The IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) met in London May 14 – 23 to discuss issues of ship-safety–specifically safety during Arctic sailing. The meetings resulted in new rules regarding the safety aspect, and they will now be part of the polar code (international code of safety for ships operating in polar waters) which IMO is currently drafting.

The new internationally binding rules are a result of several years of negotiations in MSC.

The collective polar code will include the whole range of design, construction of ships, training of crew, navigation, search and rescue and environmental protection matters. This is all relevant for ships operating in the, at times, inhospitable waters surrounding the Arctic and the Antarctica.

It is expected that the environmental committee of IMO (MEPC) will adopt the environmental rules regarding sailing in the arctic regions in the fall.