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About IHMA


National Associations

The Finnish Harbour Masters´ Association is thought to be the oldest national association in Europe and perhaps the world. It was established in 1936, followed by the Dutch in 1949, the Belgian in 1971, the French in 1992, the United Kingdom in 1993, and the German and Polish Associations in 1994. Overseas Harbour Master Associations were subsequently founded in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.


International Associations

European Harbour Masters’ Association (EHMA)

In the early 1950s Harbour Masters from major northwest European ports met on an occasional basis to discuss matters of mutual interest and to get to know each other better. After a break in the early 1970s, biennial congresses of the north European Harbour Masters were held in different ports of northwest Europe. Eventually the European Harbour Masters’ Association (EHMA) was created as a non-funded association on the 30th of May 1985, during a Harbour Masters’ congress in Cork, Ireland. A biennial congress and working groups, which dealt with matters of importance to Harbour Masters, were at the heart of the Association. In due course, the Association was recognised as a highly professional and reliable association within the shipping and port community, with its advice sought on many occasions. Close co-operation with other organisations, such as IAPH, IMPA, and IALA followed.

In 1992, during a Congress in Bristol, it was evident that the association had to alter its status from being a non-funded to a funded organisation. A working group was established to examine the possibilities and it soon became apparent that an association that included harbour masters world-wide could bring advantages, both in terms of meeting the Association’s objectives and providing a more assured financial footing. The European association became a funded organisation and steps were taken to assess the possibility of expansion into an international organisation.

During the 5th EHMA Congress at Marseilles in 1994 the EHMA constitution was changed accordingly and an International Harbour Masters’ Association Founding Group was introduced.  The Executive Committee of the EHMA took on the challenge of developing a proposal and constitution that would be accepted by European and Overseas harbour masters.  This was achieved on the 21st of June 1996, when all members of the European Harbour Masters’ Association attending the 6th EHMA Congress in Reykjavik voted unanimously to establish an International Harbour Masters’ Association (IHMA), whilst retaining the European association as an integral part of it. 

In 2006, the EHMA ceased to be a separate entity with its own management team and became the European Harbour Masters’ Committee, a regional grouping within the IHMA.



IHMA Aims & Objectives

The aim of IHMA is to unite those responsible for the safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sound conduct of marine operations in port waters into one professional body to further the objectives of IHMA.

Consistent with its aim, IHMA's Objectives include:

Promote the safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sound conduct of marine operations in port waters;
Develop and foster collaboration and good relations among harbour masters world-wide;
Represent the professional views of harbour masters internationally, regionally and nationally;
Promote the professional standing and
Collect, collate and supply information of professional interest to the membership

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How do we achieve our objectives?

  • The Association strives to bring together all those who hold a managerial position in aspects of  the control of Marine Operations within a port or its approaches, whatever their job title.

  • The Association seeks to develop and foster good relations between its members world-wide through its regular communications and meetings for members, and by representing the professional views of its members.

  • The Association has developed professional contacts with sister organisations within the Marine/Port Industry. We have Memoranda of Understanding with the International Maritime Pilots' Association (IMPA), International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), The Nautical Institute (NI) and the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC).

  • The Association has non-governmental, consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and sends representatives to meetings which impact on the work of the Harbour Master.

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IHMA Executive Committee & Council

Executive Committee


Working groups and projects

IHMA establishes projects and working groups to address specific subject areas with terms of reference approved by ExCo. The EHMC participates in EU sponsored research projects.

Project Officers

Members icon 235 members
Globe icon 50 countries
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Download IHMA Brochure

A biennial brochure and report providing news and information for members is published to coincide with each IHMA Congress and OGM.

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

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EHMC newsletter

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Latest Events

Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria
OceanWise Charting Water Workshop

Brought to you by OceanWise and Brewzone Africa - Join the first Charting Water Workshop entitled “Harnessing Environmental Data for Hydrography" which is running on the 15th - 16th April 2024 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel Lagos, Nigeria.

Bringing hydrography professionals together from all over West Africa, this intimate 2-day workshop will provide you with practical knowledge, guidance and best practice. You will enjoy a mix of presentations, round table discussions and training. Our expert speakers will guide you through the latest developments, technologies and methodologies used in hydrography, helping you understand the importance of accurate marine environmental monitoring data to support marine operations and national infrastructure. We will also have a number of key real-world case studies and local experts in attendance to provide some best practice and recent hands-on experiences.

Full details of the developing programme and registration can be found here on our Eventbrite page

Registration is now open. Spaces are limited so please register now to secure your place.

What will it cover?
This workshop will provide you with practical knowledge, guidance and best practice. You will enjoy a mix of presentations, round table discussions and training. Our expert speakers will guide you through the latest developments, technologies and methodologies used in hydrography, helping you understand the importance of accurate marine environmental monitoring data to support marine operations and national infrastructure.

Who is it for and why should I attend?
This is for professionals with an interest in Hydrography based in, or working in, West Africa.
Ideal for individuals from a variety of industries including Ports, Harbours, Inland Waterways, Oil and Gas, Education, Navy, Maritime Authorities, Research and Development etc etc
It offers a friendly and interactive environment to expand your knowledge, network with fellow professionals and collaborate on real-world case studies.

Gain valuable insights from industry experts, share your experiences, and receive a certification of completion on day two

How do I book?
Visit our Eventbrite page for full details and registration

QE2, Port Rashid, Dubai - Grand Foyer

Harbour Master & Towgae Conference

Hollywood Beach Marriott
Navtech Conference, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Navtech Conference 2023

Attention deep water and ocean towing masters, pilots, fleet management administrators, regulators and navigation operations professionals!

Join us in Fort Lauderdale for the maritime industry’s premier annual navigation forum!

Navtech, 5th and 6th December 2023, Hollywood Beach Marriott, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • Learn about developments in navigational best practices, technology and regulation.

  • Engage with the regulatory and manufacturing sectors about your experiences, and your challenges.

  • Get access to the operations sector that actually uses navigation hardware and software.

Tanger Med Port Centre, Morocco
IHMA Congress 2024

Join us on a marine adventure in Morocco. The 14th International Harbour Master Congress will take place at Tanger Med Port Centre from 21-24 May 2024. This year’s theme is The Marine Adventure – Evolving and Adapting to Change in Today’s Ports. You are welcome to come along for three days of presentations, deliberations and discussions covering every step of the port call process. On the fourth day, you can enjoy a guided tour of the Port of Tranger Med. To learn more, or to register for the event, please visit the IHMA Congress Website.



Tanger Med is the 1st port in Africa and in the Mediterranean.

It’s a global logistics gateway located on the Strait of Gibraltar and connected to more than 180 ports worldwide with handling capacities of: 9 million containers, exports of 1 million new vehicles, transit of 7 million passengers and 700,000 trucks on an annual basis.



In 2023, Tanger Med Port processed 8,617,410 TEUs*, marking a growth of 13.4% compared to 2022. This remarkable achievement, equivalent to 95% of the port's nominal capacity, was accomplished 4 years ahead of targets.

The outstanding performance is attributed to the successful operations of terminals TC1 and TC4, managed by Maersk-APM, and the continuous development of terminal TC3, operated by Tanger Alliance (A joint venture owned by Marsa Maroc with a 50% stake, in partnership with Eurogate holding 40% and Hapag Lloyd holding 10%). Additionally, 2023 witnessed record productivity levels, surpassing monthly peaks of 800,000 TEUs handled.

In 2023, 477,993 trucks were processed, representing a 4.1% increase from 2022. Industrial product traffic saw a significant surge of 14.3% compared to the previous year, offsetting a 7.7% decrease in agribusiness product traffic.

The two vehicle terminals in the port complex handled 578,446 vehicles in 2023, reflecting a 21% increase from 2022. This traffic primarily includes 341,758 vehicles for export, produced by Renault factories in Melloussa and SOMACA in Casablanca, along with 176,208 vehicles exported by the Stellantis plant in Kénitra.

Liquid bulk traffic experienced a 6% growth compared to 2022, a total of 9,838,157 tons of handled hydrocarbons. Simultaneously, solid bulk traffic witnessed a 44% increase from the previous year, totalling 581,042 tons processed.

In 2023, Tanger Med Port Complex welcomed 2,700,747 passengers, marking a 30% growth from 2022. This traffic has returned to pre-COVID-19 crisis levels.

Tanger Med Port Complex handled 122 million tons of goods in 2023, reflecting a 13.6% increase from 2022, with 21% in Import/Export. This recorded global traffic is highest at the Strait of Gibraltar and across the Mediterranean. This traffic also represents more than half of the total tonnage handled by all ports in Morocco.

In 2023, a total of 16,900 ships called at Tanger Med Port Complex, marking a 17% growth from 2022, including 1,113 mega-ships (over 290 meters), representing a 16% increase from the previous year.

These results underscore the relevance of the vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI for this strategic project.
Tanger Med remains firmly focused on the future, ready to face new challenges and strengthen its position as a major logistics hub in Morocco and the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Crown Towers, Perth, Australia

For 25 years AMPI has been recognised as the professional body for developing, setting and leading in the evolution of industry standards, safety management protocols and advising regulatory bodies on matters related to Marine Pilotage.

As a globally recognised organisation and partner of the International Maritime Pilots Association (IMPA), we directly contribute to the work of the International Maritime Organisation. With over 260 active pilot members, we have the experience and know-how to develop widely recognised industry guidelines including initial and continual pilotage training standards. AMPI continues to influence the development of world-leading practice and in doing so brings a higher level of safety to the ports and regions where our members operate.

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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

Captain Thulani Dubeko AHMC President AHMC announces new Executive Committee

During the IHMA 14th International Congress in Morocco, the African Harbour Masters Committee (AHMC) held elections for its Executive Committee. FIND OUT MORE

IHMA Congress Award Winners 2024 IHMA announces 2024 Congress award winners

18 June 2024

The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) is pleased to announce this year’s award winners,… FIND OUT MORE

Latest News & Events

During the IHMA 14th International Congress in Morocco, the African Harbour Masters Committee (AHMC) held elections for its Executive Committee.

18 June 2024

The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) is pleased to announce this year’s award winners, celebrated at the 14th IHMA Congress in May.

The key theme of the 2024 event was The Marine Adventure – Evolving and adapting to change in today’s ports. Tanger Med Port Authority hosted the congress at the Tanger Med Port Center.