Benefits of Membership


Being a member of Interferry supports the ferry industry as a whole.

Interferry is the only international shipping association representing the worldwide ferry industry. With over 200 members from 35 countries, it acts as the voice for all aspects of the ferry sector including owners, operators, ship designers, shipbuilders, equipment suppliers and manufacturers, government agencies, classification societies and maritime professionals.

Since its creation in 1976, one of Interferry’s primary functions has been to facilitate networking and cooperation within the ferry industry. This has been achieved mainly by means of the annual conference which has been held in venues around the world for over 40 years. On average approximately 75% of the delegates are members but the event is also open to non-members as a way to encourage growth in the association.

There are a lot of shipping conferences on the calendar every year but few with the friendly atmosphere of the Interferry event. The fact that it is an association means that friends from around the world have an opportunity to get together every year. This is highlighted by the number of spouses who attend for the social events. It is important not to lose sight of the fact that business is the primary reason for attending conferences, and the networking atmosphere of the Interferry conference facilitates that goal. It is enhanced by the fact that a large percentage of delegates are senior executives in their companies which means that the decision makers are present.

Members also have access to the membership list so they can make direct contact with individual members. In the private member directory on our website, you can search by country, business type, etc. There is also regular communication between Interferry staff and members. The Interferry News is a service which sends a single industry story to members via email as often as three or four times per week. Because these stories are edited down to the essential elements and are specifically targeted to those in the ferry industry, they provide a very efficient means for staying up to date on the latest happenings in the industry. Other communications with members provide more in depth coverage of issues that Interferry is actively involved in. These include news releases, newsletters and reports on specific issues.

Besides networking and communications, the other pillar of Interferry’s role is regulatory affairs. In 2003 Interferry obtained Consultative Status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).  This is the designation given to a select group of NGO’s which provides the opportunity to participate in the debates at IMO regarding the development of international shipping regulations. To a growing extent these international rules are also being used as the basis for domestic shipping regulations in many countries.

In 2012 Interferry took a quantum leap in its ability to influence the regulatory debate by opening an office in Brussels.  Our Director of Regulatory Affairs, in addition to coordinating our efforts at IMO, also represents the association at the European Union which has been playing a bigger in shipping regulations. We have also established the Operators Policy Committee which has the responsibility for overseeing the association’s regulatory activities. Interferry members in the membership categories of Operators Levels 1, 2 and 3 have an automatic seat on this committee. There is also an Operators Working Group which provides technical advice on regulatory matters.  Any Interferry member may nominate a person for membership in this group.

In order to avoid a duplication of effort with other shipping associations Interferry has established close working relationships with the US Passenger Vessel Association, the Canadian Ferry Operation Association, BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping and the European Community Shipowners Association.



  • Being a part of the only international shipping association representing the worldwide ferry industry with over 200 members from 35 countries.
  • Access to networking opportunities with over 600 individuals in the ferry industry.
  • Regular and frequent updates on issues of importance to the ferry industry.
  • Direct access to the regulatory and policy decision-making process at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the European Union.
  • Operators in Levels 1 – 3 automatically have a seat on the Operators Policy Committee, which has the responsibility of supervising the regulatory and policy work of the association. Any operator may upgrade their membership level if they wish to take advantage of this opportunity.
  • Discount on Annual Conference registration.