Previously, this blog detailed the progress of the Polar Code, a set of safety rules that would dictate special requirements for arctic and antarctic maritime activity. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is now expected to officially adopt this measure later this month, according to a press release from that organization. This follows a series of moves throughout this year that the IMO has made to push towards these guidelines.
The full name is "the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters," and it will be just part of the regulations related to marine best practice that the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) will review.
These regulations pertain to important provisions such as the way ships are designed and operated when in arctic areas. The MSC will consider motions related to atmosphere testing equipment and container size as part of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.
On its official website, the IMO said that the code would require ships to be certified for operation and separated into different classes. To do this, they would have to undergo a special assessment.
Participants in the assessment would encounter "information on identified operational limitations, and plans or procedures or additional safety equipment necessary to mitigate incidents with potential safety or environmental consequences," the site says. It adds that "Ships would need to carry a Polar Water Operational Manual, to provide the Owner, Operator, Master and crew with sufficient information regarding the ship's operational capabilities and limitations in order to support their decision-making process."
To adhere with the code, participants have to apply international watercraft insurance to their polar vessels that helps them remain accountable and gives them a way to respond to damage.