International Maritime Organization (IMO)


IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. IMO’s work supports the UN SDGs.​

Description of Activities on AI

Project 1: Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS)

AI is part of the MASS functionality as the ship system (e.g. for collision avoidance) will have to learn from a large number of scenarios (Ship situations) to decide for the best anti-collision action to be taken. There will be many other AI applications for MASS. In this context, IMO developed a set of interim guidelines for the conduct of MASS trials, stipulating that trials should be conducted in a manner that provides at least the same degree of safety, security and protection of the environment as provided by the relevant instruments. IMO has also agreed on a road map for the development of a goal-based MASS Code which, as a first step, will be non-mandatory and be the basis for a mandatory MASS Code which is envisaged to enter into force on 1 January 2028.

Project 2: Marine Environmental Protection

IMO under its Global Industry Alliance to support Low Carbon Shipping (Low Carbon GIA) is working towards promoting Just-In-Time (JIT) arrivals of ships through the use of ship and port specific data with an aim to reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions at sea and in ports.

Project 3: Digital Review

IMO is undertaking a digital review, to ensure a future-viable IMO, as part of a broader Functional Review. The Secretariat aims to ascertain what is working well and what is not working well, what is needed and what is redundant, and to develop a digital strategy and roadmap for the next 5 years to ensure the Secretariat embraces digital opportunities in a way which will make it future viable with regards to digital access.

Project 4: Knowledge building

A seminar/workshop to strengthen knowledge of the maritime community/IMO staff, as well as delegates.

Project 5: AI for Sustainable Maritime Transport (AI-SMART)

A Possible collaboration with private sector and AI solution providers to enable developing countries to be prepared for AI related solutions in maritime.

Related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)