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The Role of the IMO

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), as a specialised agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented to create a level playing-field so that ship operators cannot address their financial issues by simply cutting corners and compromising on safety, security and environmental performance. This approach also encourages innovation and efficiency.

The Role of the ITF

The ITF, as a social partner, has been appreciated by the UN agencies, in particular IMO, a regulatory body in the maritime, for speaking on behalf of more than 1 million international maritime workers. The ITF has obtained its consultative status since 1961. We do acknowledge the profound roles and responsibilities assigned to us and have been striving to excel to ensure safety and security of maritime human are fully considered at high regulatory level. All five Committees and seven Sub-committees, including most Correspondence Groups, Experts Groups and Editorial & Technical Groups, are covered.


IMO Meetings in relation to the ITF

  • Facilitation Committee (FAL): undertakes matters related to the facilitation of international maritime traffic including the arrival, stay and departure of ships, persons and cargo from ports, as well as communications amongst ship to ship, ship to port and port to port. The ITF makes sure regulations are made to reduce administrative burdens for maritime workers not their personal information being violated.
  • Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC): undertakes all environment related issues in shipping. The ITF fully supports the paramount importance of environmental protection and makes sure environmental protection strategies fully consider protecting human lives at sea.
  • Maritime Safety Committee (MSC): undertakes matters in relation to maritime safety and security covering passenger ships and all merchant ships. The ITF makes sure all IMO instruments are enshrined the principle of safety of lives to maximise the productivities in shipping.
  • Legal Committee (LEG): undertakes any legal matters including ship operation relating liability and compensation issues, such as abandonment of seafarers, fair treatment of seafarers in case of pollution, passenger claims, wreck removal or marine crimes. The ITF makes sure the maritime workers have appropriate authorities compare to the level of responsibilities that are required.
  • Technical Cooperation Committee (TCC): oversees IMO’s capacity-building programme and the implementation of technical cooperation projects to support developing countries. The ITF participates several capacity-building programmes which upholds education and trainings of maritime human elements.


The agendas at Sub-Committees pass on to the decision of the Committees.

  • Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC): undertakes all matters related to safety and security of cargoes. The ITF endeavours the cargo operations are conducted by competent personnel not to cause any potential danger for personnel onboard and on shore.
  • Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW): deals with issues regarding human in the maritime, in particular education and training, validation IMO Model Courses and certification. HTW is essential for the ITF hence its decisions affect a great deal on the maritime workers’ career paths.
  • Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III): undertakes its tasks to provide appropriate measures to flag, port and coastal States. The ITF strives effective implementation and enforcement of the IMO instruments are achieved supported by Port State Control inspections worldwide.
  • Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) is a distinctive body which considers all matters from navigation to distress and SAR and communication operations. Thus, the ITF tries to keep the minimum requirements at the most stringent level as possible.
  • Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR): scopes over the pollution implications at open sea and ashore, by three dimensions; the air, the surface of the sea and under the sea. The ITF endeavours the regulations to fully consider the health and safety of maritime workers.
  • Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SCD): undertakes technical and operational matters related to ship design and construction. The ITF continues addressing the profoundness of human-centred design.
  • Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE): undertakes technical and operational matters related to ships’ systems and equipment also of all vessels, crafts and mobile units. The ITF ensures systems and equipment aboard enhance safety of lives and ships and security of cargo.

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Earl W Browne
1 week 5 days ago

The organisation should look at recruitment practices world wide, seafarers sould not be forced out of the industry by recruiters.
A seafarer, should retire volountary, matured seamen are the experienced ones in the industry, and should be given a chance.