First of all, it is necessary to mention that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the specialized UN Agency established in 1948 which main functions are shipping safety and prevention of the marine environment pollution from ships.
The IMO key role is the establishment of the regulatory and legal framework for shipping, namely development of the international obligatory and non-mandatory conventions and codes for all IMO Member States.
One of the IMO's most important function is an inspection of the Member States concerning the implementation of the basic IMO instruments and compliance with international obligations as port State, flag State and coastal State. An accession to conventions and other IMO documents means for the IMO Member State that these documents are the part of the national legislation and arise obligations to follow all provisions of such documents.
At initial stage, the IMO Member States audit was held at voluntary basis in order to confirm that the main responsibility of the State, namely that adequate and effective port state control system of ships and their meeting with relevant international laws and regulations are in place. At the 23rd session of the IMO Assembly the Voluntary IMO member state audit scheme was adopted.
The voluntary audit was performed at 59 IMO Member States, two associated members and five independent territories.
The development of the mandatory audit scheme started at the 26th session of the IMO Assembly, and at the 28th session it was adopted the document "Transition from the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme to the IMO Member State Audit Scheme".
Ukraine as Member State will pass the audit in June 2018.