Maritime Safety

  • Maritime Safety

  • Cargoes and Containers

  • Fire protection and life-saving appliances

  • Fishing Vessels

  • Safety of navigation

  • Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue

  • Safety Regulations

  • Safety Topics

  • Ship Design and Stability

Shipping is perhaps the most international of all the world's great industries - and one of the most dangerous. It has always been recognized that the best way of improving safety at sea is by developing international regulations that are followed by all shipping nations.

IMO's first task when it came into being in 1959 was to adopt a new version of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the most important of all treaties dealing with maritime safety.

IMO has also developed and adopted international collision regulations and global standards for seafarers, as well as international conventions and codes relating to search and rescue, the facilitation of international maritime traffic, load lines, the carriage of dangerous goods and tonnage measurement.

The Maritime Safety Committee is IMO's senior technical body on safety-related matters. It is aided in its work by a number of Sub-Committees:

Maritime Safety Committees

Maritime Safety Committee (MSC)

The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) deals with all matters related to maritime safety and maritime security which fall within the scope of IMO, covering both passenger ships and all kinds of cargo ships. This includes updating the SOLAS Convention and related codes, such as those covering dangerous goods, life-saving appliances and fire safety systems. The MSC also deals with human element issues, including amendments to the STCW Convention on training and certification of seafarers. The MSC has a wide range of issues on its current agenda, including goal-based standards, autonomous vessels, piracy and armed robbery against ships, cyber security, e-navigation and the modernization of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).

Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) addresses environmental issues under IMO’s remit. This includes the control and prevention of ship-source pollution covered by the MARPOL treaty, including oil, chemicals carried in bulk, sewage, garbage and emissions from ships, including air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. Other matters covered include ballast water management, anti-fouling systems, ship recycling, pollution preparedness and response, and identification of special areas and particularly sensitive sea areas.

Technical Cooperation Committee (TC)

The Technical Cooperation Committee (TC) oversees IMO’s capacity-building programme and the implementation of technical cooperation projects for which the Organization acts as the executing or cooperating agency, ensuring that IMO supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Maritime Safety Sub-Committees

Human element, Training & Watchkeeping (HTW)

The Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) deals with the human side of shipping, including training and certification; the review, updating and revision of IMO model courses; and guidance addressing issues such as fatigue.

Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE)

The Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE) deals with a wide range of technical and operational matters related to systems and equipment on all types of ships, vessels, craft and mobile units covered by IMO instruments. This includes life-saving equipment, appliances and arrangements; and fire detection and fire extinguishing systems.

Ship Design and Construction (SDC)

The Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) considers a wide range of technical and operational matters related to ship design and construction, including subdivision and stability. The Sub-Committee also covers testing and approval of construction and materials, load lines, tonnage measurement, safety of fishing vessels and the carriage of industrial personnel.

Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC)

The Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC) deals with the carriage of packaged dangerous goods, solid bulk cargoes, bulk gas cargoes, and containers. The Sub-Committee keeps updated the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code) and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. It also keeps under review other Codes including the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) and the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code). The Sub-Committee closely collaborates with other UN bodies dealing with the multimodal transport of goods.

Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR)

The Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) deals with all matters relating to pollution prevention and response which falls within IMO’s remit. This ranges from all annexes of the MARPOL Convention through to the control and management of harmful aquatic organisms in ships' ballast water and sediments; biofouling; anti-fouling system; pollution preparedness, response and cooperation for oil and hazardous and noxious substances; and the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships. The Working Group on the Evaluation of Safety and Pollution Hazards of Chemicals works under the auspices of the PPR Sub-Committee.

Implementation of IMO Instruments (III)

The Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III) brings together flag, port and coastal States to consider implementation issues, including the analysis of consolidated audit summary reports from the mandatory IMO Member state Audit Scheme. The Sub-Committee has a key role in casualty analysis and issuing lessons learned from marine incidents. The Sub-Committee receives and analyses port State control data and keeps under review the procedures for port State control. Guidelines for survey and certification including the survey guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (HSSC) also come under the remit of this Sub-Committee.

Navigation, Communications and Search & Rescue (NCSR)

The Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) deals with all matters related to navigation and communication, including the analysis and approval of ships routeing measures and ship reporting systems; carriage requirements and performance standards for navigational and communication equipment; the long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) system and the development of e-navigation. It also deals with search and rescue matters and the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), including recognition of service providers. Joint working groups reporting to the NCSR Sub-Committee include the ICAO/IMO Joint Working Group on Harmonization of Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue and the Joint IMO/ITU Experts Group on Maritime Radiocommunication Matters.

Meeting Summaries

  • IMO Assembly

  • IMO Council

  • Facilitation Committee (FAL)

  • Legal Committee (LEG)

  • Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)

  • Maritime Safety Committee (MSC)

  • Technical Cooperation Committee (TC)

  • Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC)

  • Sub-Committee on Human element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW)

  • Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III)

  • Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR)

  • Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR)

  • Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC)

  • Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE)

  • London Convention/Protocol

  • Other meetings

Maritime Safety

  • Cargoes and Containers
    • Cargo Securing and Packing
    • Cargoes in bulk
    • Containers
    • Dangerous Goods in packaged form
  • Fire protection and life-saving appliances
    • Fire Protection
    • Life-saving appliances
  • Fishing Vessels
  • Safety of navigation
    • Automatic Identification Systems (AIS)
    • Electronic Nautical Charts (ENC) and Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS)
    • E-navigation
    • Hydrographic data, nautical charts and nautical publications
    • Long-range identification and tracking (LRIT)
    • Pilotage
    • Places of refuge
    • Preventing Collisions
    • Ships Routeing
    • Standard Marine Communication Phrases
    • Vessel Traffic Services
    • Voyage Data Recorder (VDR)
  • Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue
    • Radiocommunications
    • Search and Rescue
  • Safety Regulations
    • Bulk Carriers
    • High-Speed Craft (HSC)
    • Oil Tankers
    • Passenger Ships
    • RO-RO Ferries
    • Wing in Ground (WIG) Craft
  • Safety Topics
    • Polar Code
    • Asbestos
    • Formal Safety Assessment
    • Goal-Based Standards
    • IGF Code
    • Integrated bridge systems
    • Protective Coatings
  • Ship Design and Stability

Seguridad marítima

  • Cargas y contenedores
    • Fijación y embalaje de carga
    • Cargas a granel
    • Contenedores
    • Mercancías peligrosas en forma empaquetada
  • Protección contra incendios y dispositivos de salvamento.
    • Protección contra incendios
    • Aparatos de salvamento
  • Buques pesqueros
  • Seguridad de la navegación
    • Sistemas de identificación automática (AIS)
    • Cartas náuticas electrónicas (ENC) y sistemas de información y visualización de cartas electrónicas (ECDIS)
    • Navegación electrónica
    • Datos hidrográficos, cartas náuticas y publicaciones náuticas
    • Identificación y seguimiento de largo alcance (LRIT)
    • Pilotaje
    • Lugares de refugio
    • Prevención de colisiones
    • Enrutamiento de barcos
    • Frases de comunicación marítima estándar
    • Servicios de tráfico de embarcaciones
    • Registrador de datos de viaje (VDR)
  • Radiocomunicaciones y búsqueda y salvamento
    • Radiocomunicaciones
    • Búsqueda y rescate
  • Regulaciones de seguridad
    • Buque carguero
    • Nave de alta velocidad (HSC)
    • Tanques de aceite
    • Barcos de pasajeros
    • Ferries RO-RO
    • Artesanía con alas en el suelo (WIG)
  • Temas de seguridad
    • Código Polar
    • Amianto
    • Evaluación de seguridad formal
    • Estándares basados ​​en objetivos
    • Código IGF
    • Sistemas de puentes integrados
    • Recubrimientos protectores
  • Diseño y estabilidad del barco