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Thursday, 03 March 2016

The IMO – for 'safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans'

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a United Nations specialised agency responsible for regulating international shipping. Since 1959, when it met for the first time, the IMO's overarching objectives have been the improvement of maritime safety and the prevention of marine pollution, to which maritime security was added later. The organisation's functioning reflects the diverging interests of its 171 member states acting in diverse capacities as port, coastal and flag states on the one hand, and as developed, developing or least developed states, on the other. The main legal instruments used by the IMO are conventions. Generally regarded as being of a high standard, the body of technical rules adopted through these conventions is widely accepted. In contrast, the IMO received criticism in 2015 for its approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping, perceived as insufficient. While all EU Member States and the European Commission take part in IMO meetings, the EU has over the years developed and applied its own maritime legislation, which has on occasion stirred debate within the international shipping community. In 2015, the European Parliament sent its first-ever delegation to an IMO meeting. Furthermore, the Parliament added its voice to the international community calling on the IMO to step up action on reducing shipping emissions.

Source: European Parliament Think Tank