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International Maritime Organization . International Maritime Organization. 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.

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what is imo

International Maritime Organization

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 (Formerly known as IMCO) 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
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
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.
currently imo has adopted 55 conventions protocols including
Currently IMO Has Adopted 55 Conventions & Protocols, Including:
  • Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
  • Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS)
  • Loadlines
  • Standards of Training, Certification, & Watchstanding (STCW)
  • Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)

– 6 Annexes

  • Tonnage Measurement
  • Safety of Fishing Vessels
  • Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response, & Coordination
imo has developed 25 codes including
IMO Has Developed 25 Codes, Including:
  • Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS)
  • Standards for Training and Watchkeeping
  • Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG)
  • Solid Bulk Cargoes
  • Safety Management (ISM)
  • High Speed Craft
  • Construction and Equipment of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units
  • Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemical in Bulk
imo has developed more than 700 recommendations guidelines including
IMO Has Developed More Than 700 Recommendations & Guidelines,Including:
  • Securing Arrangements for the Transport of Road Vehicles on Ro-Ro Ships
  • Packing Cargo in Freight Containers
  • Intact Stability for Passenger & Cargo Ships under 100 meters in length
  • Safe Access to and Working in Large Tanks & Large Cargo Holds
  • Emergency Towing Requirements – Tankers
  • Provisions and Display of Maneuvering Information on Board Ships
  • Safe Use of Pesticides in Ships
  • Medical First Aid Guide for Use in Accidents involving Dangerous Goods
imo facts
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

structure of imo
Structure of IMO


imo process
IMO Process

Proposal by






Approval by Assembly or other Action as Appropriate



Working Group

major issues on imo s agenda
Major Issues on IMO’s Agenda
  • Maritime Security
  • Role of the Human Element
  • Goal-based new ship construction standards
  • Member State Assessment
  • Ballast Water Management
  • Air Pollution from Ships
  • Recycling of Ships
new approachs emerging at imo
New Approachs emerging at IMO?
  • Proactive vs. Reactive

Goal Based Standards

Maritime Security

  • Performance Based vs. Prescriptive

Ballast Water Management

delegations to imo meetings
Delegations to IMO Meetings
  • Delegations consist of Government and/or Industry/Public Sector Advisors
  • Decisions on who goes are made by the Head of the Delegation to each meeting
  • Decisions are based upon specific issues to be discussed at each session
  • Individuals are recommended based on a specific area of expertise or on organizational representation
  • Expenses to attend IMO meetings are normally covered by the individual
imo demographics have changed
IMO Demographics have changed
  • Break up of USSR
  • Establishment of “Bloc” groups

European Union


  • Developing nations wanting a bigger say
  • Change in world’s fleet
world s gross tonnage top ten 1982




United Kingdom



United States



World’s Gross TonnageTop Ten – 1982
world s gross tonnage top ten 2007



United Kingdom

Marshall Islands






World’s Gross TonnageTop Ten – 2007
intertanko s role
  • As an NGO, we have NO vote in decisions,

HOWEVER, we represent tanker industry by –

- Submitting proposals with cosponsorship

- Submitting comments on proposals

- Providing verbal comments at meetings

- Participating in correspondence groups working groups and drafting groups

- Lobbying for support on issues

- Demonstrating proactive role in improving safety, security and protection of the marine environment



Joe Angelo

Deputy Managing Director