The International Maritime Organisation (IMO), formerly known as the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), was established in Geneva in 1948, and came into force ten years later, meeting for the first time in 1959. The IMCO name was changed to IMO in 1982.
The IMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations whose primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping. It’s remit includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.
The IMO regulates AIS through the Maritime Safety Committee, which is advised by the International Electrotechnical Commission which sets the IEC standards for AIS.