The IMB is a non-profit making organization, established in 1981 to act as a focal point in the fight against all types of maritime crime and malpractice. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) in its resolution A 504 (XII) (5) and (9) adopted on 20 November 1981, has inter alia, urged governments, all interests and organizations to cooperate and exchange information with each other and the IMB with a view to maintaining and developing a co-ordinated action in combating maritime fraud. The IMB has a MOU with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and has observer status with Interpol (ICPO).IMB’s main task is to protect the integrity of international trade by seeking out fraud and malpractice. For over 25 years, it has used industry knowledge, experience and access to a large number of well-placed contacts around the world to do this: identifying and investigating frauds, spotting new criminal methods and trends, and highlighting other threats to trade.
The information gathered from sources and during investigations is provided to members in the form of timely advice via a number of different communication routes. It lists the threats and explains how members can reduce their vulnerability to them. Over the years, this approach has thwarted many attempted frauds and saved the shipping and trading industry many millions of dollars.
The IMB provides an authentication service for trade finance documentation. It also investigates and reports on a number of other topics, notably documentary credit fraud, charter party fraud, cargo theft, ship deviation and ship finance fraud.
As well as helping to prevent crime, the IMB also has a duty to educate both the shipping community and a wider audience that comprises just about every entity engaged in trade. To this end, the IMB runs a regular series of courses and training programmes that have a wide-ranging syllabus and many proven benefits. It also offers bespoke consultancy services in areas such as ship and port security.
One of the IMB’s principal areas of expertise is in the suppression of piracy. Concerned at the alarming growth in the phenomenon, this led to the creation of the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre in 1992. The Centre is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It maintains a round-the-clock watch on the world’s shipping lanes, reporting pirate attacks to local law enforcement and issuing warnings about piracy hotspots to shipping.
With its multi-lingual and multi-disciplined staff, experience, unique structure, industry support and well-placed contacts, the IMB can rightly claim to be the world’s premier independent crime-fighting watchdog for international trade.