Coast Guard Issues Guidance on the Polar Code

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Captain Duke Snider

By The Maritime Executive 02-14-2016 04:54:51

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued policy letter providing interim guidance for the training of bridge officers engaged on ships that operate in an area subject to the Polar Code.

The IMO’s International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) addresses safety and environmental requirements for ships and the level of training required for deck officers engaged on them. It will come into force on January 1, 2017.

The training requirements contained in the Polar Code are implemented through amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). These amendments are expected to be adopted in July 2016 and enter into force on January 1, 2018.

Cognizant that there is a gap between the time the Polar Code enters into force and the adoption of the amendments to STCW, the Coast Guard has provided the guidance to ensure there are sufficiently trained mariners by the time the Polar Code enters into force.

The guidance is available here.