6/25/2018: Nat’l Maritime Center issues instructions regarding STCW Polar Code

The National Maritime Center posted a bulletin to its website with amplifying information regarding Policy Letter 02-18, “Guidelines for Qualifications of Personnel for Issuing STCW Endorsements for Basic and Advanced Polar Code Operations,” which published in the Federal Register June 22, 2108.


6/22/2018: Notice of Policy Implementing the 2016 Amendments to STCW in Support of the Polar Code

This policy provides guidance for the issuance of Merchant Mariner Credential endorsements in accordance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended, for Basic and Advanced Polar Code Operations. This policy is effective June 22, 2018, but the Coast Guard requests public comments on it.


3/1/2018: Remarks by Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards Jeffrey Lantz, during Polar Code harmonization conference

Mr. Jeff Lantz, Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, spoke Feb. 22, 2018 at the International Conference on Polar Code Harmonization, in Helsinki, Finland. This post offers a condensed version of Lantz’s remarks, which focus on the U.S. Coast Guard’s view on harmonization, implementation, continued development and lessons learned.


1/16/2018: IGF Code and Polar Code implementation updates

The IGF Code and Polar Code each outline training requirements found in STCW amendments. The National Maritime Center has been and will continue to evaluate courses and issue letters attesting to the conformance of the course content with the training guidance in policy letters CG-OES 01-15 and CG-OES-01-16. Regulations may be published in the future to implement the IGF and Polar Code training requirements. Until then, the policy letters will remain in force and provide the applicable guidance regarding compliance with the STCW amendments. At this time the NMC will not be issuing endorsements to mariners completing the requirements contained in the policy letters.


9/21/2017: Final Rule – Polar Ship certificates required for certain ships operating in Polar waters

This final rule, effective Oct. 23, 2017, adds the Polar Ship Certificate to a list of certificates that certain U.S. and foreign-flag ships will need to carry on board if they engage in international voyages in polar waters.


8/14/2017: Recap of Coast Guard remarks at the 7th Symposium on Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic

Last month, Coast Guard members had the opportunity to present during the 7th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic at the Naval Heritage Center in Washington, D.C. The event, held biennially since 2007, brings together some of the world’s leading experts to discuss the ongoing and expected impacts on naval and maritime operations due to rapid change in the Arctic sea ice cover. Maritime Commons attended the symposium to bring you, our readers, the latest on Arctic-related topics affecting maritime industry.


1/9/2017: Polar Code – MARPOL Applicability

On January 1, 2017 the Polar Code entered into force. The Polar Code builds upon MARPOL Annexes I, II, IV and V as well as SOLAS requirements. The Code applies to vessels which operate in polar waters, as defined in the applicable sections of MARPOL. Unlike the SOLAS applicability, there is not an extended implementation date for existing vessels. The MARPOL provisions became mandatory for all vessels operating in polar waters on January 1, 2017.


12/20/2016: Polar Code – SOLAS applicability

The Polar Code will enter into force on Jan. 1, 2017. The applicability of the Polar Code is more complex than other Codes because it builds upon three conventions – SOLAS, several annexes of MARPOL and STCW. This post aims to clarify the applicability of the Polar Code’s safety provisions.


12/13/2016: Polar Code – Implementation

The Polar Code is a goal-based standard that establishes functional requirements and regulations that are adaptable to a wide range of ship types and operations. In an effort to provide additional guidance, the Coast Guard’s Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG-CVC) has issued CG-CVC Policy Letter 06-16.


12/6/2016: Polar Code – Entry into force

The new International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters, commonly referred to as the Polar Code is enacted through IMO resolutions MSC.386(94) and MEPC.265(68). These resolutions amend the SOLAS and MARPOL conventions, adding provisions to address hazards and conditions unique to polar waters. Due to the varying completion dates of these amendments, the provisions of the Polar Code will be implemented on different dates. In this discussion, we hope to help clarify the various dates and deadlines associated with the implementation of the Polar Code.


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