Government proposes the establishment of international Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 22.9.2022 13.50
Press release
Image: Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency
Image: Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency

On 22 September 2022, the Government submitted its proposal to Parliament for an act to ratify and enforce at national level the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation.

At its General Assembly in 2014, the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) decided that its status be changed into that of an official international organisation. IALA has stated that changing its status from a French association governed by private law to an international organisation would reinforce the weight of its recommendations. That change of status requires a convention that the states will ratify in accordance with their own national procedures. Finland signed the Convention on 8 June 2021 and the act will lay down provisions on the ratification of the Convention.

The aim of IALA is to improve transport safety and to harmonise the marine aids to navigation. It publishes recommendations, instructions and handbooks on navigational aids. In Finland, IALA's instructions are applied to the marking of waterways, for example. Finland considers its membership important, because it means opportunities to influence the preparation of the recommendations and guidelines.

IALA was founded in 1957 and Finland joined in 1959. The main representative of Finland is the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency.

What's next?

A referral debate will be held on the proposal now submitted by the Government to Parliament. The timetable for the debate will be listed on Parliament's website (upcoming plenary sessions). After the referral debate, the proposal will be sent to the Transport and Communications Committee. Once the committee's report is ready, the matter will be discussed in a plenary session again.

So far the Convention has been ratified or accepted by nine states. The Convention will enter into force on the ninetieth day after thirty states have ratified, accepted or approved it. In Finland, separate provisions on the entry into force of the act will be issued by decree. The act would enter into force at the same time as the international Convention.


Iida Huhtanen, Senior Officer for Legal Affairs, tel. +358 295 342 613, [email protected]