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Technical Cooperation


​​IMO adopts international shipping regulations but it is the responsibility of Governments to implement those regulations. IMO has developed an Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) which is designed to assist Governments which lack the technical knowledge and resources that are needed to operate a shipping industry safely and efficiently.

Mission Stateme​nt ​of IMO's Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme

To help developing countries improve their ability to comply with international rules and standards relating to maritime safety and the prevention and control of maritime pollution, giving priority to technical assistance programmes that focus on human resources development and institutional capacity-building.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and post-2015 development agenda

In 2015, the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit adopted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the UN.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets, to follow on from and build on the millennium development goals (MDGs), which were agreed by governments in 2001.

International shipping is inherently indispensable for economic growth and sustainable development and therefore indirectly plays a role in all of the SDGs. However, three of the SDGs have particular resonance for IMO:
  Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all;
  Goa​l 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation; and
  Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.


IMO has developed a concept paper on Sustainable Maritime Transportation System, which includes a set of goals and actions, to highlight the importance of maritime transportation. It is envisaged that the ITCP will be shaped in the future not only to address the real needs of IMO Member States, but also to promote and support the sustainable maritime transportation system globally.


In the last 15 years following the Millennium Declaration which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, IMO took a number of policy initiatives, including adoption of an Assembly resolution, to align its work on technical cooperation with the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Following the end of the MDGs in December 2015, IMO has commenced arrangements to implement activities related to the SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda, and to link its technical cooperation programme to the SDGs.


Country Maritime Profile (CMP)

The Country Maritime Profile was created in 2012 as a result of the Secretary-General's initiative on the review and reform of technical cooperation. Data collected is used to identify the real technical cooperation needs of developing countries.

The GISIS Country Maritime Profile da​tabase is an extension of that initiative, enabling authorized users to input their country maritime profile data directly. The module provides storage for the data and the ability to retrieve and analyse it. All Member States are required to complete their profile.


IMO Member State Audit Scheme

The IMO Member State Audit Scheme is intended to provide an audited Member State with a comprehensive and objective assessment of how effectively it administers and implements those mandatory IMO instruments which are covered by the Scheme. There are nine instruments included in the scope of the scheme: SOLAS 1974; SOLAS PROTOCOL 1988; MARPOL 73/78; MARPOL PROTOCOL 1997; STCW 1978; LOAD LINES 1966 (LL66); LL 66 PROT 1988; TONNAGE 1969; and COLREG 1972.

The Audit Scheme, mandatory effective January 2016, uses both the IMO Instruments Implementation (III) Code and resolution 1067(28) on "Framework and Procedures" as reference tools.

The results of the audits could be systematically used as input to programming of the technical assistance of the ITCP, along with the Country Maritime Profiles, to ensure than the ITCP is addressing the real needs of its recipient Member States.