28th assembly London, HQ





The 28th Assembly of IMO met in London at the IMO's Headquarters from 25 November to 4 December 2013. All 170 Member States and three Associate Members were entitled to attend the Assembly, which is the 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 were 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.

Opening address by IMO secretary-General Koji Sekimizu.

Council extraordinary session

The Assembly was preceded by the twenty-seventh extraordinary session of the Council, on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 November.

Strategic plan and budget

The Organization’s updated strategic and high-level action plans and the related results-based budget for 2014-2015 will be presented to the Assembly for adoption. 

Mandatory audit scheme

The Assembly is expected to adopt key resolutions and amendments relating to the Organization’s mandatory audit scheme, paving the way for the scheme to come into effect by 2016 once amendments to mandatory instruments have entered into force. 

Adoption of resolutions

The Assembly will review the work carried out by the Organization during the biennium 2010 to 2011. A number of draft resolutions have been submitted by the various IMO Committees for adoption by the Assembly, which will also consider, for adoption, any resolutions submitted by the Council’s 27th Extraordinary Session. The topics covered by such resolutions include:



• Prevention and suppression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa;

• Guidelines on the preservation and collection of evidence following an allegation of a serious crime having taken place on board a ship or following a report of a missing person from a ship, and pastoral and medical care of persons affected;

• Revised guidelines on implementation of the ISM Code by Administrations;

• Revised guidelines for the structure of an integrated system of contingency planning for shipboard emergencies;

• Revised guidelines to assist investigators in the implementation of the Casualty Investigation Code;

• Recommendations for the training and certification of personnel on mobile offshore units (MOUs);

• Voluntary application of the IMO Ship Identification Number Scheme to fishing vessels of 100 gross tons and above;

• Recommendation on the use of adequately qualified deep-sea pilots in the North Sea, English Channel and Skagerrak; and in the Baltic;

• Application of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004;

• Amendments to the survey guidelines under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (HSSC);

• Revised guidelines for the designation of special areas under MARPOL 73/78; and

• Use of national tonnage in applying international conventions.




Koji Sekimizu, General Secretary






The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has opened the 28th session of the Assembly which will run until 4 December at IMO headquarters.

In his opening address, Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu, outlined the achievements of the Organization during the 2012 to 2013 biennium, with a strong emphasis on its work in the environmental field.

Mr Sekimizu emphasised the implementation of the energy efficiency requirements; promotion of technical cooperation and transfer of technology relating to improvement of energy efficiency of ships; the designation of Saba Bank as a new particularly sensitive sea area; the Ballast Water Management Convention implementation plan; and the adoption of six guidelines for the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.

He also outlined the achievements of the Organization during the 2012 to 2013 biennium, stressing the work on passenger ship safety, following the January 2012 Costa Concordia accident; preparation for the introduction of the mandatory IMO audit scheme; the adoption of the Cape Town Agreement to implement fishing vessel safety regulations; work on maritime security and anti-piracy measures; and progress in the preparation of the Polar Code.

Referring efforts to reduce accidents, Mr. Sekimizu said he appreciated progress by the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) to implement an Accident Zero Campaign, but said the issue of maritime migrants could not be neglected. 

“Hundreds of people on board small boats and ships with no safety measures are my concern. On the rescue side, IMO has done a lot. But this field needs further work to improve the system to handle persons rescued at sea," he said.

The Secretary-General also referred to his objective to eradicate piracy and reduce maritime casualties by half. “On piracy, while we saw good results of our concerted efforts in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia, we are concerned about the situation in the Gulf of Guinea. We should make further efforts in this field,” Mr Sekimizu said.



IMO, International Maritime Organization HQ, London, England.


IMO, International Maritime Organization HQ, London, England.





Resolution A.1037(27) 
Adopted on 22 November 2011 
(Agenda item 7) 
(FOR THE SIX-YEAR PERIOD 2012 to 2017)

Heightened environmental consciousness 

2.6 The enhancement of a sustainable environmental policy for the shipping industry remains a high-profile matter. The heightened concern at the impact of global shipping activities on the environment has given further impetus to efforts by the Organization to increase awareness, promote corporate social responsibility by the shipping industry and develop sustainable and environmentally conscious means of minimizing the negative impacts from shipping, such as those aimed at reducing atmospheric pollution; addressing climate change through enhanced energy efficiency for ships and other measures; ensuring the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity; and preventing the introduction of polluting substances from ships into the marine environment. Concern for the environment has also extended to concerns over the safest and most effective measures for the recycling of ships, which IMO is also addressing. 

The challenge for IMO, in line with the global emphasis on sustainable development, is to: 

1. be proactive in identifying shipping activities and incidents that could have an adverse impact on the environment and, therefore, in developing corresponding preventive measures; 

2. contribute to international efforts to reduce atmospheric pollution and address climate change; 

3. develop effective preparedness and response strategies for shipping incidents in order to mitigate their impact on the environment; and 

4. make new ships more environmentally friendly by implementing the "cradle to grave" concept for new ships, whilst further facilitating practicable solutions for the recycling of existing ships.




The ultimate challenge, is to perfect a system that prevents accidents via human error





Types of Automatic Identification Systems". U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center.

Maritime Navigation and Radiocommunication Equipment and Systems IEC


Circular 289: Guidance On the Use of AIS Application-Specific Messages

Establishing an IALA AIS Binary Message Register: Recommended Process IALA Conference

AIS Application Specific Messags IALA-AISM.

EMC Analysis of Universal Automatic Identification and Public Correspondence Systems in the Maritime VHF Band

Vessel Tracker Community.

Maritime security – AIS ship data 79th session: 1–10 December 2004. IMO Maritime Safety Committee.

Atlantis leaves Columbus with a radio eye on Earth’s sea traffic ESA. 4 December 2009.

LUXSPACE Sarl - LuxSpace successfully launches AIS satellite on PSLV LuxSpace

ESA satellite receiver brings worldwide sea traffic tracking within reach". Euro Space Agency. 23 April 2009

SpaceQuest receiving AIS SART messages from orbit". Kurt Schwehr. 29 April 2010

Successful launch of Norwegian satellite The Norwegian Space Centre

Technical characteristics for AIS time division multiple access VHF maritime band (Recommendation ITU-R M.1371-4)

AIS Messages U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center.

USPTO ex-parte reexamination certificate (7428th), issued on March 30, 2010

AIS Advice


AIS references

Commissioners of Irish Lights Oct-11 - AIS Home page

IMO AIS transponders information Oct-11

Further AIS, VTS and VTMIS information

US Coast Guard Automatic Identification System Overview Mar-13






EU Horizon 2020



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