International Maritime Organization (IMO)

image050.jpgIMO is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships.

IMO's work supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.

In other words, its role is to create a level playing-field so that ship operators cannot offset their financial issues by cutting corners and compromising on safety, security and environmental performance. This approach also encourages innovation and efficiency.

Shipping is a truly international industry, and it can only operate effectively if the regulations and standards are agreed, adopted and implemented on an international level.  IMO is the forum where this process takes place.

International shipping transports more than 80 per cent of global trade to people and communities all over the world. Shipping is the most efficient and cost-effective method of international transportation for most goods; it provides a dependable, low-cost means of transporting goods globally, facilitating commerce and helping to create prosperity among nations and people.

The world relies on a safe, secure and efficient international shipping industry, and this is provided by the regulatory framework developed and maintained by the IMO.

IMO's measures cover all aspects of international shipping – including ship design, construction, equipment, manning, operation and disposal – to ensure that this vital sector remains safe, environmentally sound, energy efficient and secure.

Shipping is an essential component of any programme for future sustainable economic growth. Through IMO, the Organization’s Member States, civil society and the shipping industry collaboratively work together to ensure a continued and strengthened contribution towards a green economy and growth in a sustainable manner.  The promotion of sustainable shipping and sustainable maritime development is a major priority for the IMO in the future.

 image053.jpgAs part of the United Nations family, the IMO is actively working towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the associated SDGs.   Most of the elements of the 2030 Agenda will only be realized with a sustainable transport sector supporting world trade and facilitating global economy.  The IMO’s Technical Cooperation Committee has formally approved links between the Organization’s technical assistance work and the SDGs. While the oceans goal, SDG 14, is central to IMO, aspects of the Organization's work can be linked to all individual SDGs.

The IMO sets global standards regarding energy efficiency, new technology and innovation, maritime education and training, maritime security, maritime traffic management and the development and implementation of the maritime infrastructure, along with other issues relevant to the sector.  This knowledge and understanding underpins the IMO’s commitment to securing the institutional framework necessary for a green, sustainable global maritime transport system.