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UK Consultation into Polar Code begins

James Hartley-Binns

Consultation on putting international rules designed to protect the polar regions and those that sail on them into UK law was put in train on 16 March.

The rules cover safety-related requirements for some of the toughest environments on earth including ship design, construction, and equipment as well as the protection of the unique eco-systems of the polar regions. Known as the Polar Code, it is the international standard for shipping in those regions, has been developed by IMO with substantial input from the UK.

Operators should already be working to it, but the UK wants to have it in law here as part of its ongoing commitment to cleaner seas and protection of the environment.

James Hartley-Binns, Ship Standards Policy Lead with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency commented: ‘The Polar Code is designed to protect some of the most fragile ecological places on earth as well as protecting seafarers and passengers in harsh environments.’