Home » » The International Maritime Organization

The International Maritime Organization

The International Maritime Organization

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) was established by United Nations Convention in 1948. The Convention actually entered into force in 1959, although an international convention on marine pollution was adopted in 1954. (Until 1982 the official name of the organization was the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization.) It is the only permanent body of the U. N. devoted to maritime matters, and the only special U. N. agency to have its headquarters in the UK.

The governing body of the IMO is the Assembly of 137 member states, which meets every two years. Between Assembly sessions a Council, consisting of 32 member governments elected by the Assembly, governs the organization.

Its work is carried out by the Maritime Safety Committee, with subcommittees for:
• Safety of Navigation
• Radiocommunications
• Life-saving
• Search and Rescue
• Training and Watchkeeping
• Carriage of Dangerous Goods
• Ship Design and Equipment
• Fire Protection
• Stability and Load Lines/Fishing Vessel Safety
• Containers and Cargoes
• Bulk Chemicals
• Marine Environment Protection Committee
• Legal Committee
• Technical Cooperation Committee
• Facilitation Committee

IMO is headed by the Secretary General, appointed by the council and approved by the Assembly. He is assisted by some 300 civil servants.

To achieve its objectives of coordinating international policy on marine matters, the IMO has adopted some 30 conventions and protocols, and adopted over 700 codes and recommendations. An issue to be adopted first is brought before a committee or subcommittee, which submits a draft to a conference. When the conference adopts the final text, it is submitted to member governments for ratification. Ratification by a specified number of countries is necessary for adoption; the more important the issue, the more countries must ratify.

Adopted conventions are binding on member governments.

Codes and recommendations are not binding, but in most cases are supported by domestic legislation by the governments involved.

The first and most far-reaching convention adopted by the IMO was the Convention of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) in 1960. This convention actually came into force in 1965, replacing a version first adopted in 1948.

Because of the difficult process of bringing amendments into force internationally, none of subsequent amendments became binding. To remedy this situation, a new convention was adopted in 1974 and became binding in 1980. Among the regulations is V-20, requiring the carriage of up-to-date charts and publications sufficient for the intended voyage.

Other conventions and amendments were also adopted, such as the International Convention on Load Lines (adopted 1966, came into force 1968), a convention on the tonnage measurement of ships (adopted 1969, came into force 1982), The International Convention on Safe Containers (adopted 1972, came into force 1977), and the convention on International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) (adopted 1972, came into force 1977).

The 1972 COLREGS convention contained, among other provisions, a section devoted to Traffic Separation Schemes, which became binding on member states after having been adopted as recommendations in prior years.

One of the most important conventions is the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78), which was first adopted in 1973, amended by Protocol in 1978, and became binding in 1983. This convention built on a series of prior conventions and agreements dating from 1954, highlighted by several severe pollution disasters involving oil tankers. The MARPOL convention reduces the amount of oil discharged into the sea by ships, and bans discharges completely in certain areas. A related convention known as the London Dumping Convention regulates dumping of hazardous chemicals and other debris into the sea.

The IMO also develops minimum performance standards for a wide range of equipment relevant to safety at sea. Among such standards is one for the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS), the digital display deemed the operational and legal equivalent of the conventional paper chart.

Texts of the various conventions and recommendations, as well as a catalog and publications on other subjects, are available from the Publications Section of the IMO at 4 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7SR, United Kingdom.

Download marine books for free.::MarineNotesclassiv::.
Write to me at marinenotes4u@gmail.com,283928@gmail.com.::MK::.

Facebook:Marine NotesTwitter:ACMWCTRss:ACMWCT
Marine Notes - MMD Exams India and Baiscs
URL: HTML link code: BB (forum) link code:
© Marine Notes - MMD Exams India and Basics (M&K Groups Ltd)


Facebook Marine Notes
Twitter Marine Notes
Rss Marine Notes


Follow by Email