International Maritime Organization


Image of the logo of the IMO Denmark strives to procure regulation that ensures a level playing field for all countries' shipowners, while also ensuring that the shipping industry becomes safer and cleaner. This is achieved in cooperation with the other maritime nations that are members of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Global regulation for a global industry

The IMO is the United Nations' body for maritime matters. In the IMO, the Member States negotiate and adopt international regulation in order to enhance safety at sea, strengthen environmental protection and promote facilitation of maritime transport of goods and people. Furthermore, the IMO handles legal issues related to liability, compensation and the obligation to take out insurance in connection with pollution damage caused by oil spillages, wreck removal and a number of other areas.

IMO regulation applies to all ships irrespective of flag. This is important to Denmark because, on the one hand, it ensures a high level of health, safety and social conditions for seafarers, etc. and, on the other hand, it guarantees a level playing field for Danish shipping because the same rules are observed all over the world.

As an example of this, it is due to IMO regulation that there is guaranteed to be a sufficient number of lifeboats of proper quality available on passenger ships all over the world. It is also thanks to IMO regulation that ships do not pollute the oceans with waste, sewage and other harmful substances.

The most important instruments of the IMO are the international conventions (e.g. SOLAS) and codes (e.g. the Polar Code), which you can learn more about here.

See a list of all the conventions on the IMO webpage

Denmark in the IMO

IMO regulation is of great importance to Danish shipping and therefore the Danish Maritime Authority and other Government administrations work hard to promote Danish priorities in the IMO. This means that the Danish Maritime Authority takes part in all IMO meetings - often with representatives from the industry and other stakeholders acting as technical advisers.

Danish priorities include the following:

  • International measures to combat piracy 
  • A high level of safety in the arctic region
  • Regulation and enforcement thereof to promote sustainable shipping
  • Reduction of administrative burdens