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IMO The International Maritime Organization - Conventions & Regulations

International Maritime Organization - Conventions and Regulations by IMO for the Maritime Industry

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Established in 1948 and headquartered in London, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) was created by a convention adopted at the UN Maritime Conference. The convention came into force on March 17, 1958. IMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is tasked with improving the Security and safety of international shipping and to prevent marine pollution from ships.

The IMO is not responsible for enforcing their policies and, when a government accepts an IMO policy, it becomes a national law which is their responsibility to enforce. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry universally adopted and implemented. The IMO’s governing body - the Assembly - meets every two years with the first meeting in 1959 and is financially administered by a council of members elected from the assembly.  

It deals with legal matters connected with international shipping, including liability and compensation regimes, as well as with facilitation of international maritime traffic. The IMO has more than 170 members and is headed by a secretary-general, who serves a four-year term and oversees a Secretariat staff of approximately 300. The work of IMO is conducted through five committees and these are supported by technical subcommittees.

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IMO Conventions & Regulations

IMO Conventions and Codes

  • STCW Convention: International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 as amended promotes safety of life and property at sea and the protection of the marine environment by establishing in common agreement international standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers.
  • STCW Guide for Seafarers: A complete guide to STCW for seafarers, education and training establishments, and other stake holders
  • STCW Code: The STCW Code section contains mandatory provisions to which specific reference is made in the annex to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW Convention).
  • STCW-F Fishing: IMO International STCW-F Convention & Code with mandatory minimum requirements for fishing vessel personnel certification
  • SOLAS Convention: The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974 (as amended) is an international maritime treaty. The main objective of the SOLAS Convention is to specify minimum standards for the construction, equipment and operation of ships, compatible with their safety.
  • ISPS Code: International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) General and Mandatory Requirements for Seafarers, Ships, Ports and Contracting Governments
  • ISM Code: International Safety Management Code (ISM Code) is the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and Pollution Prevention, as adopted by the IMO assembly. Adopted in November 1993, the ISM Code came into force in July 1998.
  • MARPOL Convention: The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL Convention) is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.

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