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The International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) is an intergovernmental organization established in 1976 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations specialized agency. IMSO contributes to the safety and security of seafarers and passengers around the world by providing oversight of the satellite providers of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and as the Co-ordinator for the Long-Range Identification and Tracking of Ships (LRIT) system, both established by IMO under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).

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IMSO Convention

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Member States
form the Advisory
Committee

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Member States

Our Work

GMDSS Oversight

IMSO is the oversight body of the satellite communications elements of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) established by IMO and designed to provide a worldwide system for automated emergency signal communication for ships at sea. IMSO ensures that the provision of maritime mobile satellite communications services (currently provided by Inmarsat Ltd and Iridium Ltd) meets the criteria set up by IMO.

LRIT Co-ordinator

IMSO is the Co-ordinator of the Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system of ships established by IMO and designed to collect and distribute position information received from around 40,000 ships worldwide that are subject to IMO’s International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). IMSO ensures that the system operates properly by undertaking annual audits of all elements of the LRIT system across 123 countries.

Other Activities

IMSO represents its Member States’ interests in relation to the GMDSS and LRIT in global policy-making fora to ensure that these vital systems remain relevant to changing priorities. It also provides expertise and advice on matters relating to IMSO’s mandate at the international and national level to enhance safety and security at sea as well as search and rescue capabilities and standard-setting activities concerning satellite communication systems oversight.

Member States

IMSO has currently 110 Member States.
Membership in the Organization is open to all States, subject to the provisions contained in the Convention on the International Mobile Satellite Organization.

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a Member State

Latest News

IMSO Celebrates International Day for Women in Maritime 2024

17 May 2024|

IMSO Director General Strengthens Maritime Cooperation by Attending the IMO Regional Meeting in Barbados

3 May 2024|

IMSO Director General addresses safety at sea in a lecture at the IMO International Maritime Law Institute’s 35th Anniversary Event in Malta

18 April 2024|

Upcoming meetings

50th session
of the IMSO
Advisory Committee

15-18 July 2024

29th session
of the IMSO
Assembly

9-13 December 2024

51st session
of the IMSO
Advisory Committee

TBC

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