IMO Assembly 31st session (25 November-4 December 2019)

IMO Assembly 31st session

The 31st session of the IMO Assembly takes place at IMO Headquarters in London, 25 November-4 December 2019.

Assembly - Basic information

The IMO Assembly, the Organization's highest governing body, meets every two years. It is responsible for approving the Organization's work programme and budget for the next two years and electing the 40-Member Council, as well as considering substantive issues emanating from the Organization's Council and five Committees. The Assembly  is expected to confirm the appointment of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim for a second four-year term in office.


25 November to 4 December 2019

The Assembly is preceded by the 30th session of the IMO Council Extraordinary Session (21-22 November). The Council will report to the Assembly. 


IMO Headquarters in London.


All 174 IMO Member States and three Associate Members may attend. Intergovernmental organizations and international non-governmental organizations are also invited. Media may attend certain sessions but other sessions are closed.

Accreditation and media access

-  Any media attending the Assembly and other events will be required to show a valid form of ID.

-  Plenary sessions are open. Public and accredited media may attend.

-  Committee sessions are private. Public and media may not attend, even if accredited.


Media wishing to attend plenary sessions but who do not have current and valid IMO media accreditation must download and complete the media accreditation form and return it to with a letter of assignment.

Already accredited?

If already accredited (and in possession of an IMO media pass) please email if you wish to attend. Your existing pass will be activated.

Agenda and timetable

Provisional timetable here and provisional agenda here  - please check IMODOCS for all Assembly documents (registration required for free account)


Morning, 09.30-12.30; afternoon, 14.30-17:30 (except Monday 25 November which runs 11.30-12.30; 14.30-16.30).


Opening ceremony

Features speeches by the incoming and outgoing Assembly Presidents, and the IMO
Secretary-General. Ministers from a number of countries are expected to take the floor.

Read more. 

Election of the IMO Council

Friday 29 November

Candidates will speak in plenary during the morning. The election will be by secret ballot in the afternoon. Results are expected late afternoon.

The new Council for 2020-2021 will meet following the Assembly and elect the council chair and vice-chair for the next biennium.

Adoption of resolutions

Wednesday 4 December 

Resolutions expected to be adopted, including on:

  • Procedures for Port State Control, 2019

  • Survey Guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (HSSC), 2019

  • 2019 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code)

  • Guidance on communication of information by Member States

  • Interim safety measures for ships not certified under the SOLAS Convention operating in polar waters

  • Amendments to the use and fitting of retro-reflective materials on life-saving appliances (resolution A.658(16))

  • Measures to prevent the fraudulent registration and fraudulent registries of ships

  • Rules and Guidelines for Consultative Status of Non-Governmental International Organizations with IMO

  • Ethical considerations and guidelines for conduct of IMO Council elections

  • Results based budget for 2020-2021

  • Preserving the Legacy of the World Maritime Theme for 2019 - Achieving a Barrier-Free Working Environment for Women in the Maritime Sector


The 31st Assembly of IMO is meeting in London at IMO Headquarters from 25 November
to 4 December 2019. All 174 Member States and three Associate Members are entitled to attend the Assembly, which is IMO's highest governing body. The intergovernmental organizations with which agreements of co-operation have been concluded and international non-governmental organizations in consultative status with IMO are also invited to attend.

The Assembly normally meets once every two years in regular session. It is responsible for approving the work programme, voting the budget and determining the financial arrangements of the Organization. It also elects the Organization's 40-Member Council.