International Maritime Organization (IMO)
Founded by an international convention in 1948, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a permanent international body devoted to improving safety at sea. The purposes of IMO are “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, efficiency of navigation and prevention and control of marine pollution from ships”. The Organization is also empowered to deal with administrative and legal matters related to these purposes.
Safety on the seas remains IMO’s most important responsibility, but pollution prevention has also been a growing area of IMO work. The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78), covers not only accidental and operational oil pollution but also pollution by chemicals, goods in packaged form, sewage, garbage and air pollution.
For more information about IMO and its activities, please visit the IMO Web Site.