the main way that the Canadian government and the organization communicate with each other.
On this page
- Canada’s role at the International Maritime Organization
- About the permanent mission
- Contact the permanent mission
Canada’s Role at the IMO
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations which sets global standards for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping.
Canada has been an active member of the organization since it was founded in 1948 and has been proud to serve on the IMO Council since 1959. The council is the organization’s executive branch and supervises the organization’s work.
We work with the organization to create or improve international standards that can be added to Canada’s laws and regulations. Canada’s marine-related laws, like the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, are based on more than 30 of the organization’s conventions like:
- the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
- the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and
- the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers
Canada is committed to leading the development of current and emerging policies to improve the safety, security and environmental responsibility of the maritime sector. Some of Canada’s priorities at the International Maritime Organization include:
- reducing greenhouse gases
- polar water navigation and cooperating in the Arctic
- managing ballast water
- underwater noise from shipping
- hazardous and noxious substances
- women in the maritime sector
- managing seafarer wellbeing and fatigue
- marine security
About the permanent mission
As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, Canada has increased our leadership and international work to improve marine safety and protect the marine environment. Since 2017, Canada’s role includes a permanent mission to the International Maritime Organization in London, England.
Canada’s permanent mission acts as a link between the International Maritime Organization and the Government of Canada to allow for more effective, efficient and coordinated policy-making. It also improves Canada’s ability to influence international maritime agreements, rules, standards and guidelines.
The permanent mission also strengthens Canada’s ability to influence international standards for shipping and supports Canada’s leadership role in marine safety, security and environmental stewardship.
In addition to this work, Canada’s permanent mission has also led a number of initiatives at the IMO, including:
- creating the International Maritime Organization’s Gender Equality Network so members can exchange and promote ideas to improve gender equality and empower women in the maritime sector
- sponsoring an international technical workshop on quiet ship design to promote action on underwater vessel noise
- hosting a reception focused on the mental health of seafarers to discuss the challenges that seafarers face
The current members of Canada’s permanent mission to the IMO are:
- Permanent Representative - The Honourable Ralph Goodale, High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Alternate Permanent Representative – Robert Fry, Deputy High Commissioner for Canada to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Alternate Permanent Representative – Michelle Sanders
Contact the permanent mission
Permanent Mission to the International Maritime Organization