IMO announce adoption of an international code of safety for ships operating in polar waters (Polar Code)
IMO (International Maritime Organisation) has adopted the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) and related amendments, to make it mandatory under both the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
The Polar Code entered into force on 1 January 2017 and covers the full range of shipping-related matters relevant to navigation in waters surrounding the two poles – ship design, construction and equipment; operational and training concerns; search and rescue; and, equally important, the protection of the unique environment and eco-systems of the polar regions.
The Code requires ships intending to operate in the defined waters of the Antarctic and Arctic to apply for a Polar Ship Certificate. The issuance of a certificate would require an assessment, taking into account the anticipated range of operating conditions and hazards the ship may encounter in the polar waters. The assessment would include information on identified operational limitations, and plans or procedures or additional safety equipment necessary to mitigate incidents with potential safety or environmental consequences.
In terms of Pollution Prevention measures, the Code states that in Arctic waters any discharge into the sea of oil, or oily mixtures, from any ship shall be prohibited. Non-toxic biodegradable lubricants should be considered in lubricated components located outside the underwater hull with direct seawater interfaces, like shaft seals and slewing seals.
Vickers Oils’ EAL product range – HYDROX BIO, BIOGEAR XP, BIOGREASE and ECOSURE – meet the requirements of the Polar Code. Read The EAL Range for more details on recommendations for specific applications.
The following graphic demonstrates how the Polar Code protects the environment
For full details of the Polar Code please go to the IMO website on – http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/polar/Pages/default.aspx