In the context of the melting icecap and the growing shipping activity in the Arctic, the International Maritime Organization (imo) spent several years preparing polar navigation rules aimed at providing appropriate safety and environmental protection standards. The rules underwent several transformations before emerging as the binding International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code). The Polar Code is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2017. This paper examines the formation and development of the Polar Code and its principles and provisions, expounds upon the unique characteristics of the Code, and discusses expected future practices.
In September2011President Vladimir Putin of Russia gave a speech at the second International Arctic Forum “The Arctic Territory of Dialogue” in which he stated “I want to stress the importance of the Northern Sea Route as an international transport artery that will rival traditional trade lanes in service fees security and quality”.