The Standard Club introduced the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (‘Polar Code’) as well as Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) amendments which were adopted in November 2014, in addition to environmental provisions and MARPOL amendments which were adopted in May 2015.
The Code will enter into force on 1 January 2017. The code is mandatory and comprises of detailed requirements relating to ship design, operations, prevention of environmental pollution, crew training and safety.
The safety section of the Code (Part IA) applies to new ships carrying SOLAS certificates on or after 1 January 2017. It also applies to existing ships from their first intermediate or renewal survey (whichever occurs first) on or after 1 January 2018.
The pollution prevention/Environmental protection section of the Code (Part IIA) applies to all ships and offshore assets operating in Polar Waters from 1 January 2017.
All operators of the ships and offshore assets in Polar Waters from 1 January 2017 should update the existing on-board procedures and manuals associated with the operational requirements in Part IIA by this date.
Additionally, amendments were made to International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) during the 97th session of IMO’S Maritime Safety committee
in November 2016. The amendments reflect training requirements for deck officers on board ships operating in Polar Waters and will enter into force on 1 January 2018.