Update Polar Code

19-05-2017 IMO launches Polar Code video!

A new IMO film shows how the IMO Polar Code supports safe and environmentally-friendly shipping in Arctic and Antarctic waters.

To make the new film, an IMO team visited the Ocean Diamond en voyage in the Antarctic, to find out at first-hand what the Code means for ships like this. As Ocean Diamond’s Captain Oleg Klaptenko confirmed, operating in Polar waters is the ultimate test of his ship and his skills as a professional seafarer.

Read full article here: http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/imo-launches-polar-code-video


In November 2014, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the International Code of Safety for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), including related amendments. It is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2017. During the 97th session of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) last November, the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW) and its related STCW code were adopted. The amendments take effect on 1 July 2018. The adopted requirements are there to ensure that the crew on ships operating in polar waters is trained, qualified and have enough experience.

In the Polar Code different categories of polar waters are defined with each specific requirements:

Ice-free waters:

This term is only used when no ice is present. There are no Polar Code training and certification requirements for vessels operating in the category of ice-free waters.

Open waters:

This term is used for a large area of freely navigable water in which sea ice is present in concentrations less than 1/10 and where no ice of land origin is present. There are no additional Polar Code training and certification requirements for vessels operating in these waters. But the master, chief mate and officers in charge of a navigational watch on tankers or passenger vessels, are required to hold a certificate in basic training for ships operating in polar waters.

Other waters:

This term is used for waters with more than 1/10 ice cover or with any ice of land origin. Masters and chief mates on all covered vessels must hold a certificate in advanced training and have to meet the requirements for certification in basic training. Officers in charge of a navigational watch are not required to hold the advanced training certificate, but they are required to have a basic training certificate.

Read more specific details on the requirements here. Look for more information and requirements around the Polar Code here.

Would you like more information or advise about our sealing solutions in line with the Polar Code? Feel free to contact me!


  • Photo header: http://www.rcinet.ca/eye-on-the-arctic/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2015/02/arcticshipping.jpg
  • http://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/imo-adopts-polar-code-amendments-to-stcw
  • http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/MeetingSummaries/MSC/Pages/MSC-97th-session.aspx