The Polar Code enters into force on 1 January 2017

Date: 13/12/2016
Author: Jacqueline Tan
The Polar Code enters into force on 1 January 2017


The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (“the Polar Code”) was adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on15th May 2015. 

The Code will take effect on 1 January 2017, upon entry into force of the new Chapter XIV of the SOLAS Convention.  The Code will apply to new ships constructed after 1 January 2017. Ships constructed before 1 January 2017 will be required to meet the relevant requirements of the Polar Code by the first intermediate or renewal survey, whichever occurs first, after 1 January 2018.  

At its ninety seventh session in London from 21-25 November 2016, the IMO’s Committee on Maritime Safety adopted  Resolution MSC.416(97), which amends the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1987, as amended, and Resolution MSC.417(97), which amends Part A of the Seafarers’ Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code to take into account the Polar Code.  

These new STCW amendments will take effect on 1 July, 2018.  The amendments include transitional provisions which will allow seafarers who began their approved seagoing service in Polar Waters before 1 July 2018 to meet the alternative basic training or advanced requirements by 1 July 2020. If Members have any questions please contact your usual UK Club contact who will be happy to assist you.  

Members are also referred to the UK P&I Club’s Legal Briefing dated October 2015. For all the Club's resources on the Polar Code visit our resource page here.

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