Full Form

IMO Full Form: History, Features, Challenges etc.

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The IMO full form is International Maritime Organization, Which is a specific UN entity tasked with controlling shipping. The IMO came into existence ten years after it was founded, meeting for the first time in 1959, as a result of an agreement made at a UN conference held in Geneva in 1948. At the moment, the IMO has 175 Member States and three Associate Members, with its headquarters in London, United Kingdom.


To address the need to revisit maritime pollution standards, the IMO called an urgent meeting of its Council. The IMO Assembly resolved in 1969 to convene an international conference on this topic in 1973. Creating a global agreement to regulate general environmental degradation by ships while at sea was the task at hand.

The 1973 International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships was the conference’s most important output. The original MARPOL was signed on February 17, 1973, but it was never ratified, hence it was never put into effect. The 1973 Convention and the 1978 Protocol were combined to create the current convention. It became effective on October 2, 1983. The convention has 152 member states as of May 2013, accounting for 99.2% of the world’s shipping tonnage. The World Maritime University was founded by the IMO in Malmö, Sweden, in 1983.

IMO Overview

IMO Full FormInternational Maritime Organization
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Formation17 March 1948
Managing DirectorKitack Lim
MethodSocial science research
Official languagesEnglish

IMO Features

  1. The major goal of the IMO is to create and uphold a complete regulatory framework for shipping, and as of right now, it is responsible for marine safety, environmental issues, legal issues, technical cooperation, maritime security, and shipping efficiency.
  2. An assembly of members governs IMO, and a council of members chosen by the assembly is responsible for managing its finances.
  3. Five committees make up the IMO, and these are supplemented by technical subcommittees.
  4. A permanent secretariat of personnel who serve as representatives of the IMO’s members supports the organisation


  1. The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), which establishes fundamental requirements for training, certification, and watchkeeping for seafarers, and the Convention on the Prevention of Maritime Pollution (MARPOL 73/78), which mandated double hulls on all tankers, are recent initiatives at the IMO. SOLAS was amended to upgrade fire protection standards on passenger ships.
  2. The 1974 SOLAS Convention had significant revisions that were passed in December 2002. The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code was created as a result of these revisions and went into effect on July 1st, 2004.
  3. The IMO is involved in combating global climate change. The first inter-sessional meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships was held in Oslo, Norway (23–27 June 2008). The meeting’s objectives included developing the technical foundation and a draught of the reduction mechanisms themselves for the Marine Environment Protection Committee of the IMO to further consider (MEPC).
  4. The 2004 Ballast Water Management Convention, which became effective in September 2017, is another measure taken by the IMO to reduce the worldwide effects of ballast water and sediment discharge.
  5. The International Code of Signals, which is used by merchant and navy vessels, is also published by the IMO. Through a programme dubbed e-Navigation, the IMO has standardised the data that sailors and shore-side traffic services can access.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the IMO Full Form?

The IMO Full Form is International Maritime Organization.

When IMO is established?

IMO is established on17 March 1948.

What is the primary purpose of IMO?

The IMO’s primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today.


Alia Khan
I am Aila Khan from Delhi, completed my post-graduation in international relations. Currently working in ngofeed as an content writer. My passion is to explore new things and learn them from depth.

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