Maritime Transport Policy


Maritime transport is an essential component of any programme for sustainable development because the world relies on a safe, secure and efficient international shipping industry. 

Within this context, IMO provides its Member States with assistance in formulating and developing national maritime transport policies (NMTPs), thus strengthening maritime capacities and helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. NMTPs are also complementary to the concept of the blue economy which is closely associated with sustainable development.

What is an NMTP?

An NMTP is a statement of principles and objectives to guide decisions in the maritime transport sector with a view to achieving the maritime vision of a country and ensuring that the sector is governed in an efficient, sustainable, safe and environmentally sound manner.

Why an NMTP?

A well-structured and implemented NMTP can give a country the tools it needs to become an effective participant in the maritime sector and to harness the full potential of the blue economy. 

Training package and activities

To assist developing countries in formulating and enhancing their NMTPs, the Secretariat, in close cooperation with the World Maritime University (WMU), has developed a training package and material on preparing, adopting and updating NMTPs.

The training package consists of a three-day workshop for personnel involved in preparing NMTPs and a one-day seminar for senior transport officials involved in reviewing and adopting NMTPs. The objectives of the training package are twofold:

- to provide all participants with a standard of knowledge and skills to enable them to understand the major elements of a maritime transport policy and its foundations, and 

- to ensure proper understanding of the obligations of States and the implications of those obligations when formulating maritime policy and legislation, on the basis of international maritime treaties. 

The package, which has a broad global dimension and is not country specific, explores and encourages discussion on the priorities and challenges in formulating and developing maritime transport policy at national level and discusses the information base and readiness essential to develop and implement such a policy while also focusing on meeting global and regional standards.

A number of pilot training events, consisting of regional and national workshops and seminars, aimed at assessing the delivery and material of the training and its impact on the beneficiaries, have been delivered in different regions of the world since the last quarter of 2015.  Since then, the training package material has been finalized and translated into French and Spanish to enable delivery of the training in other languages to interested Member States.

As of December 2020, the training package material is being reviewed to take into account new developments in the maritime field, the experience acquired and the lessons learnt from the workshops and seminars delivered since 2015.  The objective of the review, which is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2021, is to provide an updated maritime transport policy package that will contribute to a more targeted delivery of NMTP activities, and therefore better assist beneficiaries and recipient countries.

Further information

Any requests for technical assistance with NMTPs should be addressed to the Director, Technical Cooperation Division at


For the long version of the video, click here.