Embassy of Ukraine to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Kyiv 18:27

About International Maritime Organisation

International Maritime Organisation (ІМО) is an inter-governmental organization and UN specialized agency.

It was created by adopting in 1948, in Geneva, Switzerland, of the Convention on the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization. The current name of the Organization was introduced by adopting amendments to the Convention in 1977.

IMO currently has 174 Member States and three Associate Members.

IMO is the principal international organization which regulates international merchant shipping in technical sphere, matters, related to safety of life at sea, protection of the marine and atmospheric environment from pollution sourced by ships, setting up compensation regimes and responsibility for losses incurred to third parties by pollution from ships.

 The headquaters of the Organisation is in London.

The IMO slogan sums up its objectives: Safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans.


Main bodies of IMO are Assembly, Council and Committees


Maritime Safety Committee (MSC)

Maritime Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)

Legal Committee (LEG)

Facilitation Committee (FAL)


Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC)

Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW)

Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III)

Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR)

Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR)

Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC)

Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE)

The tasks of the IMO

  1. To provide machinery for co-operation among Governments in the field of governmental regulation and practices relating to technical matters of all kinds affecting shipping engaged in international trade;
  2. To encourage and facilitate the general adoption of the highest practicable standards in matters concerning the maritime safety, efficiency of navigation and prevention and control of marine pollution from ships; and to deal with administrative and legal matters related to the international shipping;
  3. Facilitate technical co-operation programs in the spheres of international merchant shipping and preventing of maritime pollution.

Fighting piracy

In the context of modern challenges it is important to note the role of the IMO in fighting piracy. IMO is the principal UN specialized agency which deals with combating piracy and armed robbery of ships. However, IMO's role in fighting piracy and armed robbery has its limitations. According to the purposes of the Organization, as defined by the Article 1 of the IMO Convention, the problems of piracy are only examined in the context of adopting rules and regulations which are related to maritime security. More detailed information on the IMO's response to the issue of piracy.

There are several instruments adopted at the IMO which initiated separate international organizations in the spheres of regulation closely related to the international shipping. Such organizations are:

  • International Mobile Satellite Organization, IMSO (Ukraine has been a Member since 1979)
  • International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds, IOPC Funds (Ukraine has been granted an observer status since 2008).
  • Besides the organizations mentioned above, the Secretariat of the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention) is located at the IMO Headquarters. Ukraine is a Party to this Convention since 1976.