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Lloyd’s supports Arctic shipping best practice forum
Written by staff reporter
Lloyd’s has welcomed the Arctic Council Ministerial Declaration establishing the Arctic Shipping Best Practices Information Forum, which will hold its first meeting in London on June 5-6. The Declaration was made at a Ministerial Summit this week in Alaska, attended by the foreign ministers of the eight Arctic states, including US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
The Forum has been established to help raise awareness and implementation of the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), a binding international framework that seeks to protect the pristine Arctic and Antarctic regions from maritime risks.
A 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. If the PWOM is appropriate, only then should the operator receive a Polar Ship Certificate from their Flag State. The Code also 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.
In parallel, Lloyd’s and Lloyd’s Register have been actively involved in an industry-led approach to help create standards that will mitigate risk and support marine risk underwriters in polar waters. The code came into force in January.