The Maritime Safety Committee, at its ninety-fourth session (MSC 94), adopted the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), which came into effect on 1 January 2017 upon entry into force of the new chapter XIV of the SOLAS Convention.
The Maritime Safety Committee, at its ninety-seventh session (MSC 97) adopted amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended, and the STCW Code, related to the Polar Code. These new STCW amendments will take effect on 1 July, 2018.
The application framework for manning and training requirements for the master, chief mate and officers in charge of a navigational watch on board ships operating in polar waters is defined under the Polar Code, and the contents of basic and advanced training requirements are defined in the STCW Convention and Code.
- Interpret the basic requirements for structure,
stability and subdivision, machinery, life-saving appliances, fire protection,
voyage planning, ship routing, navigation systems and equipment, radio
communication, pollution prevention equipment, liability and safety management
systems, as applicable to the different types and sizes of ships which may
undertake voyages in polar waters;
- Contribute to safe operation of vessels
operating in polar waters;
- Identify the ice characteristics and areas
where different types of ice can be expected in the area of operation;
- Monitor the vessel
performance in ice and low air temperature;
- Contribute to safe
operations and ship manoeuvrability in ice;
- Monitor and
ensure compliance with legislative requirements;
- Apply safe
working practices and to respond to emergencies;
- Monitor the correct
crew preparation, working conditions and safety;
- Communicate the
need to ensure compliance with pollution- prevention requirements and prevent
environmental hazards; and
makeovers in order to safely operate ships in polar waters.