1. An inspection campaign will be initiated by the member Authorities of the Paris Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control to verify compliance with the requirements of the Polar Code.
2. Inspection campaign will be held from 13th June to 01st July 2022 (first period) and from 01st August to 19th August 2022 (second period).
3. The purpose of the campaign is to;
a. To determine the level of compliance with the requirements of the Polar Code within the shipping industry;
b. To create awareness amongst ship crews and ship owners with regard to the importance of compliance with the provisions of the Polar Code, the increased risk to ships operating in polar waters and the protection of the vulnerable polar environment;
c. To send a signal to the industry that safety- and pollution prevention related requirements are mandatory and enforcement with the applicable requirements is high on the agenda of the Paris MoU member Authorities;
d. To underline the responsibility of the Port State Control regime with regard to harmonised enforcement of compliance with the requirements of the Polar Code, thus improving the level of compliance and ensuring a level playing field.
4. The inspection campaign is additional to the regular Concentrated Inspection Campaigns and is held in a different time of the year due to the seasonal voyage plans of the ships sailing to the Polar area. A ship will be subject to only one inspection related to this inspection campaign during this period.
5. Port State Control officer will use a pre-defined questionnaire to assess whether the information and equipment provided onboard complies with the relevant Conventions.
6. Deficiencies found during the inspection will be recorded by the PSC officer and actions may vary from recording a deficiency and instructing the master to rectify it within a certain period of time, to detaining the ship until serious deficiencies have been rectified.
7. Accordingly Owners and managers of ships intending to operate in Polar waters are advised that the ship’s Masters are communicated to ensure compliance to applicable requirements including following;
a. Polar Water Operational Manual (PWOM):
A ship specific PWOM is available onboard.
PWOM provides the owner, operator, master and crew sufficient information regarding the ship's operational capabilities and limitations in order to support their decision-making process when in Polar waters. It is considered an extension of the procedures carried on board as part of the ship’s Safety Management System under the ISM Code. The PWOM may either be a stand-alone document or a document which cross-references other procedures carried by the ship. PWOM contains information regarding the ship's operational capabilities and limitations in order to support the decision-making process and is to include specific risk based procedures for;
a) Voyage planning to avoid ice and/or temperatures that exceed the ship's design capabilities or limitations; b) Arrangements for receiving forecasts of the environmental conditions;
c) Operation of equipment as required in Polar Code;
d) Contacting emergency response providers for ice strengthened ships, procedures for maintaining life support and ship integrity in the event of prolonged entrapment by ice.
e) Measures to be taken in the event of encountering ice and/or temperatures which exceed the ship's design capabilities or limitations
f) Monitoring and maintaining safety during operations in ice, as applicable, including any requirements for escort operations or icebreaker assistance
Ensure that every crew member of ship with a Polar Ship Certificate is familiar with the procedures and equipment contained or referenced in PWOM that are relevant to their assigned duties.
b. Fire main arrangements ensures that the exposed sections can be isolated and means of draining of exposed sections are provided. Further, where fixed water-based fire extinguishing systems are located in a space separate from the main fire pumps and use an own sea suction, verify that this sea suction is capable of being cleared of ice accumulation.
c. Ships operating in polar waters have means of receiving and displaying current information on ice conditions in the area of operation. The information is utilized for voyage planning to avoid ice and/or temperatures that exceed the ship’s design capabilities or limitations.
d. Masters, chief mates and officers in charge of a navigational watch on board ships operating in polar waters have completed training to attain the abilities that are appropriate to the capacity to be filled and duties and responsibilities to be taken up, taking into account the provisions of the Chapter V/4 of the STCW Convention and meet the standards of competence for basic training and advanced training as set forth in A-V/4-1 and A-V/4-2 of the STCW Code, as amended, for ship types and ice conditions as described in part IA, Chapter 12 of the Polar Code.
e. Crew training records or other equivalent documents for the use of the personal survival equipment and group survival equipment are available on board. f. Ships comply with the operational environmental protection requirements in Part II-A of the Polar Code. Accordingly, ensure compliance to requirements in respect of discharge of sewage and garbage in Polar waters as follows.
g. Discharges of sewage within Polar Waters:
1) Prohibited except when performed in accordance with MARPOL Annex IV and the following requirements:
i. The ship is discharging comminuted and disinfected sewage in accordance with Regulation 11.1.1 of MARPOL Annex IV at a distance of more than 3 nautical miles from any ice-shelf or fast ice and shall be as far as practicable from areas of ice concentration exceeding 1/10; or
ii. The ship is discharging sewage that is not comminuted or disinfected in accordance with Regulation 11.1.1 of MARPOL Annex IV and at a distance of more than 12 nautical miles from any ice-shelf or fast ice and shall be as far as practicable from areas of ice concentration exceeding 1/10; or
iii. The ship has in operation an approved sewage treatment plant meeting the operational requirements in either Regulation 9.1.1 or 9.2.1 of MARPOL Annex IV, and discharges sewage in accordance with Regulation 11.1.2 of Annex IV and shall be as far as practicable from the nearest land, any ice-shelf, fast ice or areas of ice concentration exceeding 1/10.
2) Discharge of sewage into the sea is prohibited from category A and B ships constructed on or after 1 January 2017 and all passenger ships constructed on or after 1 January 2017, except when such discharges are in compliance with above paragraph iii.
3) Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph 11.1, category A and B ships that operate in areas of ice concentrations exceeding 1/10 for extended periods of time, may only discharge sewage using an approved sewage treatment plant meeting the operational requirements in either Regulation 9.1.1 or 9.2.1 of MARPOL Annex IV. Such discharges shall be subject to the approval of the Administration.
h. Discharge of garbage (MARPOL Annex V) in Polar Waters:
1) In Arctic waters, discharge of garbage into the sea permitted in accordance with Regulation 4 of MARPOL Annex V is to meet the additional requirements specified in paragraph 5.2.1 of Part II-A of the Polar Code. Specifically, food wastes shall not be discharged onto the ice and discharge of animal carcasses is prohibited.
2) In the Antarctic area, discharge of garbage into the sea permitted in accordance with Regulation 6 of MARPOL Annex V, is to meet the additional requirements specified in paragraph 5.2.2 of Part II-A of the Polar Code.
3) Operation in Polar Waters is to be taken into account, as appropriate, in the Garbage Record Book, Garbage Management Plan required under Regulation 10 of MARPOL Annex V, and the related Placards.
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.