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The International Maritime Organization / IMO

IMOThe International Maritime Organization or IMO (International Maritime Organization, IMO) is an international intergovernmental organization that is a specialized agency of the United Nations and serves as a vehicle for cooperation and exchange of information on technical issues related to international commercial shipping.

The rapid development of international trade relations in the early XIX century, contributed to the ratification of a huge number of international agreements relating to maritime safety. Take a variety of agreements on preventing Collisions, Tonnage Measurement of Ships,

By the end of the XIX century it was proposed to start a permanent trade association, for the consideration of the operational safety of navigation tasks. In 1888, the Nordic countries, a proposal was made to proceed to the creation of the International Maritime Bureau to solve the technical problems of seaworthiness.

The result was the founding of the International Maritime Committee in 1897, engaged in the consideration of the law of the sea. The Committee adopted several conventions (commonly known as "Brussels"), later taken as the basis of modern.

In Geneva, March 6 1948, at a conference convened by the United Nations adopted Convention on the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) (Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization, IMCO).

It was the first ever international body to deal exclusively with maritime affairs. On March 17, 1958, the convention entered into force and the newly created organization began its activities, the organization determined the following important points.

1. Provide a mechanism for cooperation in the field of technical regulation of practical issues affecting the international commercial transportation.

2. Promote and encourage the harmonization of the maximum practicable standards of maritime safety sphere, not marine pollution from ships, efficiency of navigation.

3. Consider the legal and administrative tasks related goals enshrined in Article.

In 9-th session of the Assembly (Resolution A.358 (IX)) its name has been changed since it was assumed that the term "advisory" could mistakenly be interpreted as a limitation of authority or responsibility, respectively, of the title "intergovernmental" - indirectly, caused suspicion and mistrust.

Based on these considerations, the replacement of the name on the International Maritime Organization was absolutely necessary to enhance the role of the IMO on an international level in order to place the responsibility for the implementation of various international conventions, the establishment of standards and norms related to the preservation of human life and the aquatic environment from intentional or unintentional contamination.

Already since May 22 1982 years its current name acts The International Maritime Organization, or IMO... The headquarters of the organization is located in London.

IMO activities are aimed at the abolition of discriminatory practices affecting international merchant shipping, as well as the adoption of standards (standards) to ensure maritime safety and the prevention of pollution from ships environmental protection, primarily of the marine environment. 

In a sense, the organization is a forum in which the member states of this organization exchange information, discuss legal, technical and other problems related to shipping, as well as pollution from ships of the environment, primarily the marine environment.

As of the year 2016, 171 is IMO Member States and Associate Members 3 (Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, Macau). The supreme body of the organization is the Assembly of Member States. Sessions of the Assembly meet once a year 2.

Member states of the International Maritime Organization

Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bahrain, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Vanuatu, Hungary Venezuela, Vietnam, Gabon, Guyana, Haiti, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Germany, Honduras, Hong Kong (China), Grenada, Greece, Georgia, Denmark, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic , Egypt, Israel, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Iceland Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mauritania, Macao (China), Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Mozambique, Mongolia , Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, United Republic of Tanzania the highlight of Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, the Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, San Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Senegal, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Syrian Arab Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Solom ONES Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sierra Leone, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uruguay Faroe Islands Fiji, the Philippines, Finland, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, Chile, Switzerland, Sweden, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, South Africa, Jamaica, Japan.

There is also the IMO Council, which consists of 40 states, including Russia. The states are divided into three large groups: 10 leading maritime states, 10 other states significant in terms of international maritime trade, and 20 maritime states elected to the Council to ensure geographical representation of different regions of the world. In addition to the Assembly, IMO has 5 committees:

on the Maritime Safety Committee (Maritime Safety Committee, MSC - MSC);
the Marine Environment Protection Committee (Marine Environment Protection Committee, MEPC - MEPC);
Legal Committee (LEG - YURKOM);
Technical Cooperation Committee (CCC);
to facilitate navigation formalities Committee (FAL);

9 and subcommittees (consisting of MSC or MEPC) and the Secretariat headed by the Secretary General. Since 2012, the representative of Japan Koji Sekimidzu was elected General Secretary.

All regulatory and legal documents prepared in subcommittees and considered at the session of the Committee considered and adopted, as a rule, at the regular sessions of the Assembly. The most serious, strategic decisions can make decisions organized by the IMO diplomatic conference.

IMO takes decisions in the form of the Organization's resolutions, to which, if necessary, various documents (codes, circular letters, amendments to existing documents - conventions, codes, etc.) can be attached. Subject to the conditions and terms of entry into force, such mandatory decisions must be implemented by the Administrations (the Governments of the member countries). The decisions of the IMO Assembly that do not change or supplement the adopted conventions are of a recommendatory nature and can be carried out by the national maritime administrations by including decisions (or making their own decisions on them) in national legislation.

Organization's activities

The first IMO task was to adopt a new version SOLAS Convention (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, SOLAS - SOLAS)The most important of all the conventions dealing with maritime safety. The Convention was concluded in 1960, after which the IMO has directed its attention to issues such as the promotion of international maritime transport (Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic 1965 years), determining the position of the load line (Convention on Load marke1966 year) and the transport of dangerous goods, it has also been revised system for measuring tonnage (International Convention on tonnage measurement of ships 1969 years).

November 1 1974, at the International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea, SOLAS new text was adopted. In 1988, at the International Conference on the harmonized system of survey and certification was adopted by the Protocol to the Convention. In 1992, the IMO issued a so-called consolidated text of the SOLAS Convention.

Although maritime safety was and remains the most important task of IMO, in the mid-60s the problem of environmental pollution, primarily marine pollution, came to the fore. The increase in the number of oil products transported by sea, as well as the size of ships carrying these oil products, was of particular concern. The scale of the problem was demonstrated by the accident of the tanker Torrey Canyon in 1967, when 120 tons of oil hit the sea.

Over the next few years, the IMO has adopted a number of measures aimed at preventing tanker accidents and minimizing the consequences of these accidents. The organization also took environmental pollution caused by actions such as cleaning oil tanks and machinery spaces dumping of waste - the tonnage they cause more harm than pollution resulting from accidents.

The most important of these measures was the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73 / 78) (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, MARPOL)It was adopted in the year 1973, 1978 and modified by the Protocol of the year. It covers not only cases of emergency and / or operational oil pollution but also pollution of the sea by liquid chemicals, harmful substances in packaged form, by sewage, garbage and pollution to air pollution vessels.

In 1990 year has also been prepared and signed the International Convention for preparedness in case of oil pollution, Response and Cooperation.

In addition, IMO has decided the task of creating a system designed to ensure compensation to those who suffered financially due to contamination. Matching two multilateral agreements (International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage and the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage) were adopted and the 1969 1971, respectively. They simplify and speed up the procedure for obtaining compensation for pollution.

Both Conventions were revised in 1992 and again in 2000, which increased the limits of compensation payable to victims of pollution. A large number of other international agreements and documents on issues affecting international shipping have also been and are being prepared under the auspices of the IMO.

Huge progress made in communication technology have made it possible to produce lasting improvements in the maritime distress rescue system. In 1970-ies was put in place a global system for search and rescue distress. Then there was established the International Mobile Satellite Organization (International Maritime Satellite Organization, INMARSAT -INMARSAT), which seriously improved the conditions for the transfer of radio and other communications to and from ships at sea.

In 1978, IMO established World Maritime Day to draw attention to the issue of maritime safety and the conservation of marine biological resources.

In 1992 it was identified stages of the implementation of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, GMDSS). Since February 1999, the GMDSS was fully operational and now tolerate any point of the globe vessel in distress can get help, even if the crew does not have time to broadcast a signal for help, because the corresponding message will be sent automatically.

Other measures developed by the IMO, the Container Security, bulk cargo, tankers for the transport of liquefied natural gas, as well as other types of vessels. 

Special attention was paid to the training standards of the crew, including the adoption of a special International Convention on Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (International Convention for the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping, STCW - STCW), which entered into force in April 28 1984 years. In 1995, the STCW Convention was significantly revised. Significant changes in the content of the STCW Convention have been made later, including 2010 year at a conference in Manila (Philippines).

Currently it recommended to call a convention "STCW as amended,» (STCW as amended).
In 1983, the IMO in Malmö (Sweden) was founded by the World Maritime University, which provides training leaders, teachers and other professionals in the field of navigation.

In 1989 year in Valletta (Malta) was created by the International Institute of Marine IMO law, which trains lawyers in international law of the sea. At the same time in Trieste (Italy) it was founded by the International Maritime Academy, conducting specialized short-term courses on various maritime disciplines.