The International Maritime Organization: A Discussion On Maritime Safety

JND503-Importance of IMO for the Maritime Shipping

Efficient supply chain for modern business organizations

The success of the modern business organizations is observed to be notably dependent on the efficient supply chain of the organizations. The effective supply of the raw materials is seen to be significantly important for the organizations in manufacturing quality products that have the potential to trigger the customers’ intention of repetitive purchasing and at the same time, it is instrumental in the increment of the revenue for the organizations (Ascencio et al., 2014). The modern business organizations are seen to try to reduce the transportation cost of the products so that the operational cost of the organization gets reduced and along with that, the margin of profit for the organizations gets improved. Under such situation, the maritime shipping is considered to be one of the best option for the modern business organizations in achieving the desired accuracy in the supply of the materials and source the materials in a cost efficient manner (Grant, 2013). However, the sourcing of the raw materials through maritime shipping is seen to be associated with considerable amount of difficulties at times. The paper is focused in the discussion operations of the International Maritime Organization with a precise focus on the maritime safety. Along with that, the paper analyses the constraints that are imposed by the structure of the chosen organization in the effective implementation of the maritime safety policies.    

The chosen organization International Maritime Organization is considered to be a specialised part of the United Nations dedicated for the monitoring and controlling the shipping operations. The United Nations conference in the year 1948 took place in Geneva and an agreement conducted between the members of the organization was the base for the formation of the International Maritime Organization (, 2019). However, the agency took ten long years to register their first meeting which took place in the year 1959 (, 2019). The chosen organization is seen to have the headquarter in London, United Kingdom. The agency is currently managed by the secretary general Kitack Lim and it is considered to be under the council of the United Nations Economic and Social (, 2019). The chosen agency is currently experiencing the representation of 174 number of member states along with three different associate members (, 2019).  . 

The fundamental purpose of the chosen agency is formulate and maintain an effective regulatory framework for the shipping and along with that, it is responsible for precisely monitoring any sort violation of the legislation designed for the shipping operations. Adding to this, the operations of the chosen organization is observed to be focused on the safety of the shipping operations, environmental concerns, legal concerns, improvement of the maritime security, improved technical co-operation and increased efficiency in the shipping operations (Kraska & Pedrozo, 2013). The governing power of the chosen agency is on an assembly of the members and the required finance for the operations of the chosen is managed by the council of the members that are elected from the assembly. The operations of the chosen agency is observed to be divided into five different committees and each of the five committees are supported by several technical sub-committees. It is also observed to be supported by a permanent secretariat of the employees who are seen to be representative of the organization’s members. The secretariat is seen to be composed of a secretary general and the secretary general is observed to be periodically elected by the mentioned assembly and other divisions such as the marine safety, conference section along with the environmental protection (, 2019).

Maritime shipping as a cost-efficient option

Many of the researchers are observed to comment that the formation of Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization was based on the intention of bringing the regulation for the safe and secure business conduction in the maritime shipping industry into an international framework (Shi, 2014). Under such situation the IMO was a significant opportunity provided by the United Nations. The chosen organization has significant contribution in the effective management of the maritime shipping operations with a precise focus on the safe and secure operation through the creation of the SOLAS convention, MARPOL, Maritime Pollution Convention. Adding to this, the creation of the annex 1 of the MARPOL convention, International Maritime Dangerous Goods code, International Safety Management code, International Ship and Port Facility Security code of the SOLAS convention were significant for International maritime shipping operations. Along with that, the chosen agency was seen to develop the  International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers  (STCW) convention, International code of signals, International regulations for the prevention of the collisions at sea, HNS convention, International convention on civil liability for oil pollution damage (Kraska & Pedrozo, 2013). International convention on the formation of an international fund for the production of the compensation for the cases of oil pollution damage along with the International ballast water management convention.

The importance of the creation of SOLAS and the MARPOL conventions are observed to be the most significant contribution from the part of the chosen organization in the efficient and safe management of the maritime shipping operations. 

With the creation of the International Convention for the Protection of the pollution for the ships in the year 1973 and which later got modified by the Protocol of 1978, the chosen agency had the objective of minimizing the impact of the pollution of the oceans and seas by the dumping, air pollution and the oil pollution (, 2019). Apart from this, IMO had the aim of preserving the marine environment by eliminating the scope of the pollution that is generally caused with the oil and the other harmful substances. Adding to this, the convention was of great significance in the effective minimization of the spillage of harmful substances. MARPOL was designed to have six different provisions ranging from Annex 1 to Annex 6 for the effective management of the oil and oily water, controlling the pollution that is created by the noxious liquid substances in bulk, prevention of the harmful substances carried by sea in packaged form, prevention of the pollution that causes from the sewage of the ships and prevention of air pollution from the ships (, 2019). 

Introduction to the International Maritime Organization

On the other hand, the creation of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea was considered to be a maritime treaty which is dedicated in the elaboration of the minimum safety standards in the construction of the equipment and the operation for the merchant ships. The provisions for the SOLAS convention is seen to be divided into 15 chapters which includes general provisions, Life-saving appliances and arrangements, Radiocommunications, Safety of navigation, Carriage of Cargoes, Carriage of dangerous goods, Nuclear ships, Management for the Safe Operation of Ships, Safety measures for high-speed craft, Additional safety measures for bulk carriers, Verification of compliance and Safety measures for ships operating in polar waters (Bueger, 2015). In addition to this, provision for the safety measures of the high speed crafts is seen to be divided into two parts which are special measures for the improvement of the maritime safety along with that special measures for the improvement of the maritime security (, 2019). Adding to this, the general provisions section is also observed to be divided into two different divisions which are construction- subdivision and stability and machinery and electrical installations along with the fire protection, fire detection and the fire extinction.

The chosen agency of United Nations is seen to considerable amount of issues in the effective management of the operations of the maritime shipping in the modern generation. One of the prime issues that is barring the growth and the scope of effective management of the chosen agency is the absence of the required infrastructural resources of the chosen agency in many of the developing countries. Along with that, the skills and the competencies of the employees dedicated for the conduction of the efficient operations on behalf of the chosen agency is seen to be significantly low. 

In addition to this, International Maritime Organization is seen to face significant amount of issues due to the structure of the organization in case of developing and implementing the new measures that have the potential to improve the operations of the organization and increase the safe conduction of the maritime shipping as well. The challenges that the selected agency is seen to face in the mentioned aspect are observed to be the development and implementation of the Goal Based Standards, Long Range Identification and Tracking System and Electronic Navigation Charts (, 2019). Apart from that, the mentioned agency is seen to have considerable amount of obstacles in the effective management of Port State Control Regional MoUs, SAR facilities in the many of the developing countries, Marine Electronic Highway Project, Regional mechanism for the protection against piracy along with Hydrographic Capabilities for the ENCs (, 2019).


On a concluding note, the International Maritime Organization is observed to be significantly important for the efficient management of the maritime shipping and the importance of the chosen organization is pretty visible with the application of the designed legislations of it in the day to day operations of the maritime shipping. With the increasing concern regarding the environmental stability and the detrimental impact of the increasing oil emission from the ships, the development of the legislations of the chosen agency with a higher level of strictness is considered to be much needed. 


Ascencio, L. M., González-Ramírez, R. G., Bearzotti, L. A., Smith, N. R., & Camacho-Vallejo, J. F. (2014). A collaborative supply chain management system for a maritime port logistics chain. Journal of applied research and technology, 12(3), 444-458.

Bueger, C. (2015). What is maritime security?. Marine Policy, 53, 159-164.

Grant, E. M. (2013). “Pack’em, rack’em and stack’em”: The Appropriateness of the Use and Reuse of Shipping Containers for Prison Accommodation. Construction Economics and Building, 13(2), 35-44. (2019). International Federation. Retrieved from (2019). International Maritime Organization. Retrieved from (2019). The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, Australian Government. Retrieved from

Kraska, J., & Pedrozo, R. (2013). International maritime security law. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. (2019). Arctic Portal Library – Arctic Portal Library. Retrieved from (2019). Lloyd’s Register offer smart solutions shaped with human intelligence. Retrieved from (2019). RINA. Excellence Behind Excellence. Retrieved from

Shi, Y. (2014). Greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping: the response from China’s shipping industry to the regulatory initiatives of the International Maritime Organization. The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law, 29(1), 77-115. (2019). Home | World Shipping Council. Retrieved from

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