Sunday 18th Nov, 2018

Polar Code guidelines adopted by Indian Ocean states

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

GUIDELINES aimed at helping port state control authorities ensure compliance with the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters have been adopted by nation states of the Indian Ocean Memorandum of Understanding.

The MOU nations met in Fremantle last week as part of an event hosted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.


The Polar Code took effect in January 2017 and, according to AMSA, marked a significant milestone for the International Maritime Organization in recognising the safety risks of operating in polar waters. It also identified the need to protect pristine ecosystems from ship-sourced pollution.

A report by the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories notes cruise ship ecotourism and scientific expeditions to the Antarctic are expected to increase in the future. The report also flagged Hobart as a potential gateway to the icy southern continent.

The new guidelines which have been adopted by the Indian Ocean MOU are said to “provide guidance on how port state control officers may verify compliance with the safety and environmental requirements of the Polar Code”.

AMSA hosted the Indian Ocean MOU meetings in Fremantle.

Member states at the meetings included Australia, Bangladesh, France, India, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Qatar, South Africa, Sudan and the United States.

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