The original members of the IMF were the 29 nations whose governments had ratified the Articles of Agreement by 27 December 1945. Any other state, whether or not a member of the UN, may become a member of the IMF in accordance with terms prescribed by the Board of Governors. The IMF had 184 members as of 12 December 2002. (See membership list at the end of this section.) Membership in the IMF is a prerequisite to membership in the IBRD. A member may withdraw from the IMF at any time, and its withdrawal becomes effective on the day that a written notice to that effect is received by the Fund.
If a member state fails to fulfill its obligations under the IMF Articles of Agreement, the Fund may declare that country ineligible to use its resources. If, after a reasonable period has elapsed, the member state persists in its failure to live up to its obligations, the Board of Governors may require it to withdraw from membership.
The Third Amendment of the IMF's Articles of Agreement came into force on 11 November 1992. It allows for the suspension of voting and related rights of a member that persists in its failure to fulfill its obligations under the Articles.