It has always been recognized that the best way of improving safety at sea is by developing international regulations that are followed by all shipping nations. The IMO's primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping. Today, its activity area includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security, and efficiency of shipping.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO), formerly known as the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), was established in Geneva in 1948 and came into force ten years later, meeting for the first time in 1958. The IMCO name was changed to IMO in 1982. Further, following amendments adopted in 1964, 1965, 1975, 1977, 1979, and 1995, some changes was made in IMO organization. These changes are as follow:
· Developing an integrated technical co-operation programme which is designed to help developing countries;
· Changing the name of this organization to International Maritime Organization (IMO); ·
Increasing IMO members from 32 nations to 40 nations;
· Developing a facilitation committee
IMO is the first international organization that merely deals with maritime affairs. In the interval between establishment and entry into force of IMO, maritime industry was threatened by many problems like oil spills in the marine environment. IMO was established in 1948 and came into force in 1958. The most important purpose of establishing IMO was to improve maritime safety and to prevent pollution of marine environment.
IMO is in co-operation with other international organizations as a supervisor or advisor for more than 50 years, although these organizations have no right to vote.
Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, this organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations with 168 member states and three associated members. The IMO is governed by an assembly of members.
IMO's Goals and Objectives
1. Developing an international regulatory system for establishing shipping rules and regulations;
2. Encouraging members to establish and approve best standards for maritime safety and pollution prevention;
3. Preparing the draft of conventions, agreements, and other documents;
4. Addressing the maritime affairs of UN Specialized Organizations;
5. Facilitating transfer of data.
IMO is the source of 30 conventions and 700 codes with regard to maritime safety, pollution prevention, and other related issues. A subcommittee is responsible for preparatory works and preparing the draft of documents. Draft of the documents will be presented in a diplomatic conference. In this conference, final draft will be approved by the presence of all members. Finally, this document will come into force. Implementing the requirements of approved documents and conventions is binding for all member nations.
Conventions of IMO
Approved conventions of IMO can be divided into 4 categories:
1. Conventions on safety;
2. Conventions on pollution;
3. Conventions of Liability and Compensation for Damages;
4. Other conventions.
Conventions on safety include:
1. International Convention on Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS);
2. The International Convention on Load Line, 1966;
3. The International Convention on Tonnage Measurement, 1969;
4. Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREG);
5. Convention on the International Maritime Satellite Organization, 1967 (INMARSAT);
6. The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-Keeping for Seafarers (or STCW), 1978;
7. International Convention for Safe Containers (or CSC), 1972;
8. International Convention on Maritime Search & Rescue (or SAR), 1979;
9. Special Trade Passenger Ships Agreement (or STP), 1971;
10. Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels (or SFV), 1977;
11. International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-Keeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (or STCW-F), 1995.
Conventions on Pollution
1. International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (or MARPOL), 1973/78;
2. International Convention relating to Intervention on the High Seas in case of Oil Pollution Casualties (or INTERVENTION), 1969;
3. London Dumping Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matters (or London/Dumping Convention), 1972;
4. International Convention on oil pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (or OPRC), 1990;
5. International Convention on the Control of Harmful Antifouling Systems on Ships (or Antifouling Convention), 2001;
6. The international Convention for the Control and Management of Ship's Ballast Water and Sediments (or Ballast Water Convention), 2004;
Conventions of Liability and Compensation for Damages
1. International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution (or CLC), 1969;
2. International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (or Fund Convention), 1971;
3. Convention on Nuclear Safety, 1971;
4. Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea (PAL), 1974;
5. Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (LLMC), 1976;
6. International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (HNS Convention), 1996;
7. International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001.
1. Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (or FAL), 1965;
2. Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (or SUA), 1988;
3. International Convention on Salvage (or SALVAGE ), 1989;
4. Convention on Wreck Removal, 2007.
Conventions that Iran Joint Them
1. Load Line, 1966;
2. Tonnage Measurement, 1969;
3. INMARSAT, 1976;
4. COLREC, 1972;
5. SALVAGE, 1989;
6. FAL, 1965;
7. SAR, 1979;
8. SOLAS, 1974;
9. STCW, 1978;
10. LC, 1972;
11. INTERVENTION, 1969;
13. SOLAS PROT, 1978;
14. CSC, 1972;
15. MARPOL, 1973/ 78;
16. SOLAS PROT, 1988;
17. FUND PROT (ongoing ), 1992
18. Annex Ш, IV, and VI of MARPOL Convention