The 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 49 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 – in two main ways.
Firstly, it brings together pilots’ associations from around the world, enabling them to air common concerns, compare experiences and pool their expertise in order to formulate IMPA views and policies that are both convincing and practical to implement. Over the years, this approach has proved to be effective in encouraging pilots to practise their profession with the required confidence.
Secondly, IMPA has a formal voice in relevant international maritime fora. Particularly important has been its accredited consultative membership – since 1973 – at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The IMO, which is a United Nations specialised agency with over 160 member states, is the recognised authority to set international standards of ship safety and vessel-source pollution prevention and control. IMPA delegates make lasting contributions to different aspects of the work of the organisation through their continued active participation in its many committees, sub-committees, and working groups.
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