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An international initiative is developing a harmonized package of measures aimed at ensuring safety of life and protection of the
environment in the world's polar waters. The initiative involves the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International
Association of Classification Societies (IACS), and the circumpolar nations in ways which best suit their respective mandates and
capabilities.

A number of northern countries have established specific regulatory regimes to deal with operations in their own coastal Arctic waters,
and many of the leading classification societies have developed rules for the design of ice -capable ships (in addition to the well-
established 'Baltic' rules). However, none of the existing systems are really compatible with any of the others, meaning that a ship
designed for one operation may have great difficulty in transferring to another, and often incurring considerable costs and d elays in the
process. Meanwhile, the complexity of working with multiple systems causes confusion which can itself present safety hazards. To deal
with these problems, an À    
        (Polar Code) is being developed, under the auspices of the
International Maritime Organization (IMO). This will represent a harmonization of existing national systems, in recognition of the
increasing interest in the use of polar waters as shipping routes and areas for science and resource development.

The Polar Code¶s principal aim is to promote safety of navigation and to prevent pollution from ship operations in polar waters. It has
been recognized in the harmonization process that this requires an integrated approach covering the design and outfitting of ships for
the conditions which they will encounter, their crewing by adequate numbers of suitably trained personnel, and their operation in a
planned and prudent manner. In addition, the Polar Code covers only additional requirements for polar waters , rather than prov iding a
stand-alone document which would repeat or contradict existing requirements for other operations.

The Polar Code also takes into account that polar conditions may include both sea and glacial ice which could represent a ser ious
structural hazard to all ships. This is the single most significant factor in polar operations and is reflected in many of the Polar Code¶s
provisions including the application of higher levels of strengthening for Polar Class ships. The Polar Code itself does not aim to provide
guidance in either structural design or machinery requirements. This will come from the parallel development of a set of unif ied
requirements by the International Association of Classification Societies.

The Code also addresses the fact that the polar environment imposes additional demands on ship systems such as: navigation,
communications, lifesaving, fire -fighting, etc. It emphasizes the need to ensure that all ship systems are capable of functioning
effectively under anticipated operating conditions , notably the possibility of extreme cold. The Code stipulates that systems should
provide adequate levels of safety in emergency situations. In addition, the Code recognizes that safe operation in polar cond itions
requires specific attention to human fact ors including training and operational procedures.

All ships operating under the Polar Code should carry on board a sufficient number of Ice Navigators to guide operations when ice is
present. This new international Ice Navigator certification in turn requires training and experience qualification procedures, which have
been agreed in general form and which will be finalized prior to the implementation of the Polar Code. The training for Ice N avigators will
likely include the development of an IMO model course possibly combined with the use of an ice navigation simulator.


 The Polar code will establish seven Polar Classes as seen in Table 19 below. The class descriptions are deliberately
general, to suit a variety of operations and their rela tionships are set to provide a reasonably smooth gradation of capability and
cost. 
  


Certain classes are based on existing classes for which good performance data exists. The others have been interpolated betwe en or
extrapolated from the others. The lowest classes, 6 and 7, can be considered as µpolarized¶ versions of the top two Baltic classes an d the
top classes represent levels of capability which have not yet been provided by commercial cargo -carrying vessels.Not all ships operating
in polar waters will be required to have a Polar Class designation. Under existing national systems some or all open water sh ips may be
allowed to operate subject to certain constraints. Ships built, equipped and crewed according to the Polar C ode requirements will be
issued a certificate called a Document of Compliance. Some administrations could establish frameworks such as the Canadian Zo ne/Date
System or the Ice Regime System which would allow any class ship to relate capacity to actual or a verage ice conditions.


 
From an operational perspective, the safety of the ship will remain the ultimate responsibility of the master, who will be
provided, directly or indirectly with the expertise and information needed to make prudent navigati onal decisions.The Polar Code will
initially be adopted as a voluntary Code by IMO. Individual governments may adopt the Polar Code a mandatory requirement with in their
own jurisdictions. Administration of Polar Code provisions by Classification Societies should ensure widespread acceptance of its
harmonized principles.

Prepared by Virendra Patil ..specialthanks to Bimal ,Sunil ,Prashant Page 1


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Prepared by Virendra Patil ..specialthanks to Bimal ,Sunil ,Prashant Page 2


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