The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations specialised agency responsible for improving maritime safety and preventing pollution from shipping.
What is the IMO?
The IMO’s main task has been to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping. Its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical cooperation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping. While the Assembly sets the direction for the organisation and the Council decides on the detailed two-year work programme, much of the technical work to update existing legislation or develop and adopt new regulations is conducted by the IMO’s specialised committees and sub-committees.
Meetings are attended by maritime experts from member governments, together with those from interested intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, including OCIMF. OCIMF has enjoyed consultative status since 1971.
In addition, OCIMF and members participate at different stages of discussion, such as at the correspondence groups that are organised between the formal meeting sessions. While the committees decide on technical matters, the technical details are delegated to the sub-committees who then form working groups for experts to work through issues in greater detail. Input can be provided and decisions challenged at every stage. This gives OCIMF many opportunities to contribute.