The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) met from 11 to 15 May 2015 at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Headquarters in London and adopted the environmental (MARPOL) provisions of the Polar Code.
With the earlier adoption of the safety (SOLAS) provisions in November 2014 and now the MARPOL provisions, the path is clear for the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (the Polar Code) to come into force on 01 January 2017.
The mandatory Polar Code now covers the full range of shipping related matters such as design, construction, equipment, operation, training, search and rescue, and the protection of the unique environment and eco-systems of the Polar Regions.
Commenting on the announcement, Peter Zickerman, Executive Vice President Polarcus, said: “We are very pleased with the IMO decision to adopt the Polar Code, making it mandatory for vessels operating in Polar Regions. The fact that our modern 3D seismic fleet already complies with the new Polar Code, coupled with our accredited Arctic operational procedures and our hands-on experience of operating in ice-prone conditions, means we can truly say that Polarcus is Arctic Ready.”
The Polar Code will apply to new ships constructed on or after 01 January 2017. Ships constructed before that date will be required to meet the relevant requirements of the Polar Code by the first intermediate or renewal survey, whichever occurs first, after 01 January 2018.