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International Maritime Organisation (IMO)

Topics Covered:

  1. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


International Maritime Organisation (IMO)


What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Overview of new rules and their significance, IMO- composition, objectives and functions, FAL convention.

Context: International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has launched new rules to introduce electronic information exchange between ships and ports for national governments.

  • Its objective is to make cross border trade easy and hassle free. It was important measure because 10 billion tonnes of goods are traded by sea annually across the globe.



The requirement, mandatory under IMO’s Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention), is part of amendments under the revised Annex to the FAL Convention, adopted in 2016.


What is Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention)?

Adopted in 1965, the main objective of the convention is to achieve the most efficient maritime transport as possible, looking for smooth transit in ports of ships, cargo, and passengers.

The Convention encourages the use of a “single window” for data, to enable all the information required by public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, persons and cargo, to be submitted via a single portal, without duplication. Under the requirement for electronic data exchange, all national authorities should now have provision for electronic exchange of this information.


About IMO:

The International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

The IMO’s primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.

IMO is governed by an assembly of members and is financially administered by a council of members elected from the assembly.

The IMO’s structure comprises the Assembly, the Council, the Maritime Safety Committee, the Marine Environment Protection Committee, the Legal Committee, the Technical Cooperation Committee, and the secretariat, headed by a Secretary-General.


Sources: toi.