Convention on the International Mobile Satellite Organization (Inmarsat), As Amended
- Type: Convention
- Date of signature: 03/09/1976
- Place of signature: London, United Kingdom
- Depositary: The International Maritime Organization (IMO)
- Date of entry into force: 16/07/1979
What is it about?
This Convention defines the purposes of the International Mobile Satellite Organization (Inmarsat) as being to improve maritime communications, thereby assisting in improving distress and safety of life at sea communications, the efficiency and management of ships, maritime public correspondence services, and radio determination capabilities. This Agreement does not apply to warships and other government ships operated for non-commercial purposes.
Why is it relevant?
The Inmarsat’s satellite system is used by more than 170 countries for maritime, aeronautical and land mobile applications. It was established principally to improve maritime communications and safety, but it has expanded into land, mobile and aeronautical communications.
There are four sets of amendments to this Convention. Upon entry into force, the amendments become binding upon all Parties and Signatories, including those which have not accepted them. - 1985 Amendments (London, 16/10/1985): These amendments enabled Inmarsat to provide services to aircraft as well as ships. They entered into force on 13 October 1989. - 1989 Amendments (London, 19/01/1989): These amendments enabled Inmarsat to provide services to landbased vehicles as well as ships and aircraft. They entered into force on 26 June 1997. - 1994 Amendments (London, 09/12/1994): One of these amendments modified the official name of Inmarsart from International Maritime Satellite Organization to the International Mobile Satellite Organization, still abbreviated as ‘Inmarsat.’ This modification is a result of the structural changes that have occurred in the Organization since it was created, mainly regarding the extension of its services from the maritime sector to other modes of transport. There were also changes regarding the composition of the Inmarsat Council. These amendments are not yet in force. - 1998 Amendments (London, 24/04/1998): In 1998, Inmarsat's Assembly of member Governments agreed to privatize Inmarsat from April 1999. The new structure comprises two entities: Inmarsat Plc., a public limited company which forms the commercial arm of Inmarsat and the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO), an intergovernmental body established to ensure that Inmarsat continues to meet its public service obligations, including obligations relating to the Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS). IMSO replaces Inmarsat as observer at IMO meetings. These amendments entered into force on 31 July 2001.
- Operating Agreement on the International Mobile Satellite Organization (Inmarsat), As Amended (London, 3 September 1976).