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IMO is primarily concerned with the safety of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution, but the Organization has also introduced regulations covering liability and compensation for damage, such as pollution, caused by ships.

The Torrey Canyon disaster of 1967, which led to an intensification of IMO's technical work in preventing pollution, was also the catalyst for work on liability and compensation. An ad hoc Legal Committee was established to deal with the legal issues raised by the world's first major tanker disaster and the Committee soon became a permanent subsidiary organ of the IMO Council, meeting twice a year to deal with any legal issues raised at IMO.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea covers some issues not regulated under IMO treaty instruments - for example, the jurisdictional power of the coastal State.


 

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