The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the specialized agency designated by the United Nations to facilitate a unified, global approach to international shipping in conjunction with the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC). The international treaty that accomplishes this is called the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL). Since 1967, representatives of governments from around the world have been meeting annually at the IMO's London Headquarters to update these standards through the FAL Committee. The resulting agreements are compiled each year into the Convention on the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention).
Through the FAL Convention, all aspects of a ship's arrival, stay, and departure are standardized to move ships in and out of ports more quickly. Inefficiency leads to delays and extra costs which inhibits economic growth. Facilitation ensures that all local and international regulations and controls are followed in a streamlined fashion so appropriate agencies receive the necessary paperwork they require with minimal inconvenience to the passengers and crew. Find out more about facilitation through our collection of publications made available for you.