According to the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Water (Polar Code), and further amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), Marshall Islands require deck officers on RMI-flagged vessels operating in Polar waters to be Polar certificated.
The Government of Hong Kong proposed to make a new regulation under the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) Ordinance to include the latest seafarers’ training requirements as described in the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters of the International Maritime Organization into local legislation. Hong Kong has also proposed to amend the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution) Regulation.
IMO’s Polar Code aims to ensure that ships operating in the Arctic and Antarctic areas consider extremes of temperature and make sure critical equipment remains operational. Draft guidance for navigation and communication equipment intended for use on ships operating in polar waters is expected to be finalized by the current session of the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue.
Is Polar Code enough to ensure safety & environmental protection of seafarers, passengers and Arctic people? The majority (74%) of the participants in a quick SAFETY4SEA Poll replied no, while just 26% are satisfied with the application of the Code. But what lies behind this negative perception toward Polar Code?
From 1st of July 2018, amendments related to revised training requirements for Masters and Deck Officers onboard ships operating in Polar Water have come into force. Namely, the STCW has been amended with a new regulation V/4 , according to which, two main trainings are defined: the basic and the advance training.
Denmark’s Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs published an Executive Order describing the training and qualification requirements for masters, officers and other personnel who are part of the guard on the bridge for ships operating in polar areas. The Executive Order will enter into force on 1 July 2018.
DNV GL informs that Canada stopped its requirement for an Arctic Pollution Prevention Certificate and adopted the Polar Code as from December 2017. For this reason, compliance with the Polar Code is necessary for operators to enter into Canadian polar waters. However, the Polar Code Certificate does not apply to all vessels yet.
MSC 99 will examine how the safe, secure and environmentally sound operation of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships may be introduced in IMO instruments. Previous Committee had recognized that IMO should take a proactive and leading role on this issue, given the rapid developments.
IMO’s MEPC 72 discussed key environmental issues for global shipping industry on 9-13 April. While global attention was focused on the adoption of initial strategy for the GHG emissions reduction from ships, key themes also included the 2020 sulphur limit, the BWM Convention, HFO use in Arctic, marine litter and biofouling.
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