International Federation of Shipmasters' Associations
The International Federation of Shipmasters' Associations (IFSMA), is the international professional organisation that unites and represents the world's serving Shipmasters.

The IFSMA is primarily concerned with representing the interests of the serving Shipmasters in bodies such as The International Maritime Organization (IMO), The International Labour Organization (ILO) and other relevant international and national organisations.

The IFSMA exists to uphold international standards of professional competence for seafarers and is a federation with a policy to ensure safe operational practices, to prevent human injury, protect the marine environment and ensure the safety of life and property at sea.

The IFSMA headquarters are located in London, United Kingdom.


In 1974 IFSMA was formed by eight National Shipmasters' Associations with the aim to unite the world's serving Shipmasters into a single non-profit making international professional organisation.

IFSMA was granted consultative status
Consultative Status
Consultative Status is a phrase whose use can be traced to the founding of the United Nations and is used within the UN community to refer to "Non-governmental organizations in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council." Also some international organizations could...

 at the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 (UN) International Maritime Organization
International Maritime Organization
The International Maritime Organization , formerly known as the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization , was established in Geneva in 1948, and came into force ten years later, meeting for the first time in 1959...

 (IMO) in 1975, only one year after IFSMA was inaugurated. This consultative status as a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) enables IFSMA to represent the views and protect the interests of the serving Shipmasters unfettered and unfiltered either by national governments or by shipping companies.

In February 1993 IFSMA was placed on the International Labour Organization
International Labour Organization
The International Labour Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that deals with labour issues pertaining to international labour standards. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. Its secretariat — the people who are employed by it throughout the world — is known as the...

’s (ILO) special list of Non-Governmental International Organisations.

In the beginning of 2011 IFSMA started the MasterMarinerBenefitProgram™ a specialized benefit program for all Shipmasters, who are either a member of one of the IFSMA Member Associations or an IFSMA Individual Member.

In 2011 over 16,000 Shipmasters from more than 65 different countries are affiliated to IFSMA, either through their National Associations or as Individual Members.

IFSMA Founding Associations

  • Association Nationale des Officiers et Marine du Commerce, Le Maillon, Paris, France
  • Collegio Nazionale Patentati Capitani L.C.e.D.M., Genova, Italy
  • Irish Institute of Master Mariners, Dublin, Ireland
  • Koninklijk Belgisch Zeemannscollege Vereniging voor Zeeofficieren, Antwerp, Belgium
  • Nederlands Vereniging van Kapitans ter Koopverdij, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Norges Skibsforerforbund, Oslo, Norway
  • Society of Master Mariners (South Africa), Cape Town, South Africa
  • Verband Deutscher Kapitäne und Schiffsoffiziere, Hamburg, Germany

IFSMA Presidents

President Time in Office Country of Origin
Captain ... 1974 - 19.. Example
Captain ... 19.. - 19.. Example
Captain Hiroshi Kawashima 1994 - 1998  Japan
Captain Christer Lindvall 1998 -  Sweden


MasterMarinerProtect forms part of the recently introduced IFSMA MasterMarinerBenefitProgram™ and is a special defence and legal cost program tailor-made for masters of ocean-going vessels. Initiated by IFSMA and Zeller Associates Management Services (ZAM) MasterMarinerProtect is only available for members of one of the IFSMA National Member Associations or for IFSMA Individual Members.

Operated by experienced captains and lawyers understanding the Shipmasters language as well as the business Shipmasters are in,
will protect with its specialized criminal and maritime lawyers the Shipmasters interests right from the first moment.

MasterMarinerProtect is fully backed by the well known and leading international marine insurance
Marine insurance
Marine insurance covers the loss or damage of ships, cargo, terminals, and any transport or cargo by which property is transferred, acquired, or held between the points of origin and final destination....

 market Lloyd‘s of London
Lloyd's of London
Lloyd's, also known as Lloyd's of London, is a British insurance and reinsurance market. It serves as a partially mutualised marketplace where multiple financial backers, underwriters, or members, whether individuals or corporations, come together to pool and spread risk...


provides for:
  • Full coverage for defence and legal costs in criminal and civil proceedings up to EUR 1.000.000 or its equivalent
  • Bails / Securities
  • Wage continuation in the case of detention
    Detention (imprisonment)
    Detention is the process when a state, government or citizen lawfully holds a person by removing their freedom of liberty at that time. This can be due to criminal charges being raised against the individual as part of a prosecution or to protect a person or property...

     while awaiting trial
    A trial is, in the most general sense, a test, usually a test to see whether something does or does not meet a given standard.It may refer to:*Trial , the presentation of information in a formal setting, usually a court...

     for up to 12 months and a maximum of EUR 150,000 a year
  • Employment disputes up to costs of EUR 20,000

IFSMA Member Associations

Country Association Acronym Joint
 Argentina Centro de Capitanes de Ultramar y Oficiales de la Marina Mercante CCUMM 1980
 Australia Company of Master Mariners of Australia CMMA 2009
 Belgium Koninklijk Belgisch Zeemanscollege KBZ 1974
 Brazil Sindicato Nacional dos Oficiais da Marinha Mercante SINDMAR 2008
 Kingdom of Bulgaria Bulgarian Shipmasters' Association BUSMA 1994
 Canada Company of Master Mariners of Canada CMMC 2007
 Chile Capitanes de Alta Mar de la Marina Mercante Nacional NAUTILUS 2006
 Denmark Danish Maritime Officers DMO 1984
 Faroe Islands Føroya Skipara- og Navigatørfelag FSN 2008
 Finland Finish Ships Officers Union FSOU 1996
 Early Modern France Association des Capitaines et Officiers de la Marine Marchande ACOMM 1975
 Early Modern France Association Francaise des Capitaines de Navires AFCAN 1979
 Germany Verband Deutscher Kapitäne und Schiffsoffiziere VDKS 1974
 Hong Kong Anglo Eastern Ship Management AESM 1999
 India Company of MasterMariners of India CMMI 2008
 Republic of Ireland Irish Institute of Master Mariners IIMM 1974
 Japan Japan Captains Association JCA 2008
 Latvia Latvian Shipmasters' Association LSMA 2004
 Netherlands Nautilus International NAUTILUS NL 2006
 Netherlands Nederlandse Vereniging van Kapiteins ter Koopvaardij NVKK 1974
 New Zealand Global Maritime Education & Training Association GlobalMET 2006
 Nigeria Nigerian Association of Master Mariners NAMM 2009
 Norway Norwegian Maritime Officers Association NMOA 1974
 Pakistan Master Mariners Society of Pakistan MMSP 2010
 Philippines Associated Marine Officers' and Seamen's Union of the Philippines AMOSUP 2006
 Philippines Society of Filipino Ship Captains FILSCAPTS 2010
 Russia Far Eastern Shipmasters' Association FESMA 1990
 Russia Murmansk Shipmasters' Association MSMA 1989
 South Africa Society of Master Mariners South Africa SMMSA 1974
 Spain Asociacion Vizcaina de Capitanes de la Marina Mercante AVCMM 1976
 Sweden Swedish Ship Officers' Association SSOA 1985
 Ukraine Azov Shipmasters' Association ASMA 2009
 Ukraine Odessa Shipmasters' Association OSMA 1989
 United Kingdom Nautilus International NAUTILUS UK 2006
 United States Council of American Master Mariners CAMM 1992

IFSMA Honorary Members

Name Country of Origin Position Elected
Dr. Chandrika Prasad Srivastava
Chandrika Prasad Srivastava
Chandrika Prasad Srivastava is a retired Indian civil servant and international administrator and diplomat.-Biography:C.P. Srivastava was born on 8 July 1920 and was educated in Lucknow, India...

 India Secretary-General Emeritus, International Maritime Organization 1985
Captain Nic W. C. Rutherford  United Kingdom 1992
Captain Anna I. Schetinina
Anna Shchetinina
Anna Ivanovna Shchetinina was a Soviet merchant marine sailor, said to be the world's first woman to serve as a captain of an ocean-going vessel....

 Russia World's first female Shipmaster in the Merchant Navy 1998 1999
Mr. William A. O'Neil  Canada Secretary-General Emeritus, International Maritime Organization 1993
Captain Henrik Sem  United Kingdom 1993 2008
Captain Gerhard Goldberg  Germany Past President, IFSMA 1995 2007
Captain Genji Yoshinaga  Japan 1997
Captain Hiroshi Kawashima  Japan Past President, IFSMA 1998
Captain Roger Clipsham  United Kingdom Secretary General (retired), IFSMA 2002
Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos   Greece Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization 2004
Mr. C. Julian Parker, OBE   United Kingdom Secretary (retired), The Nautical Institute
Nautical Institute
The Nautical Institute is an international professional organization for maritime professionals, based in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1971 and has the status of a company limited by guarantee and is registered with the Charity Commission. It has over 7,000 members in over 110...

Mr. Michael Grey  United Kingdom Editor (retired), Lloyd's List
Lloyd's List
Lloyd's List is one of the world's oldest continuously-running journals, having provided weekly shipping news in London as early as 1734. Now published daily, a recent issue was numbered 59,200...


International Federation of Shipmasters' Associations

IFSMA Member Associations

Other Relevant Organisations

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