Introduction of IMO

IMO, Most Popular

What is IMO?

  • The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations (U.N.) concerned with Maritime Affairs located in London, England.
  • IMO was established under a 1948 United Nations convention that entered into force on 17 March 1958.
  • IMO currently has 168 member states, 2 associate members, 51 Inter-Governmental Organizations which have concluded agreements of cooperation, and 66 Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Status with IMO.


Why is there a Need for IMO?

  • Shipping is International
  • Underpins world trade
  • Assets move between jurisdictions
  • Need for universally applied standards


 What Does IMO Do?

  • IMO’s main objective is to facilitate cooperation among  governments on technical and legal matters affecting international shipping to achieve the highest level of international standards for maritime safety, maritime security and protection of the marine environment.
  • This is accomplished through the development of international conventions, codes, and recommendations.

IMO Has Developed More Than 700 Recommendations & Guidelines,Including

1.Securing Arrangements for the Transport of Road Vehicles on    Ro-Ro Ships

2.Packing Cargo in Freight Containers

3.Intact Stability for Passenger & Cargo Ships under 100 meters in length

4.Safe Access to and Working in Large Tanks & Large Cargo Holds

5.Emergency Towing Requirements – Tankers

6.Provisions and Display of Maneuvering Information on Board Ships

7.Safe Use of Pesticides in Ships

8.Medical First Aid Guide for Use in Accidents involving Dangerous Goods

IMO Facts

  • Annual Budget – 24+ Million GBP
  • Member States fund IMO budget through assessments based largely on size of fleet (% of world’s gross tonnage)
  • Secretariat –
  •   320 Staff Members
  •   50 Nationalities

IMO Secretariat

Structure of IMO




Major Issues on IMO’s Agenda

1.Maritime Security

2.Role of the Human Element

3.Goal-based new ship construction standards

4.Member State Assessment

5.Ballast Water Management

6.Air Pollution from Ships

7.Recycling of Ships

New Approachs emerging at IMO?

  • Proactive vs. Reactive
  •  Goal Based Standards
  •  Maritime Security
  • Performance Based vs. Prescriptive
  • Ballast Water Management

  Delegations to IMO Meetings

1.Delegations consist of Government and/or Industry/Public Sector Advisors

2.Decisions on who goes are made by the Head of the Delegation to each meeting

3.Decisions are based upon specific issues to be discussed at each session

4.Individuals are recommended based on a specific area of expertise or on organizational representation

5.Expenses to attend IMO meetings are normally covered by the individual

IMO Demographics have changed

  • Break up of USSR
  • Developing nations wanting a bigger say
  • Change in world’s fleet

World’s Gross Tonnage Top Ten – 1982





5.United Kingdom



8.United States



World’s Gross Tonnage Top Ten – 2007




4.United Kingdom

5.Marshall Islands







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