International Maritime Organization (IMO)


IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships. The overall objectives are summed up in the IMO slogan: safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans.

Because of the international nature of the shipping industry, it has long been recognized that action to improve safety in maritime operations is more effective if carried out at the international level rather than by individual countries acting unilaterally and without co-ordination.

It was against this background that a conference held by the United Nations in 1948 adopted a convention
establishing the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as the first-ever international body devoted exclusively to maritime matters. 

The Organization consists of an Assembly, a Council and five main Committees: the Maritime Safety Committee; the Marine Environment Protection Committee; the Legal Committee; the Technical Co-operation Committee and the Facilitation Committee and a number of Sub-Committees support the work of the main technical committees.

The IMO Assembly, which meets once every two years, adopts the Strategic Plan (covering a six-year period) and High-level Action Plan (covering the next biennium) for the Organization.

The Strategic Plan contains key strategic directions enabling IMO to achieve its mission objectives.

The High-level Action Plan has been developed to enable the Organization to effectively address those strategic directions by identifying high-level actions that are necessary for the achievement of IMO's objectives and the priorities over a biennium resulting from those identified actions, thereby providing the linkage between the Organization's strategy, the work of the various IMO organs and the biennial budget.



International / Intergovernmental Organisation