The British Commission for Maritime History is one of several national bodies across the world that were formed in affiliation with the International Commission of Maritime History (ICMH).

The ICMH was founded at Lisbon on 14 September 1960 during the Fifth International Colloquium of Maritime History. This international organisation is affiliated with the International Committee of Historical Sciences, or ICHS.

The objectives of the ICMH are to encourage and co-ordinate research by maritime historians in a spirit of international understanding. National Commissions were set up in several countries, and the British Commission (BCMH) was one of the first.