A Review of the International Maritime Organization

What is the International Maritime Organization (IMO)?

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a specific organization of the United Nations which is answerable for measures to enhance the safety and security of worldwide shipping and to avoid marine contamination from ships. It is additionally included in lawful matters, as well as liability and compensation issues and the facilitation of international marine traffic.

The IMO was established by method of a Convention adopted under the support of the United Nations in Geneva on the 17 March 1948 and it met for the first time in January 1959. It presently has 170 Member States. IMO’s governing body is the Assembly which is made up of each of the 170 Member States and it meets typically once at regular intervals of two years. It adopts the budget for the following biennium together with specialized resolutions and suggestions prepared from subsidiary forms from throughout the past two years. The Council acts as an administering form in between Assembly sessions and it prepares the budget and work program for the Assembly. The principle technical work is done by the Maritime Safety, Marine Environment Protection, and Legal, Technical Co-operation and Facilitation Committees and various sub-advisory groups.

The IMO trademark aggregates up its targets: Safe, secure and effective shipping on clean oceans.

History of IMO

Marine has dependably been one of the world’s generally risky occupations.  The unusualness of the climate and the tremendous force of the ocean itself appeared to be great to the point that for quite some time it was accepted that little could be done to make shipping more secure.

Due to major disasters, there was a need to internationalize the law. This was done by harmonizing local regulations of the main sea countries by using agreements, understandings and bilateral treaties. A few associations worked for a period and afterward vanished and at last, inter-governmental organizations assumed control so as to promote the approval of international instruments to administer the well-being of the ocean and the counteractive action of contamination from boats.


In 1948, a Conference gathered in Geneva by the United Nations ended on the 6th of March with the fruitful selection of the Convention on the IMCO or the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization. In May 1982, this Organization then transformed its name to the International Maritime Organization or IMO.

The IMO was conceived into a world that was weary from war and in which the old colonial forces still held influence in ter​ms of worldwide flourishing and exchange. As a result, these were likewise major powers in shipping and, as the heading oceanic countries; they had a tendency to make their own particular benchmarks as to vessel development, security, manning etc.

But, in 1948, another sprit of global unity was circulating everywhere and the first glimpse of a new world order not too far off joined together to make various far-located countries draw up the outline for a global association that might improve measures for shipping – for selection and universal execution all through the entire industry.

Need of IMO

Since shipping is a global industry, the IMO became a necessity. Assuming that every country advanced its own particular safety legislation, the effect might be a maze of differing, regularly clashing national laws. One country, for instance, may demand lifeboats be made of steel and an alternate of glass-fortified plastic. A few countries may demand extremely high safety measures while others could be more careless, going about as safe houses for sub-standard shipping. Based on this, the IMO was needed to regulate the shipping industry on an international level.


What does IMO do?

Maritime Security

Maritime security is presently an essential part of IMO’s obligations. A far reaching security administration for universal transporting entered into force on 1 July 2004.

The obligatory efforts to establish safety, received in December 2002, include various amendments to the 1974 Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), the most far reaching of which honors the new International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), which holds detailed security-related requirements for Governments, port authorities and shipping organizations.


In 1954, a treaty was adopted managing oil contamination from ships. IMO assumed control as the authority regarding this settlement in 1959; however it was not until 1967, when the tanker Torrey Canyon ran ashore off the coastline of the United Kingdom and spilled more than 120,000 tons of oil into the ocean, that the shipping world acknowledged exactly how genuine the contamination risk was. Until then numerous individuals had accepted that the oceans were huge enough to adapt to any contamination brought on by human movement.

Since then IMO has adopted an entire series of conventions to blanket avoidance of marine contamination by ships, preparedness and response to occurrences including oil, hazardous and poisonous substances, prevention of utilization of harmful anti-fouling systems and the universal meeting on ballast water management to avert the spread of destructive oceanic life forms in ballast water.


IMO is vigorously occupied with the combat to ensure and safeguard our surroundings – both marine and atmospheric – and is energetically pursuing after the limitation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping operations. The Marine Environment Protection Committee has developed energy efficiency measures, both for existing and new ships, to enable a thorough bundle of technical and operational measures to be agreed on.


Any act of robbery and piracy can have an affect on human life, the safety of navigation and the environment. Piracy is a criminal act, which affects the victimized people as well as has extreme monetary repercussions.

The three territories are of concern to IMO, especially important to the scenario off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. To overcome the problem of piracy, the IMO has designed and implemented the Djibouti Code of Conduct.

IMO has likewise updated the direction on measures to take in order to discourage piracy to include an area particular direction which is dependent upon industry best management practices.

What is IMO doing now?

When IMO first started operating, its chief concern was to advance universal settlements and other legislations concerning the well-being and marine contamination with counter-active action.

By the late 1970’s, however, this work had been to a great extent finished, and various vital instruments were adopted in later years. IMO is currently focusing on keeping legislation up to date and on guaranteeing that it is approved by many countries. This has been successful to the point that numerous Conventions now apply to more than 98% of world merchant shipping tonnage.

At present, the emphasis is trying to ensure that these conventions and other treaties are properly executed by the nations that have acknowledged them. The text of conventions, codes and different instruments adopted by IMO may be acquired from IMO Publications.

Has shipping improved because of IMO?

In spite of the fact that we can say yes to this with some confidence, it is challenging to compare shipping today and that of thirty or forty years back due to the incredible progressions that have occurred in the industry throughout this period. In the 1950’s, shipping was ruled by a handful of traditional oceanic nations. They assembled the boats, operated them, manned them – and provided the goods that were carried on them.

Today generally ships fly the banners of advancing nations, their groups originate from everywhere throughout the planet. Questions have been communicated about the capability of some of these nations to maintain and operate ships to the exclusive expectations set out in IMO regulations. Ships themselves have modified drastically in size, speed and outline and what’s more, monetary elements imply that the normal ability of boats today is much higher than it used to be. Regardless of these progressions, security models as far and wide as possible are for the most part exceptional and have enhanced respectably since the late 1970’s, when IMO arrangements started to enter into force and the amount of acceptance rose to record levels.