What is IMO number?

IMO, or, IMO , a unique identification number that is assigned to the marine vessel on the basis of Lloyd’s Register of shipping in accordance with the requirements of the International Maritime organization (International Maritime Organization, IMO). IMO number remains during the entire lifetime of the vessel and can not be changed when you change the name, flag or owner.

The numbers assigned to IMO for new vessels is carried out directly at registration of a vessel, it often occurs at the stage of laying in the construction process. For existing ships, the assignment of IMO numbers is carried out on the most convenient date, for example, during review, or the issuance of new certificates.

IMO number should be entered in the ship’s certificate, which includes characteristics of the vessel, other certificates issued in accordance with the conventions of the International Maritime organisation, the classification certificate and, if necessary, tonnage certificate for passage of the Suez and Panama canals. IMO number should preferably be included in the column entitled “official number or call sign”, in addition to radio call sign signal. Mandatory is the application of the IMO numbers in the ship’s hull.

System offer IMO

System identification number IMO was introduced on 19 November 1987 by Resolution A. 600(15) of the Assembly of the International Maritime organization. The aim of the system is to increase Maritime safety and pollution prevention, as well as assisting in the prevention of Maritime fraud. System application became mandatory with the entry into force on 1 January 1996, rule 3 of Chapter IX of the International Convention for the safety of life at sea (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, SOLAS).

4 Dec 2013 next 28th session of the Assembly of the International Maritime organization in London, adopted Resolution A. 1078(28) “System identification number of the vessel IMO” (IMO Ship Identification Number Scheme), which repealed Resolution A. 600(15).

The types of vessels subject to registration in the system IMO

In accordance with IMO Resolution A. 1078(28) on 04 Dec 2013, which came into force on 15 January 2014, the IMO number is assigned to all seagoing vessels with a gross tonnage* 100 tons and over except:

– non-motorised (without mechanical means of propulsion) of ships,
– pleasure yachts,
– ships engaged in special services (e.g., floating beacons, floating radio stations, search and rescue vessels),
– self-unloading barges,
– hydrofoils and hovercraft,
– floating docks and structures classified in a similar way,
– warships and military transports
wooden ships in General.

Fishing vessels and commercial yachts that previously also included in the above list were removed from it – these types of vessels today are subject to registration in the system identification number IMO.

* Gross tonnage – the total volume of all enclosed spaces of the ship below the upper deck, in superstructures and logging, expressed in tonnes, determined in accordance with the provisions of the International Convention on tonnage measurement of ships, 1969. Gross capacity does not include the volume of the compartments of the double bottom, used only for water ballast and also some office space on the upper deck and above (galley, bathroom, etc.). From the value of gross tonnage of the independent charges and fees from vessels over the passage channels of the pilotage service, etc. Is also used for statistical accounting of the fleet.

How to get a room IMO

Getting numbers IMO for new and existing ships may be effected by sending a corresponding request in the Maritime information publishing group of Lloyd’s Register of shipping, whose role is now IHS Maritime.

The request must contain the following characteristics of the vessel

room shipyard and the shipyard or the number of the case;
– ship name (if known);
– gross tonnage/deadweight;
– date of laying the keel
owner, operator/administrator and the flag;
– the basic type of the ship;
– the name and address of the requester.

The request may be sent through the feedback form on the official website IHS Maritime www.imonumbers.ihs.com in the framework of Sea-web, telex, Fax, email and in writing using the following contact information:

IHS Maritime
(Part of IHS Global Limited)
Sentinel House
163 Brighton Road
Coulsdon, Surrey CR5 2YH
United KingdomEmail: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0) 203 253 2404
Fax: +44 (0) 203 253 2102

On the basis of the submitted request information IHS Maritime will provide for free entry of information about the vessel in the shipping register and assign a number for him IMO.

Also IMO number can be obtained through the Secretariat of the International Maritime organization by using the following contacts:

Maritime Safety Division
Email: [email protected]
Fax: +44(0)20 7587 3210

How to check the integrity of the rooms IMO

IMO number consists of two parts: changing the seven-digit numerical numbers and invariant alphabetic prefix “IMO” (for example, MO 1234567). Seven-digit numeric number is maintained by the Lloyd’s Register of shipping. It consists of six consecutive numbers followed by the seventh control. Using the check digit can be verified the integrity of the issue IMO according to the following rule:

1. Each of the first six digits of the number is multiplied by the corresponding number in the number series “7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2”

2. The obtained six numbers are added.

3. The last digit of the resulting number should equal the control number in the room IMO.

For example, IMO 1011551 – the identification number of the mega-yacht Graceful was built in 2014 in the Blohm+Voss shipyard:

(1*7) + (0*6) + (1*5) + (1*4) + (5*3) + (5*2) = 7 + 0 + 5 + 4 + 15 + 10 = 41

Search vessel by IMO number

IMO number along with the name, call sign, MMSI number, to determine the current location of the vessel, to trace his itinerary, dates of entry and exit to the port. At the moment there are a number of specialized databases and public Internet services to search for ships and information about them using the numbers IMO. We present only the tested and valid informative useful resources:







1. Resolution A. 1078(28) “System identification number of the vessel IMO” (IMO Ship Identification Number Scheme) of the Assembly of the International Maritime organization, 4 December 2013 (ENG) open

2. International Convention of 2006 on Maritime labor.
In accordance with Article XVI of the Convention official text of the Convention are English and French versions. The text in the Russian language based on the translation of the International labour organization (ILO) in preparation for the ratification of the Convention by the Russian Federation. The translation of the Convention in coordination with the ILO, officially used in the edition of Federal Law of the Russian Federation on ratification of the Convention of 2006 On Maritime labor N 56-FZ open

3. International Convention for the prevention of pollution from ships, 1973 (RUS) open

4. The international code for the security of ships and port facilities (RUS) to open

5. International Convention for the safety of life at sea SOLAS-74 (RUS) to open

    Egor Lanin
    Author ruYachts

    Journalist, news editor. The team ruYachts.com 2014. Major topics: motor yachts, concepts, gadgets and technology.

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