Arctic states and industry to build information portal

By Helle Hammer, Managing Director of Cefor and Chair of the IUMI Political Forum

The Arctic Council’s working group for the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) has established a new forum to raise awareness of the Polar Code that came into force 1 January 2017. The “Arctic Marine Shipping Best Practices Information Forum” comprises representatives from the eight Arctic states and industry, and is unique in its international collaborative objective to secure uniform implementation of, and compliance with, the Code.  

IUMI is among the industry organisations invited as Forum Members, together with vessels owners/operators, regulators, classification societies, and indigenous and local communities. More information about the Forum and its membership can be found here:

The Forum held its inaugural meeting in London on 5-6 June. Following introductions, the participants received greetings from the responsible Ministers of Finland and Norway and this emphasised the support of this Forum at the highest political level in Arctic states. The opening address was given by IMO Maritime Safety Director Mr. Ashok Mahapatra, who welcomed the initiative and invited progress reports to the organisation.

To obtain a Polar Ship Certificate under the Polar Code, a ship operating in polar waters is required to perform an operational assessment and carry on board a Polar Waters Operational Manual. The Forum will focus on supporting this assessment to ensure that the obligations concerning international sailings in the Arctic is fully understood and consistently complied with. To this end, a web portal will be established with information and sources of relevance to Arctic sailings. IUMI has already submitted insurance guidelines from some markets and companies to PAME. Additional documents from the IUMI membership may be submitted to the Political Forum in view of inclusion in the new web portal.