The Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) said that the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) maritime safety committee (MSC) has approved new regulations for navigation in Arctic waters.
The new Polar Code regulations aim to enhance the safety of navigation in polar areas and will be implemented later this year.
The Polar Code covers the entire palette of navigation in polar areas, including ship design and construction, crew training and navigation, and improved coordination of search and rescue operations.
The regulations will be applicable to passenger ships and cargo ships with a gross capacity of over 500t.
The DMA said that the new regulations will introduce various measures, such as requirements for life-saving appliances and training of the crew, which are in-line with its national regulations on cruise ships navigating Greenland’s waters.
DMA deputy director general 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, we will now enhance the safety of ships navigating Arctic and Antarctic waters."
Additionally, IMO’s marine environment protection committee (MEPC) will adopt environmental provisions in relation to navigation in polar areas this year.
The MSC’s 93rd session will conclude on 23 May at IMO’s London headquarters; the committee will discuss amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), relating to lifeboat and passenger ship safety.
Image: The new Polar Code regulations aim to enhance the safety of navigation in polar areas. Photo: courtesy of Danish Maritime Authority.