CIRM was originally founded in Spain in 1928 by 8 companies engaged in the application of radio to the maritime service. It was reconstituted in Belgium in 1947 and subsequently moved to London. It is now the principal international association for companies engaged in maritime electronics, with current membership of some 100 companies from 29 nations worldwide.
CIRM is one of the nine original international bodies accredited in 1961 as a non-governmental organisation in consultative status to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
CIRM is a Sector Member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-R and ITU-T), and is a Liaison Member both of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
CIRM also enjoys mutual observer status with all the other relevant international and regional organisations, including the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and the US Radiotechnical Commission for Maritime (RTCM).