Canada re-elected to the International Maritime Organization Council for two-year term

News release

December 1, 2023       London, United Kingdom       Transport Canada

With the longest coastline in the world and ports of call in the Great Lakes and Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans, maritime trade is an essential part of the Canadian economy and way of life. In 2022, marine trade was valued at $345 billion and generated 28,400 direct Canadian jobs.

Today, Canada was re-elected to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council in Category B—states with the largest interest in international seaborne trade— for the 2024-25 term. The results of this election recognize Canada’s important contribution and leadership on issues that matter to Canadians, to seafarers, and to the international maritime community.

The IMO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that sets global standards for the safety, security, and environmental performance of international maritime shipping. Canada is committed to collaborating with other member states to advance its key priorities at the IMO, including:

  • Protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse gases
  • Protecting polar waters and advancing Arctic cooperation
  • Promoting gender equality in the maritime sector
  • Supporting the health and well-being of seafarers

With its permanent mission of representatives to the IMO, Canada has established itself as a strong partner, leading several influential initiatives at Council. This includes creating the Gender Equality Network to increase the representation of women in the maritime sector, playing a leadership role in the development of the Polar Code to protect the unique environment and ecosystems of the polar regions, and leading efforts on the management of ballast water and hull biofouling, which protect our waters from invasive aquatic species.

The IMO plays a vital role in regulating international shipping and Canada is committed to being a strong and independent voice at this forum. Canada will continue to work with other member states to build a safe, secure, and sustainable global maritime transportation system.


“Canada is proud to continue serving on the International Maritime Organization Council. We’re working to protect the environment and promote a safer and more diverse shipping industry. Marine shipping is fundamental to our economy and way of life, but we must also reduce the environmental impact of shipping on waterways, biodiversity, and human life. The Government of Canada is committed to working with domestic and international partners to build a better shipping sector—one that is safe, inclusive, and sustainable.”

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez
Minister of Transport

“Canada looks forward to continuing its work at the International Maritime Organization Council through positive engagement and collaboration with other member states. With its permanent mission to the International Maritime Organization, Canada has maintained a constant and dependable presence that underpins its ability to lead on important safety, security, and environmental files. This benefits Canadians by ensuring a safe and secure marine transportation system at home and abroad, and it allows the Canadian marine industry to have its voice heard at this important forum.”

The Honourable Ralph Goodale
High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom and Permanent Representative for Canada to the IMO

Quick facts

  • Canada was a founding member of the IMO in 1948 and has sat on Council since 1959.

  • In 2022, ports and marine shipping carried almost $151 billion of Canada’s exports to world markets and brought in $194 billion of Canada’s total imports by value.

  • Marine transportation generated $1.95 billion in gross domestic product to Canada’s economy, an increase of 6.3 per cent over 2021.

  • Canada’s 17 Port Authorities handled over 339 million tonnes of total cargo volume in 2022.

  • Canada’s Arctic spans more than 3.5 million square kilometres and is of great cultural, environmental, and economic importance to Canada and the world.

Associated links


Laura Scaffidi
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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