International engagement

Learn about how we engage with our international audiences and partners.

On this page:

Oil from Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico

Check us out in action

We engage with a wide range of international maritime organisations to make sure New Zealand’s maritime policy is in keeping with international best practice and where possible, other states’ policies. The resulting seamless movement of ships, personnel and goods between New Zealand and other states benefits our maritime industry.

At an operational policy (practical) level, we also engage with a wide range of international maritime organisations, particularly to fulfil our obligations under various maritime conventions. For example:

  • we provide oil spill response within the Pacific region
  • we help new Zealanders to get employment on foreign flagged ships by ensuring their qualification is recognised by other states.

The International Maritime Organization is often the focal point for this engagement.

The International Maritime Organization

The International Maritime Organization is a specialised agency of the United Nations. The IMO is made up of 170 member states, including New Zealand. It is responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

As the global standard-setting authority, the IMOs main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.

The IMO’s measures cover all aspects of international shipping, including ship design, construction, equipment, manning, operation and disposal.

Key treaties of the International Maritime Organization (all of which New Zealand has adopted) include:

  • International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
  • International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)
  • International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).

Our work with the IMO

We coordinate New Zealand’s input to the International Maritime Organization (IMO). We also help Pacific Island countries to implement key aspects of IMO conventions.

New Zealand has been an active and well-respected member of the IMO since 1960. Our country was elected to the IMO Council at the 25th Regular Session of the IMO Assembly in London in November 2007. This gave New Zealand the opportunity and honour to join with other states that share similar objectives of flag-state responsibility, including coastal-state responsibilities.

We work to ensure our engagement with the IMO achieves a balance of safety, security, environmental and economic priorities.

Several other government agencies also attend IMO meetings including, the Ministry of Transport, Ministry for Primary Industries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ministry for the Environment.

Recent updates from IMO

Our other international engagement

We engage at various levels with representatives from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). We continue to have a close working relationship with the AMSA on areas of common strategic and operational importance.

Related information:
Read about the latest developments and frameworks being implemented for world shipping.

Updates from IMO

Learn about the latest standards being developed for the world shipping industry.
Go to IMO