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International Maritime Organization (IMO)

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) was established in Geneva in 1948 and met for the first time in 1959 when the agency came into force. The IMO's main task has been 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.

A specialised agency of the United Nations with 171 Member States and three Associate Members, the IMO is the only United Nations agency managed in the United Kingdom, employing over 300 international staff.

Over the years the IMO has adopted 40 Conventions and Protocols and formed numerous codes and standards related to their main framework.

The IMO pride themselves in ensuring safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans.

Corrections and erratums are available directly from the IMO website (opens in new window).

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IMDG Code 2016 editionIMDG Code 2016 edition




The IMDG Code has undergone many changes over the years, in both format and content, in order to keep up with the rapid expansion of the shipping industry. Amendment 38-16 includes revisions to various sections of the Code and to transport requirements for specific substances. It was adopted by IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at its ninety-sixth session in May 2016.


IMDG Code 2016 edition

Guide to Maritime Security and the ISPS Code Guide to Maritime Security and the ISPS Code



This guide has been developed to consolidate existing International Maritime Organization (IMO) maritime security-related material into an easy to read companion guide to SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code.



International Safety Management (ISM) Code and Guidelines on Implementation of the ISM CodeInternational Safety management (ISM) Code and Guidelines on Implementations of the ISM Code



This edition of the publication consolidates the amendments to the ISM Code from resolutions MSC.104(73), MSC.179(79), MSC.195(80), MSC.273 (85), which entered into force on 1 July 2002, on 1 July 2006, on 1 January 2009, and on 1 July 2010, respectively, and resolution MSC.353 (92), which enters into force on 1 January 2015.



SOLAS: Consolidated Text of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea - 2014 EditionSOLAS: Consolidated Text of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea - 2014 Edition



Of all the international conventions dealing with maritime safety, the most important is the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended, better known as SOLAS, which covers a wide range of measures designed to improve the safety of shipping.



MARPOL Consolidated EditionMARPOL Consolidated Edition



The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 (MARPOL Convention), is concerned with preserving the marine environment through the prevention of pollution by oil and other harmful substances and the minimization of accidental discharge of such substances.


MARPOL Consolidated Edition

International Life-Saving Appliances (LSA) Code - 2010 EditionInternational Life-Saving Appliances (LSA) Code



This publication contains the three most important IMO instruments dealing with life-saving appliances, namely the International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code, the Revised Recommendation on Testing of Life-Saving Appliances and the Code of Practice for the Evaluation, Testing and Acceptance of Prototype Novel Life-Saving Appliances.


FTP Code: International Code for Application of Fire Test Procedures 2010 - 2012 EditionFTP Code: International Code for Application of Fire Test Procedures 2010



The 2010 FTP Code provides international requirements for laboratory testing, type-approval and fire test procedures for products referenced under SOLAS chapter II-2. It comprehensively revises and updates the current Code, adopted by the MSC in 1996.


International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual (IAMSAR Manual) - Volume I, Organization and Management 2016 EditionInternational Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual (IAMSAR Manual)- Volume I, Organization and Management 2016 Edition




Organization and Management (Volume I) discusses the global SAR system concept, establishment and improvement of national and regional SAR systems and co-operation with neighbouring States to provide effective and economical SAR services.


International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual (IAMSAR Manual) - Volume II, Mission Co-ordination 2016 EditionInternational Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual (IAMSAR Manual) - Volume II, Mission Co-ordination 2016 Edition




The 2016 edition incorporates amendments adopted by ICAO and approved by the IMO Maritime Safety Committee. The 2015 amendments enter into force on 1 July 2016.


International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual (IAMSAR Manual)- Volume III, Mobile Facilities 2016 EditionInternational Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual (IAMSAR Manual)- Volume III, Mobile Facilities 2016 Edition




Mobile Facilities (Volume III) is intended to be carried on board rescue units, aircraft and vessels to help with performance of a search, rescue or on-scene coordinator function and with aspects of SAR that pertain to their own emergencies.


FSS Code: International Code For Fire Safety Systems 2015 EditionFSS Code: International Code For Fire Safety Systems 2015 Edition




This publication presents engineering specifications for fire safety equipment and systems required by SOLAS chapter II-2


GMDSS ManualGMDSS Manual




The GMDSS Manual provides, in a single comprehensive publication, an explanation of the principles upon which the GMDSS is based, the radio communication requirements and recommendations for its implementation, the operational performance standards and technical specifications to be met by GMDSS equipment, and the procedures for and method of operation of the various radio services which form the GMDSS and the Master Plan for the GMDSS.


GMDSS Manual

Ships' Routeing - 2015 EditionShips' Routeing - 2015 Edition




The aims of ensuring the greatest possible safety of shipping and cleanliness of oceans are promoted in many ways, one of which is the routeing measures to control the navigation of vessels and to monitor their progress.


Ships' Routeing - 2015 Edition