Sunday, May 25, 2014

Authorisation of IMO 'Polar Code' Will Enhance Safety for Freight and Passenger Shipping

Danish Maritime Lobby Praises Forthcoming Regulation Adoption
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – According to the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) has approved a new set of regulations to enhance safety of navigation and shipping in Arctic waters. The Polar Code, which after several years of intense negotiation is now a step closer to being internationally binding, will cover a wide range of aspects in the navigation of polar areas the Code will apply to passenger and cargo vessels exceeding 500 gross tonnes.

The IMO Maritime Safety Committee is expected to adopt the new regulations - which will affect everything from ship design and construction, over crew training and navigation to improved coordination of search and rescue operations - in the autumn of 2014. The environmental provisions in relation to navigation in polar areas will also be adopted by the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in the autumn of 2014. Deputy Director-General of the Danish Maritime Authority Francis Zachariae, said:

“Denmark has been active in placing the Polar Code on the IMO agenda. Therefore, I am extremely pleased that, with the Polar Code [in place] we will now enhance the safety of ships navigating Arctic and Antarctic waters. Denmark has been striving to enhance the safety of especially cruise ships navigating Greenland waters. The new internationally binding regulations will also introduce a number of important measures to be taken when navigating icy waters, such as requirements for life-saving appliances and training of the crew. This is in line with the national regulations on cruise ships around Greenland that the Danish Maritime Authority is working on.”