• 2018 April 5 17:00

    International Conference on Harmonized Implementation of the Polar Code took place on 22 February 2018 in Helsinki

    The International Conference on Harmonized Implementation of the Polar Code took place on 22 February 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. The Arctic Economic Council says the conference was attended by maritime administrations, the shipping industry and other stakeholders. The Chair of the AEC Maritime Transportation Working Group, Mr. Mikko Niini, was allocated a commentary at the afternoon session of the conference.

    Mr. Niini started by expressing his gratitude to Ambassador Aleksi Härkönen, current Chair of Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials (SAO), who in his keynote speech opened up the current challenges of the Arctic Council with regards to general question how to address maritime issues. Mr. Niini especially welcomed the Arctic Council SAO Chair’s reminder of the last year’s Fairbanks declaration: “The Arctic Council and its Working Groups would benefit from closer cooperation with the Arctic Economic Council in many areas, including maritime transport and connectivity. This is also the wish expressed by the Ministers last year.”

    Continuing on the Arctic shipoperators’ experiences related to the implementation of the Polar Code, Mr. Niini reminded that the Polar Code sets out stricter safety and environmental regulations for ships operating in the Polar waters than those applicable in other marine areas. There are also provisions concerning the training and certification of crew members. The regulations on crew training and qualifications will enter into force at the beginning of July 2018.

    The Polar Code is composed of two parts: ship safety and protecting the environment. Both of these are further divided into mandatory measures and recommendatory provisions.

    The provisions on safety in the Polar Code concern matters such as the structures, intact stability, damaged stability, machinery, fire safety, lifesaving, navigation and radio equipment, safe operation, and crew training and certification requirements. Ships operating in the polar areas must be sufficiently ice strengthened when navigating in ice-covered areas, as well as meet other technical requirements set out in the Code.
    Each ship must have a Polar Water Operational Manual (PWOM) which gives further information on its operational capabilities and limitations. Any operational limitations of a ship must also be presented in the Polar Code Certificate.

    The Environmental Chapter of the Polar Code sets out stricter environmental regulations than the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) does in other sea areas, for example, concerning the discharge of oil and oily waters and chemicals or their mixtures into the sea. Any such discharges are prohibited in Arctic waters defined in the Polar Code. The rules are much stricter than those applicable to the Baltic Sea.
    The discharge of black water, or sewage, and solid waste close to the edge of a glacier or ice sheet is regulated more strictly in the polar waters.
    The Environmental Chapter of the Code also contains recommendatory provisions on the use of non-toxic biodegradable lubricants or water-based systems outside the underwater hull, implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention before its entry into force, and minimize biofouling in icy conditions.

    Mr. Niini reported to the Conference that based on a quick member survey, most of the Arctic Economic Council (AEC) owner members are already in the process of preparing for the Polar Code documents and certification. Quite many had let the individual ships’ bridge teams to take the task, searching for all the necessary information and in this way establishing a true learning process. The Arctic Council Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) Working Group’s effort with the Polar Code Best Practices Information Forum is therefore very welcome. The biggest challenge appeared to be the survival equipment as equipment meeting the requirements does not exist readily. This has raised the fear that interpretations might be different by different authorities.

    The AEC Maritime Transportation Working Group members expressed also a concern regarding whether a certificate could serve two different operating regions (e.g. Canadian Arctic vs. Russian Arctic) or whether it would be better for a vessel to have two different certifications.  Some reported that they are simply buying the documentation from class advisory services, which, according to Mr. Niini, leaves the crew’s own commitment and understanding very thin. The biggest challenge is to understand the prevailing ice conditions and have staff ability to react to them. This needs huge amount of training.

    With more than 60 ships-of-opportunity approaching e.g. the Canadian Arctic next summer and with more than 30 expedition cruise liners under construction, Mr. Niini questioned who would have the necessary training resources?

    Having served as the CEO of Aker Arctic, Mr. Niini has a strong background as an Arctic ship technology developer. Therefore he also was emphasized the technological learning process. He praised Mr. Victor Olersky of Russian Ministry of Transport having made old ice damage statistics available for analysis. This has led to improved ice class regulations and improved structural and operational safety – today used e.g. in the Yamal LNG project.

    Mr Niini’s final proposal to the Conference was that ice incident and damage reporting to the authorities should be made compulsory for the operators in the next phase of Polar Code. This would safeguard the continuation of the current good technological development for improved Arctic safety.




2018 August 16

18:45 Kalashnikov Concern’s Vympel Shipyard lays freezer trawler of Project T30
18:06 Port of Dover awarded contract to Solent Marine Ltd to design and fit-out Dover's new marina
17:32 Maersk Line announces rates from Far East Asia to West Africa
17:06 Hapag-Lloyd increases reefer fleet by 11,100 containers
16:56 DFDS orders additional freight ferry (ro-ro) newbuilding from the Chinese Jinling Shipyard
16:52 Sovcomflot’s shuttle tanker Governor Farkhutdinov ships 600th crude oil cargo for Sakhalin-2
16:03 CMA CGM announces GRR from Asia to Mozambique
15:47 Taganrog Sea Commercial Port's H1 2018 employee benefits and rewards programme totals RUB 2.2 million
15:31 Melbourne port operator ICTSI may be investigated by State and Federal authorities
15:09 Bunker prices at Far Eastern ports remain flat
14:33 CMA CGM announces GRR from Asia to Indian Ocean
14:27 MABUX: Bunker prices may change irregular next week
14:13 Maersk Line announces rates from Far East to North Europe
13:42 First ever S-T-S loading of 70000dwt Panamax coal carrier performed at Shakhtersk harbour transshipment location in Sakhalin
13:32 More investment contracts at the Port of Gdansk
13:02 Wärtsilä equipped Canadian ferry will have minimal environmental impact
12:16 Damen Shipyards Galati celebrates 125 years
12:09 Okskaya Sudoverf Shipyard launches 6th serial barge of Project ROB20
12:03 Boskalis presents half-year results and terminates loss-making low-end transport activities
11:59 Port of Oakland container volume up 3.6 percent in July 2018
11:45 Rolls-Royce launches new battery system for ships
10:58 DP World revenue up 14.4% in H1 2018
10:57 VARD secures contract for one autonomous and electric-driven container vessel for YARA
09:39 EU NAVFOR mission operation commander visits Spanish MPRA in Djibouti
09:21 Baltic Dry Index gains to 1725 points

2018 August 15

18:33 Equinor extends partnership with The Arctic Race of Norway
17:56 Port Kavkaz seven-month volumes soar 30% Y/Y to 25.21 million tonnes
17:36 Russian Gov't to allocate RUB 500 million in subsidies to support small-tonnage fishing ships construction, Rosrybolovstvo says
17:34 Maersk Line to rise rates from Far East to East Coast South America
17:30 Yang Ming orders ten 2,800 TEU containerships
17:19 Nor-Shipping 2019 takes place in Oslo and Lillestrøm, Norway, from 04 to 07 June 2019
16:05 New Times Shipbuilding announces delivery of oil tanker
15:04 Rosrybolovstvo looks into building a series of three RVs as from 2020
15:04 Concordia Maritime AB announces interim report for H1 2018
14:12 Multipurpose Reloading Complex spends over RUB 600,000 on employee benefits and rewards programme
13:20 Konecranes to deliver more electric RTGs to Luka Koper in Slovenia
13:02 Join Marinet Conference at SMM 2018, Hamburg
12:32 Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gives green light to NLR construction project
12:01 WW Ocean presents new-look trade maps resembling public transit maps
11:15 Port of Vancouver posts H1 2018 results
10:41 Aker Solutions wins orders for Liuhua power umbilical systems in China
10:21 Nor-Shipping 2019 devotes entire hall to new focus on Blue Economy
10:05 Crude oil futures drop 0.22% to $72.3 in London and 0.48% to $66.72 in New York
09:29 Bunker prices at Port of St. Petersburg show mixed movements

2018 August 14

18:30 Hapag-Lloyd annonces General Rate Increase from East Asia to USA and Canada
18:12 FE Railways' loaded freight in Jan-Jul up 2% to 28.2 million tonnes
18:07 Hapag-Lloyd changes terminals at Genoa on its MPS service
17:47 British Ports Association launch Sustainable Development Resolution
17:45 Euro Tank Terminal extends jetty at the port of Rotterdam
17:31 MEYER WERFT holds float out procedure for cruise ship for AIDA Cruises
17:29 APM Terminals launches online customer platform in Bahrain
17:27 MED MARINE delivers a 24m ASD Tug from Turkey to Estonia
16:24 Offshore installation vessel starts work on Belgium’s largest offshore wind farm
15:44 Logistec Corporation declares quarterly drvidends on shares
15:21 Vessel Performance Optimisation Forum Singapore initial speakers announced
15:02 Danaos Corporation announces closing of comprehensive debt refinancing
14:16 Sea Port St. Petersburg earmarked over $337,000 for bonus and social responsibility programmes
14:13 TTS Group ASA secures new contracts for access equipment and cranes for two reefer vessels
14:06 Ports of Primorsk and Ust-Luga support green shipping, to implement incentives for LNG-powered ships as from August 15, 2018
13:39 Bunker prices in Far East seaports edge down