The establishment of formal relations between IMO and intergovernmental organizations is governed by Articles 25 and 66 of the Convention on the International Maritime Organization. On 15 December 2021, the IMO Assembly adopted resolution A.1168(32) on Relations with intergovernmental organizations, which established the following procedures and terms for the cooperation between IMO and intergovernmental organizations:
1. The interests and activities of any intergovernmental organization wishing to cooperate with IMO shall be related to the purposes of the Organization.
2. Requests for cooperation with IMO from intergovernmental organizations shall be submitted to the Council, in the form of a Council document, by a Member State or a group of Member States on behalf of the interested intergovernmental organization.
3. Each request shall consist of a letter from the Executive Head of the interested organization and a supporting explanatory document.
4. If approved by the Council, the Secretary-General shall submit the request to the Assembly for approval.
5. Once approved by the IMO Assembly, the intergovernmental organization shall be allowed to observe and submit documents to meetings or conferences convened by or under the auspices of IMO to consider matters in which the intergovernmental organization has an interest, in accordance with the procedures applicable to each meeting or conference. The organization shall have no voting rights at the meetings or conferences. Conversely, the intergovernmental organization may invite the Secretary‑General of IMO to send observers and submit documents to meetings or conferences convened by or under the auspices of the intergovernmental organization to consider matters in which IMO has an interest, in accordance with the governing rules of the intergovernmental organization.
6. IMO and the intergovernmental organization may consult each other on matters of common interest to both with a view to ensuring maximum coordination of the work and activities of their respective organizations.
7. The intergovernmental organization may, at the request of IMO, render assistance to IMO in matters falling within the scope of IMO's activities.
8. IMO may withdraw this arrangement for cooperation at any time following a decision from the IMO Council which shall be submitted to the IMO Assembly for approval. Equally, the intergovernmental organization may withdraw from the arrangement at any time.
date there are 66 intergovernmental organizations which have observer status with IMO; to access the list, please click here.
Any enquiries regarding the cooperation between IMO and intergovernmental organizations should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (with "Relations with intergovernmental organizations" in the subject line).