IMCA at the IMO

IMCA has long held consultative status at IMO. Through IMCA’s representative our members have a voice at IMO who engages in discussions and submits positioning papers on key areas that affect members and their businesses. This year we have had quite a visible presence at the IMO as part of our efforts to address key areas on behalf of our members.


Each year there are about 25 weeks of meetings at IMO, during which legislation and regulations impacting the maritime world are drafted, discussed and reviewed/amended to reflect current industry practice, or to address a pressing regulatory need. The vast majority are relevant to IMCA and its members. In addition to attending relevant meetings IMCA is involved in producing industry standards on a variety of maritime issues. NGOs, like us, are the source of guidance and information for the 174 IMO Member States. Additionally, IMCA engages with key Member State representatives on behalf of its members and lobbies for support on key issues impacting the offshore sector.

Six key areas have been a priority for IMCA at IMO this year:


Environmental Protection

  • IMO 2020: IMO’s Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) has adopted a raft of resolutions addressing various issues surrounding the implementation of the 0.5% limit for the sulphur content of fuel on 1 January 2020. The package of instruments is listed on IMCA’s website. Members have had a full briefing.
  • IMCA is actively engaging with IMO’s “Initial Strategy on the reduction of Green House Gas (GHGs) Emissions from Ships”, adopted in April 2018 which envisages a reduction in total GHG emissions from international shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels, while pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely.

In May, IMCA ran a profile-raising photographic exhibition at the MEPC showcasing innovative vessels and working methods employed by members to improve the energy efficiency of their vessels and reduce their GHG emissions; this was viewed by Member States and also IMO Secretary-General, Kitack Lim.

  • IMCA is part of IMO’s Correspondence Group, established to develop a strategy to address marine plastic litter from ships. This work is being followed closely by both IMCA’s Marine Policy and Regulatory Affairs Committee (MPRA) as well as its Environmental Sustainability Committee.


  • A key focus area is the revision of the IMO diving code and associated guidelines. Work has started at IMCA level, with several workshops being led by IMCA members together with interested IMO Member States. An output from the workshops is a paper providing new recommendations to IMO.
  • IMCA has actively participated in the work under way on the development of the Industrial Personnel (IP) Code, involving various rounds of revisions. The draft code will be considered in detail at the sub-committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) in Spring 2020.


  • On the security front, we co-sponsored a seminar on piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

The focus of our work has widened and really ramped up this year and 2020 will be no exception, as it marks the start of the crucial 2020-2030 decade during which IMO will be introducing mid-term measures to reduce the carbon intensity of the world fleet by at least 40%.

IMCA will continue to raise awareness with its members across all these areas and encourages them to become more involved; we need their input, their voice and crucially their examples to use in papers set before IMO.


As part of our work in representing our Members' interests, IMCA and the Russian Federation submitted a paper to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) during Marine Environment Protection Committee MEPC 74/6 in May this year. Our focus was on further technical and operational measures for enhancing the energy efficiency of international shipping including transport work for offshore and marine contracting vessels.