Permanent Missions to IMO

Background information

Resolution A.505(XII) on the "Establishment of Permanent Missions by Member Governments" was adopted on 20 November 1981 for the purpose of communication with the Secretary General.

When a Member State wishes to establish a Permanent Mission to IMO in the United Kingdom, a Permanent Representative to IMO must be appointed in the first place. The decision to appoint a Permanent Representative and, therefore, to establish a Permanent Mission is optional and may depend on the particular needs and objectives of each Member State. Likewise, the size of a Permanent Mission is at the discretion of the Member State and it may consist of just a Permanent Representative. However, there can only be one Permanent Representative or acting Permanent Representative per mission.

Roles within the Mission

A Permanent Representative of a Member Government duly accredited to the International Maritime Organization is the official link between the Organization and the Government in respect of all political, diplomatic, administrative and technical questions which may arise in the relations of the Organization with the respective authorities of the Government.

Members of a Permanent Mission assist the Permanent Representative in the discharge of his/her responsibilities and perform functions according to the instructions received by their Government.

Procedure of accreditation

The process to establish a Permanent Mission is regulated under the "Amended Procedure for the Accreditation to IMO of Permanent Representatives and Members of the Permanent Missions of Member Governments". 

In accordance with the Procedure, the credentials of a Permanent Representative or an acting Permanent Representative must only be issued by either the Head of State, the Head of Government or the Minister for Foreign Affairs and must be addressed to the Secretary General. 

The original letter might then be posted or, alternatively, the Permanent Representative might choose to personally present it to the Secretary-General. This offers the opportunity to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Once the Permanent Representative has been duly accredited and the original letter has been provided, he/she might designate additional members of the Permanent Mission by writing a letter to the Secretary-General, referring to the instructions received from the Government to this effect.

Member States may request further information, including the above-mentioned Procedure and sample letters facilitating the necessary wording for the appointment of members of Permanent Missions to IMO, to the External Relations Office at