DEFINITION of 'International Maritime Organization - IMO'
A specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping and to prevent marine pollution from ships. The IMO's objectives can be best summed up by its slogan - "Safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans." It was established by means of a convention adopted in Geneva in 1948, and first met in 1959. Based in the United Kingdom, the IMO has 169 member states as of 2010 and three associate members.
BREAKING DOWN 'International Maritime Organization - IMO'
The IMO is also involved in legal issues matters pertaining to international shipping, such as liability and compensation matters, and the facilitation of international maritime traffic. The IMO's governing body, which is the Assembly that is made up of all 169 member states, generally meets every two years.