IMO ship identification number scheme

Regulations relating to the IMO ship identification number scheme

Verification of IMO number - contact information

Company and registered owner identification number

The IMO ship identification number scheme was introduced in 1987 through adoption of resolution A.600(15), as a measure aimed at enhancing "maritime safety, and pollution prevention and to facilitate the prevention of maritime fraud". It aimed at assigning a permanent number to each ship for identification purposes. That number would remain unchanged upon transfer of the ship to other flag(s) and would be inserted in the ship's certificates. When made mandatory, through SOLAS regulation XI/3 (adopted in 1994), specific criteria of passenger ships of 100 gross tonnage and upwards and all cargo ships of 300 gross tonnage and upwards were agreed.

The implementation of the scheme became mandatory for all ships as of 1 January 1996.

In December 2002, the Diplomatic Conference on Maritime Security adopted a number of measures aimed at enhancing security of ships and port faciltiies. This included a modification to SOLAS Regulation XI-1/3 to require ships' identification numbers to be permanently marked in a visible place either on the ship's hull or superstructure. Passenger ships should carry the marking on a horizontal surface visible from the air. Ships should also be marked with their ID numbers internally.

The IMO ship identification number is made of the three letters "IMO" followed by the seven-digit number assigned to all ships by the Lloyd's Register Fairplay when constructed. This is a unique seven digit number that is assigned to propelled, sea-going merchant ships of 100 GT and above upon keel laying with the exception of the following:

  • Vessels solely engaged in fishing
  • Ships without mechanical means of propulsion
  • Pleasure yachts
  • Ships engaged on special service (e.g. lightships, SAR vessels)
  • Hopper barges
  • Hydrofoils, air cushion vehicles
  • Floating docks and structures classified in a similar manner
  • Ships of war and troopships
  • Wooden ships

This number is assigned to the total portion of the hull enclosing the machinery space and is the determining factor should additional sections be added.

The IMO number is never reassigned to another vessel and is shown on the ship’s certificates.

IMO ship identification number - contact

Lloyd’s Register – Fairplay is the sole authority for identifying and assigning an IMO number.

For verification of IMO numbers for individual ships, Lloyd’s Register – Fairplay operates a service following receipt of a completed IMO number Request Form.

Contact:

LLOYD'S REGISTER - FAIRPLAY
LOMBARD HOUSE
3 PRINCESS WAY
REDHILL
SURREY RH1 1UP
United Kingdom
INTERNATIONAL FAX +44 1737 379040
TELEPHONE +44 1737 379043

EMAIL: data-audit@lrfairplay.com

IMO Circular Letter on the IMO Ship identification number scheme

Company and registered owner identification number

In May 2005, IMO adopted a new SOLAS regulation XI-1/3-1 Company and registered owner identification number and amendments to regulation XI-1/5 on the mandatory company and registered owner identification number, with entry into force expected to be on 1 January 2009.

Regulation 3-1 states that "every Company and registered owner shall be provided with an identification number which conforms to the IMO Unique Company and Registered Owner Identification Number Scheme adopted by the Organization." It refers to resolution MSC.160(78) entitled "Adoption of the IMO Unique Company and Registered Owner Identification Number Scheme". Other amendments add the IMO unique company and registered identification number to relevant certificates and documents in the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (the ISM Code) and International ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

The IMO unique company and registered owner identification number is a number, allocated at the time of issuance of a document listed in paragraph 6, with the prefix IMO (e.g. IMO 8712345). Administrations which have decided to implement the scheme are invited to assign all appropriate companies and registered owners managing ships entitled to fly their flags, or cause them to be assigned, the IMO unique company and registered owner identification number and to insert them on ships' certificates.

For new companies and registered owners, the assignment of the IMO unique company and registered owner identification number should be made when the company's ship is entitled to fly its flag. For existing companies and registered owners, the assignment of the IMO unique company and registered owner identification number should be made at an early convenient date, such as when the certificates listed in this resolution are issued or renewed.

Administrations implementing the scheme are invited to inform the Organization accordingly, for circulation to other Administrations.

IMO company and registered owner identification number - contact

Lloyd’s Register – Fairplay is the sole authority for identifying and assigning an IMO number.

For verification of IMO numbers for individual ships, Lloyd’s Register – Fairplay operates a service following receipt of a completed IMO number Request Form.

Contact:

LLOYD'S REGISTER - FAIRPLAY
LOMBARD HOUSE
3 PRINCESS WAY
REDHILL
SURREY RH1 1UP
United Kingdom
INTERNATIONAL FAX +44 1737 379040
TELEPHONE +44 1737 379043

EMAIL: owners-data-feedback@lrfairplay.com

IMO Circular Letter on the IMO Ship identification number scheme