Developing Navigation Standards: The IMO Subcommittee on Safety of Navigation
COAST GUARD WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF MARITIME TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS
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Shipping is perhaps the most international of the world s industries, serving more than 90 percent of global trade. The ownership and management chain surrounding any ship can include many countries, and ships may spend their economic lives moving through different jurisdictions, often far from the country of registry. There is, therefore, a need for international standards that can be adopted and accepted by all to regulate shipping. The first maritime treaties date back to the 19th century. Later, the Titanic disaster gave rise to the first international Safety of Life at Sea SOLAS convention, still the most important treaty addressing maritime safety. The International Maritime Organization The International Maritime Organization IMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations, based in the United Kingdom, with 169 member states and three associate members. The convention establishing IMO was adopted in Geneva in 1948, and it first met in 1959. IMOs main task has been to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping. Its responsibility today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical cooperation, maritime security, and shipping efficiency. The organization consists of an assembly, a council, and five main committees the Maritime Safety Committee, the Marine Environment Protection Committee, the Legal Committee, the Technical Co-operation Committee, the Facilitation Committee. The Maritime Safety Committee is the highest technical body of the organization. It consists of all member states, and its functions are to consider any matter within the scope of the organization concerned with aids to navigation, vessel construction and equipment, manning from a safety standpoint, rules to prevent collisions, handling dangerous cargoes, maritime safety procedures and requirements, hydrographic information, log books and navigational records, and marine casualty investigations.
- Marine Engineering
- Safety Engineering
- Underwater and Marine Navigation and Guidance