Led by London based lawyer Michael Kingston, representative of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on Polar matters, Lloyd’s, in conjunction with the Nordic Association of Marine Insurers (CEFOR), IUMI, and Lloyd’s Register, with the close cooperation of the Arctic and Antarctic States, has helped establish a single ice regime system (POLARIS), to give guidance for a range of planned and possible situations that might emerge when operating a ship in Polar waters, for use in pre-planning and actual operations.
Commenting on the launch of the Polar Code which incorporates POLARIS, Michael Kingston said:
“Lloyd’s and Lloyd’s Register have helped improve significant international regulation for the protection of seafarers, the environment and the indigenous peoples of the Polar Regions. This is an example of what we can achieve when we work together in industry and with governments and international regulators. It is also a demonstration of the importance of the maritime strength of the City of London.”
The Polar Code, recently negotiated at the UN IMO, is a binding international framework that protects the two Polar Regions – the Arctic and the Antarctic - from maritime risks.
The key element of the Polar Code is the requirement for any ship operating in polar waters to have a Polar Waters Operational Manual (PWOM) which sets out how the crew will respond in a worst-case scenario in the anticipated conditions that may occur in the planned voyage. If the PWOM is appropriate, only then should the operator receive a Polar Ship Certificate from their Flag State.
The Polar Code will apply initially to vessels greater than 500 tonnes and requires ship owners to have in place contingency plans for all aspects of marine operations including safety of navigation, pollution incidents, ship structure requirements, and search and rescue plans.
Lloyd’s head of innovation, Trevor Maynard, said:
“The Polar Code is a game-changer for a number of reasons: it improves the safety of seafarers; it encourages a safer approach to operating in important wilderness areas; and it helps protect the living environments of indigenous peoples.”
Tom Boardley, Lloyd’s Register’s executive vice president and global head of corporate and external affairs, said:
“The Polar Code brings a well-needed baseline of international requirements for shipping in all Polar Regions and is different to most existing regulation because it is, in part, goal-based rather than prescriptive. LR can also assist operators navigate their way to compliance with an interactive toolkit developed with a wealth of Arctic expertise.”
It is anticipated Lloyd’s market practitioners will take part in the first meeting of the Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum, a proposal for which is due to be established by the eight Arctic governments (Arctic Council) in early 2017.
The Forum will be a chance to discuss the Polar Code, best practice in relation to marine operations in the Polar Regions, and harness the best standards available for operators to include in their PWOM. It will also generate data that insurers can use to enhance their modelling of risk in the Polar Regions.
Lloyd’s has played a central role in the creation of the Forum, and is planning to co-host the inaugural meeting on 5-6 June 2017 with Lloyd’s Register.
Kingston, who is acting as liaison between the Lloyd’s Market and the Arctic Council says. “The possibility of this Best Practice Forum being hosted by Lloyd’s and Lloyd’s Register is historic and exciting, not just for the City of London, but the UK as a whole.”
Notes to editors
For more information and to arrange interviews, contact Rebekah Clement, senior manager – corporate communications, Lloyd’s, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7327 5514.
In 2011, Lloyd’s published Arctic Opening: Opportunity and Risk in the High North, a ground-breaking report that made recommendations which have helped in the development of the Polar Code.
In 2014, Lloyd’s hosted the Conference “Bridging the Arctic Marine Risk Gap – linking ice condition to ice class requirements. The need for a cross Arctic Ice Regime”, after which important recommendations were made to the Arctic Council States, and the IMO. The report can be found here. http://polar.se/en/conference-report-sustainable-arctic-shipping-marine-operations/
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Lloyd’s Register (LR) is a global engineering, technical and business services organisation and is part of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a UK charity dedicated to research and education in science and engineering. Founded in 1760 as a marine classification society, LR now operates across many industry sectors, with around 8,000 employees in 78 countries.
LR is your partner in complying with the Polar Code and you can access our wealth of arctic expertise to get exactly what you need, when you need it. Our interactive toolkit allows you to work through the Code on your own terms and you can download our free guidance, templates and examples to help you understand and meet your compliance needs. www.lr.org/polarcode