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  • Writer's pictureShaun Robertson

Do You Know 8 Objectives Of The IMO?

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

The International Maritime Organisation, or IMO, is an organisation familiar to those within the maritime industry, created in 1948 during the UN Maritime Conference.


In 1958, ten years after the original signing of the convention is when it came into force.


The IMO then met for the first time the year after in 1959. Article I(A) of the convention states that the purpose of the IMO is to:


"Provide machinery for cooperation among Governments in the field of governmental regulation and practices relating to technical matters of all kinds affecting shipping engaged in international trade; to encourage and facilitate the general adoption of the highest practicable standards in matters concerning maritime safety, the efficiency of navigation and prevention and control of marine pollution from ships".


"In 1948, the International Maritime Organisation was created via a convention during the UN Maritime Conference".

The IMO has been vital for establishing conventions that impose standards and rules for various aspects of shipping and maritime activity worldwide. For example, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was vital for establishing definitions of maritime matters such as piracy, robbery at sea, warships, and artificial islands.





"general adoption of the highest practicable standards in matters concerning maritime safety, efficiency of navigation and prevention and control of marine pollution from ships".

It also set boundaries for Exclusive Economic Zones and free passage for shipping lanes which has moulded countries' relationships with their territorial waters. Other conventions, such as the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), have been instrumental in outlining the standards of security and safety of ships and ports worldwide.



Today, the IMO is involved with security issues such as climate change, migration, stowaways, piracy, cyber-security, drug smuggling and counter-terrorism.


There is a current six-year plan that the IMO follows, which is due to end in 2023.



The organisation measures its performance through indicators. The strategic objectives are laid out as follows:


1: Improve implementation

2: Integrate new and advancing technologies in the regulatory framework

3: Respond to climate change

4: Engage in ocean governance

5: Enhance global facilitation and security of international trade

6: Address the human element

7: Ensure regulatory effectiveness

8: Ensure organisational effectiveness


"Today, the IMO is involved with security issues such as climate change, migration, stowaways, piracy, cyber-security, drug smuggling and counter-terrorism".

From these objectives, we can see that the organisation covers a wide range of concerns whilst trying to improve its functionality to ensure standards within the organisation and in the tasks that the organisation and its partners carry out.



Overall, the IMO is an organisation with a long history which has set boundaries for safety and standards in the maritime world. As its strategic outlook ends in 2023, the organisation has more of a role to play with its new objectives, with instability and crises increasing worldwide.



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