Jiayu Bai

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.