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IMO Adopted the Polar Code

SeaNews / Julia Shishova
November 24, 2014/

The International Maritime Organization adopted the International Code for ships operating in polar waters (Polar Code) and relevant amendments to SOLAS Convention. The decision was taken at the 94th session of the Committee on Safety at Sea in London. The newly adopted SOLAS Chapter XIV "Safety measures for ships operating in polar waters" introduces Polar Code as mandatory.

The new code consists of a preamble, the introduction of mandatory requirements (Part IA "Safety") and recommendations (Part 1-B). It covers all issues related to the design, construction, equipment, operation, crew training, search and rescue, as well as environmental protection for ships operating in polar waters.

It is expected that the Polar Code will come into force by default on January 1, 2017. It will apply to new ships built after that date. Ships constructed before January 1, 2017, must be brought in line with the requirements of Polar Code at the time of the next register survey, which will take place after January 1, 2018.

Since the Polar Code contains requirements both to safety and environmental protection, it will be mandatory in the framework of two conventions - SOLAS and MARPOL. A month earlier, the Committee for the Protection of the Marine Environment of IMO approved the draft of the Polar Code requirements that are mandatory under MARPOL. It is expected that the Committee on the Protection of the Marine Environment will approve Polar Code and related amendments to MARPOL at its next session in May 2015. They will be effective together with amendments to SOLAS.

Nakhodka Coal Terminal

November 18, 2014

Evraz Nakhodka Commercial Seaport has combined the two production and transshipment complexes, PTC-1 and PTC-3 in a single structure under the name "The First Coal Terminal". Reorganization was necessitated by the redirection of PTC-1, who had previously worked with imported goods, but this year switched to coal export operations. Fedor Tormasov, a former head of the PTC-3 has become a Director of the First Coal Terminal.

According to the information from Nakhodka seaport sources, the new terminal includes 8 berths with a total length of almost 2 km. A project to extend rear routes and spaces adjacent to Pier #12 will be completed soon, which will fully integrate the territory into a single processing line and provide an opportunity to upload up to 240 railcars of coal per day.

The new Terminal, as well as all other Nakhodka port facilities process only export coal. The main volumes come from Kuzbass (Kemerovo Region) with Raspadskaya (part of Evraz Group), Sibuglemet, Sibanthracite as primary shippers. Coal is exported to Japan, South Korea and China. In the first 10 months of 2014 Nakhodka seaport handled 4.5 million tons of coal export (50% growth comparing to the same period of 2013), total cargo turnover of Nakhodka port amounted to more than 7.7 million tons of cargo (+ 25%).

UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted on November 21, 2014 international binding rules improve the safety of shipping in polar waters.

Port News
November 23, 2014

After years of negotiations, the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) adopted a new set of rules for navigation in polar waters, including waters around Greenland.

The Polar Code covers all aspects of shipping in polar areas, including construction of vessels, crew training and navigation, improvement of coordination during search and rescue operations.

The Polar Code will be applied to passenger and cargo vessels with a gross tonnage exceeding 500 tons.

Before the entry of the Polar Code into force, its provisions concerning environmental situation in the polar areas of navigation should have been adopted by IMO Maritime Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in the spring of 2015. However, they have been approved by MEPC earlier, in September, 2014. Thus, according to the plans, the entire Code will be adopted and enter into force in late 2016 or early 2017.

Russia has offered India joint development of gas fields in the Arctic and East Siberia

November 05, 2014

Call for participation in Russian energy projects has been done to India representatives during a meeting of the Russian-Indian working group on energy and energy efficiency.

According to Deputy Energy Minister of Russia, Yuri Senturin, the proposal to participate in the development of Russian hydrocarbon deposits was made to the Indian side for the first time.

In addition to the development of oil deposits in Siberia and the Arctic Russia has offered India to participate in the construction of the second phase of the liquefied natural gas plant on "Sakhalin-1".

Moreover, according to Deputy Minister, representatives of "NOVATEK" and Indian companies are continuing talks about the joint development of the liquefied natural gas projects on the Yamal Peninsula.

Ministry for Arctic Development

November 20, 2014

Arthur Chilingarov, chief polar explorer of Russia and member of Rosneft BoD, made a proposal to establish Ministry for Arctic Development. "It's high time to create such a ministry, I even agree to head it", he said at the III International Business Week in Murmansk. Arthur Chilingarov took Canada as an example, where such governmental body had been created. In his opinion, regions of Russia's Arctic zone need more consolidation.

China to release guidebook on Arctic shipping

Artic-Info November 24, 2014

China will publish the first guide on sailing through the Northern Sea Route.

The guidebook will contain "comprehensive, practical and authoritative" information for Chinese cargo ships for sailing through the Northern Sea Route to Europe, Zhai Jiugang, deputy head of the Ministry of Transport's Maritime Safety Administration, said at a news conference in Beijing, according to

The Northern Sea Route can help Chinese cargo ships save nearly 5200 kilometers and nine days as compared with the traditional voyage to Europe through the Strait of Malacca and the Suez Canal, Jiugang said.

The guidebook will include nautical charts of NSR, information on sailing methods, ice-breaking services and Arctic geography and climate, as well as laws and regulations of countries along the route.

This May President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a joint statement on a new stage of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between two countries. According to this statement, Russia will facilitate China's goods shipment using its railway networks, ports and NSR.

China made its first commercial voyage through the Northern Sea Route in 2013, when the cargo ship "Yong Sheng" sailed from Dalian in China to Rotterdam.

The Northern Sea Route Administration has so far received 205 applications to sail the whole of the Northern Sea Route water areas. One of the vessels is - "Xiang Yun Kou"- sails under Chinese flag.

© Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University, NPO «Asia-Pacific Journal of Marine Science&Education. Editors Board».