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We support our national member associations by representing their interests at international regulatory and policy meetings while we also serve and support the global shipping industry by providing industry best practice and guidance.

In all our activities at ICS we are accountable to our Board of Directors, which consists of elected representatives of our national full member associations. The members and the Board are supported by a dedicated professional secretariat.

As a trade association, ICS is funded by membership fees, supplemented by further income generated from commercial operations, including the sale of publications and our seafarer work/rest hour compliance software, ISF Watchkeeper. This diversified revenue stream enables ICS to better represent members’ interests, promoting a balanced view, and to represent the global shipping industry with a broad perspective. It also helps us to meet the continuous demands of our members, including activities at regulatory and other meetings, and fund R&D projects.

ICS and its publications – Serving the industry and ensuring safety standards

Where does our money come from and how do we spend it?

ICS and Marisec

ICS and its publications – Serving the industry and ensuring safety standards

ICS is a highly respected author of maritime publications which are used onboard ship across the entire merchant fleet.

ICS publications are produced by the secretariat with support from technical experts. ICS also partners with publishers, such as Witherbys, to ensure that our expertise is as widely accessible as possible.

Our first guidelines aimed at supporting our members were published in the 1970s. Since then, ICS has steadily grown its catalogue to provide industry best practice on a full range of current and developing technical matters.

These publications have become widely accepted reference documents, providing vital assistance to our members and to shipowners far beyond our membership.

Where does our money come from and how do we spend it?

ICS revenue is principally derived from membership fees, the sale of ISF Watchkeeper software licences, and publications.


ICS expenditure focuses on developing policy positions and providing guidelines and tools/software in our principal areas of expertise, including technical, legal and labour affairs, ensuring ICS represents and supports the industry in the best possible way.

ICS and Marisec

To differentiate the not for profit trade association and commercial activities of the organisation, in 1990 ICS and its then sister association, the International Shipping Federation (ISF), established a subsidiary, Maritime International Secretariat Services Limited (Marisec). ISF subsequently merged with ICS in 2011.

Marisec is fully owned by ICS and exists for the purpose of providing staff and secretariat services to ICS and the International Support Vessel Owners Association (ISOA).

Marisec is also the commercial trading arm of ICS with responsibility for the production and sale of publications and the ISF Watchkeeper seafarer software. Marisec organises a range of seminars and meetings and workshops for ICS, to which ICS members and others are invited.

ICS and Marisec are UK registered companies limited by guarantee with company registration numbers 2532887 and 2550582.

The ICS secretariat management board monitors both companies’ finances monthly. It reports to the Marisec Board for its quarterly monitoring, and any significant departures from the budget are reported immediately.
The Marisec Board monitors finances on behalf of the ICS Board and ensures that the organisation’s finances are properly run.

To learn more about ICS governance, visit the governance page.