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European Harbour Masters' Committee (EHMC)

IHMA members within a defined geographical region of two or more neighbouring countries may seek IHMA authority to establish a Regional Committee.  The aim of a Regional Committee is to further the specific interests of IHMA's members within that region.

At present there is one Regional Committee, the European Harbour Masters' Committee (EHMC).  The EHMC is managed by a board from which its Chair is elected.  The EHMC has its own Secretary and its elected Chair is co-opted to ExCo.

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bellarus
  • Bosnia
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Moldavia
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
Map of the Netherlands

EHMC Objectives

The aim of the EHMC is to further the specific interests of IHMA's individual members in that region. 

As well as the benefits of IHMA membership, European Harbour Masters receive the following benefits of membership of the European Harbour Masters' Committee:

  1. A focus on European issues
  2. European identity in the eyes of European institutions
  3. Representation of the views of European Harbour Masters
  4. A European voice in the European institutions
  5. Influence in European policies concerning ports and shipping transport
  6. Dissemination of information
  7. Seminars on professional topics in the years between the IHMA’s biennial Congress
  8. Networking opportunities
  9. Discussions and exchange of information and best practice between European Harbour Masters
  10. Monitoring the flow of information, directives and consultative papers that come from the European Commission
  11. Contributing, as an expert group, to European research projects. In this respect, the EHMC is registered as a group of professional experts in the CONECCS database—the database for Consultation, the European Commission and Civil Society.

As an active Regional Committee, EHMC strives to strengthen the IHMA

EHMC Board Members

EHMC Relations

The EHMC actively seeks close co-operation with a number of European organisations.

EHMC co-operates actively with other European organisations in ports.  At the 2009 seminar in Gdansk the European organisations EMPA (pilots), ETA (tug owners), EBA (boatmen) and CESMA (captains) were invited. This led, a year later, to a co-operation that aims to improve together the standards for safe operations in ports, the European Nautical Platform

ESPO, European Sea Ports Organisation, represents the port authorities, port associations and port administrations of the seaports of the Member States of the European Union and Norway. ESPO also has observer members in several neighbouring European countries. ESPO plays a pro-active role in issues such as port governance and port performance.

Within ESPO, the EHMC cooperates with The Marine Affairs and Security Committee (MA&S). The starting point is that ESPO is strong in influencing public policy in the European port sector, EHMC –as technical marine experts- is strong in professional knowledge.  Combining forces is beneficial for both organisations.  EHMC may send ’ex officio members’ representing the EHMC as an organisation in the committee.  ESPO can request topical expertise from the wider EHMC membership.

ETA, European Tugowners Association, founded 1963, promotes the interests of the European towage industry.  Based in Brussels as a non-governmental organization, its membership is drawn from 21 European countries and comprises 82 companies operating some 700 tugs in the ports and coastal areas of Europe.  ETA membership embraces all sizes of individual companies from single tug ones to the largest industry, including multinational groups, port authorities of main ports and small ports.

EBA, European Boatmen’s Association, founded 1977, has the purpose of exchanging technical-nautical information in order to improve and enhance the sector’s professional standards.  It takes action when invited to do so by a national association, to support initiatives or provide its experience wherever the opportunity arises.

EMPA, European Maritime Pilots’ Association, is a non-profit organization, created in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1963 by pilots of the recently established European Economic Community.  Nowadays EMPA includes member countries associations of maritime pilots from the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.  In 2012, EMPA represented about 5,000 maritime pilots from 25 European countries, including Norway, Russia, Croatia, Turkey and Ukraine.

CESMA, European Shipmasters’ Association, membership includes 14 shipmasters’ associations in 11 European maritime nations. The organisation works on a non-profit basis and is independent of states, political parties, trade unions and shipowners’ organisations.

EMSA, European Maritime Safety Association, was founded in the aftermath of the Erika and Prestige disasters and deals with pollution response, ensuring quality shipping, protecting the marine environment, accident investigation and maritime information systems.


EU Policy and Legislation

Maritime and Port Policy

Maritime Transport Strategy 2018

Commission Communication; Strategic goals and recommendations for the EU’s maritime transport policy until 2018. In this Communication the Commission presents the main strategic objectives for the European maritime transport system up to 2018. The Strategy identifies key areas where action by the EU will strengthen the competitiveness of the sector while enhancing its environmental performance.

The Communication itself is divided into six chapters: (i.) shipping trends & business conditions, (ii.) human resources, (iii.) quality shipping, (iv.) international scene, (v.) short-sea shipping and (vi.) research and innovation.

Source: European Commission   
Date: January 2009

Commission Staff Working Document (on the implementation of the EU Maritime Transport Strategy 2009-2018)


Directive 2010/65/EU, Reporting formalities for ships
Directive on reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports in EU member states.  Its purpose is to simplify and harmonise the administrative procedures applied to maritime transport by making compulsory the electronic transmission of information standard and by rationalising reporting formalities.  Entered into force 1 June 2015.

Regulation 1286/2011, Methodology for investigating marine casualties
This EU regulation adopts a common methodology for investigating marine casualties and incidents to be followed by investigative bodies when carrying out safety investigations. Developed pursuant to Article 5(4) of Directive 2009/18/EC.

Directive 2009/18/EC, Accident Investigation Directive
Directive establishing the fundamental principles governing the investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector.  The purpose of this Directive is to improve maritime safety and the prevention of pollution by ships, and so reduce the risk of future marine casualties, by: (a) facilitating the expeditious holding of safety investigations and proper analysis of marine casualties and incidents in order to determine their causes; and (b) ensuring the timely and accurate reporting of safety investigations and proposals for remedial action.

Download IHMA Constitution
Download IHMA Constitution

Latest News & Events

Winning a prestigious 2018 Governor of Victoria Export Award further cements OMC International’s reputation as an industry leader in under-keel clearance (UKC) management, Executive Director Dr Terry O’Brien AM said in a commuiqué issued on 17 September.

Dr O’Brien received the Business Services Award trophy from the Governor of the State of Victoria, Australia, the Hon Linda Dessau, at a reception at Government House on the night of 14  September.

The Port of Aden witnessed steady growth during the first half of this year, 2018, compared to the same period last year, and the handling rate is said to be the largest over the past ten years

Role of Harbour Master/ Port Operations Professional
Port Call Optimisation
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Vessel Traffic Services
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Emergency Management

Become a Member

Join the world’s premier professional body for harbour masters and receive up-to-date information on the industry and access to the members' area of the website.

Become a sponsor

Become a sponsor of the IHMA today and reap the benefits for your business:

  • Worldwide exposure
  • Prominence on the IHMA website
  • Instant access to your services and products for your existing and potential customers
  • Access to the key decision makers on marine operations in Ports – the Harbour Master
  • The opportunity to showcase your services and products at an international congress every two years

Be a part of the future of a vibrant, respected, professional and influential maritime organisation...IHMA

Download EHMC's Newsletter

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EHMC newsletter

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Latest Events


Thursday 27 - Friday 28 June 2019

How and with who will the ship of the future communicate?

This is the question that industry, ship owners and managers, ports, nautical service providers, university and research projects will seek to answer in this biennial EHMC seminar.  The day will include live demonstrations of industry products and a visit by boat within the Port of Gothenburg that will also take us around the harbour area.

The host: Port of Gothenburg

The Swedish shipping industry has recently been labelled a role model for the global shipping community because of the work being done to reduce emissions.  The Port of Gothenburg is not only Sweden's, but moreover Scandinavia's most important gateway for goods, cruise and passengers.  The hinterland includes three capital cities - Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm and almost 3o per cent of Swedish foreign trade passes through the port.

For further details please contact the EHMC Secretary,

Tanger Med

"Port Choice"

The 2017 seminar was a first in the history of our Committee, as it was held in the Moroccan port of Tanger Med. This was a consequence of the previous seminar in 2015, which was held in Marseille and where we reached out to our North African colleagues who are Harbour Masters, Port Captains and their deputies.

Tanger Med has built a leading hub port on the south shore of the Strait of Gibraltar. Beginning service in July 2007, the Tanger Med port is now operating amongst the world's leading ports.


Download includes
Programme en Francais Le program complèt du jeudi et vendredi 11 et 12 mai, séminaire EHMC, Tanger Med
Program in English - The full program for the Thursday and Friday 11 and 12 May 2017, EHMC seminar, Tanger Med




On the occasion of the 2015 seminar in Marseille, we reached out to our North African colleagues who are Harbour Masters, Port Captains and their deputies. 

Le séminaire biennale de l’ EHMC est un événement sur deux jours qui permet aux Commandants des port Européens de se rencontrer pour se connaitre et échanger sur des sujets d'intérêt commun.


Download includes
Group picture
Press article  ’L’accueil des géants préoccupe les commandants de port’ le Marin, l’hebdomadaire de l’économie maritime  12 juin 2015
Press article  ’Le gigantisme cause commune des commandants de ports européens’ l’Antenne, les transports au quotidien   29 mai 2015
Presentation; Grand Port Maritime de Marseille -’Improve weather forecasts, more accurate navigation positioning, use of tugs, information to masters, improve experience’ AMAURY DE MAUPEOU, Harbour Master Port de Marseille et Marseille Fos
Presentation; The container ship market in 2015 ’Ultra-large box vessels: scaling effects in the container trade’ JAN TIEDEMANN, senior analyst liner shipping and ports, Alphaliner
Presentation; Le Port Tanger Med ’L’accueil dans le port des grands Porte-Conteneurs’ Cdt. KHALID SAMIR, Harbour Master Tanger Med Port Authority
Presentation; pilotage Marseille Fos “Piloter les plus grands navires dans le port en toute sécurité avec deux pilotes et la mise en œuvre du PPU” Capitaine NICOLAS PETIT, Pilot Station de Marseille Fos
Presentation; Bigger container vessels; more P&I claims? ’Replies from; the ship’s side, statistics, lessons learned & port installations’ JEAN-FRANCOIS REBORA, Director France P&I
Presentation; IHMA Congress 2016 ’Theme; Port expansion, challenges and opportunities’ PAUL O’REGAN, IHMA congress papers committee Port of Cork
Presentation; Weather forecasts ’Improving weather and wind forecasts in ports’ PAUL HUTCHINSON Vaisala
Presentation; Weather forecasts Text version; ’Improving weather and wind forecasts in ports’ PAUL HUTCHINSON Vaisala
Presentation; The Mariner’s Handbook ’What is the maximum draught that can fit into the port?’ SUSIE ALDER, Product Manager UK Hydrographic Office
Participants Registrations until 21-5-2015
Full program EHMC seminar, in English The full program of the seminar, 28 May, and the technical visit on 29 May
Programme complète du séminaire EHMC, en Francais Le programme complète du séminaire le 28 mai et de la visite du port et cocktail le 29 mai
The Port of Marseille, in English Presentation brochure Marseille Fos; ’Global Port & Multi-Activities’




"Adapting to changes; ships using LNG as fuel, reporting through a Single Window"

Andreas Mai has hosted a triple E-event in which one day knew the EHMC seminar, a second day was dedicated to the Green Efforts project and a third day to an ESPO MAS meeting. The EHMC Seminar was about;

  • the Harbour Master and ships using LNG as fuel
    For LNG marine fuelling and bunkering there is without doubt a very fast growing interest; studies by class societies even show a parallel in the development of LNG as a fuel with the changeover to oil as a fuel some 100 years ago (see for documents under the heading 'LNG'). One may easily loose the overview these days of all developments, feasibility studies and political demands.
  • The implementation of the EU Reporting Directive in June 2015
    Same applies to the implementation of the reporting directive that can be viewed as a compulsory introduction of electronic communication in the European maritime world.


Download includes
LNG Infrastructure Development in European ports Mahinde Abeynaike, Bomin Linde LNG
LNG – marine fuel of the future? Mr. Markku Mylly – EMSA Director
LNG as a fuel for ships, Activities in the ports of Bremen Bjela König, Port Development Bremenports
WPCI LNG Working Group Bjela König, Port Development Bremenports
Simultaneous LNG bunkering and passenger operations Capt. Henrik Cars, Harbour Master Port of Stockholm
LNG–issues to be considered by Harbour Masters Jan Tellkamp - Det Norske Veritas
IT in ports -supporting business processes - since the ‘70s Andreas Mai
Directive on reporting formalities, implementation in Germany Uwe Kraft, deputy harbour master Bremen/Bremerhaven
Data collection and reporting esp. for smaller companies Peter Langbein, BSMD
EHMC Seminar program Please find here the full program for the EHMC seminar on 17 April 2013.
Participants EHMC Seminar The participants that registered for the EHMC seminar on 17 April so far.
EHMC seminar and Bremen events April 2013 Flyer with all information about the events, venues, hotel and travel. Digital version.



London, UK

"The Safe Port; information and education"

When and how can Harbour Masters consult the SafeSeaNet system? 

UK Certificate of Competency for Harbour Masters 

Bachelor and Master degree for ex-seafarers aiming at a higher university degree 

EHMC and the ESPO Maritime Affairs & Security Committee 

European Nautical Platform 

EHMC film on Safe Mooring “the Missing Link, improving the mooring process" 

IHMA Nautical Port Information Project 

How do we improve IHMA's professional standing, members' involvement and members' benefits 

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Download the IHMA Constitution

The IHMA constitution sets out the establishment of a region of the IHMA, the committee role and authority, its formation and management.

Latest News & Events

Governor of Victoria Export Award OMC’s real-time e-Nav DUKC® technology wins a Governor of Victoria Export Award

Winning a prestigious 2018 Governor of Victoria Export Award further… FIND OUT MORE


The Port of Aden witnessed steady growth during the first half of this year, 2018, compared to the same period last year, and the handling rate is said to be the largest over the past ten years


Latest News & Events

Winning a prestigious 2018 Governor of Victoria Export Award further cements OMC International’s reputation as an industry leader in under-keel clearance (UKC) management, Executive Director Dr Terry O’Brien AM said in a commuiqué issued on 17 September.

Dr O’Brien received the Business Services Award trophy from the Governor of the State of Victoria, Australia, the Hon Linda Dessau, at a reception at Government House on the night of 14  September.

The Port of Aden witnessed steady growth during the first half of this year, 2018, compared to the same period last year, and the handling rate is said to be the largest over the past ten years