The Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MoU) will launch an inspection campaign to verify compliance with Polar Code requirements, according to the Standard Club statement.
The inspection campaign will take place from June 13 to July 1, 2022 (first period) and from August 1 to 19, 2022 (second period).
The inspection campaign is in addition to the regular CIC and takes place at a different time of the year due to the seasonal voyage plans of ships sailing to the polar region.
Reasons for such a campaign include:
Polar waters have a unique polar ecosystem that is vulnerable to human influences such as ship operations;
Polar waters impose additional navigational requirements beyond those normally encountered in non-polar waters;
Polar waters place additional demands on ships, their systems and their operations beyond the existing requirements for normal operations at sea.
The objective of the Polar Code inspection campaign is:
determine the level of compliance with Polar Code requirements within the shipping industry;
raise awareness among ship crews and owners of the importance of compliance with the provisions of the Polar Code, the increased risk to ships operating in polar waters and the protection of the vulnerable polar environment;
send a signal to industry that the requirements related to safety and pollution prevention are mandatory and that the application of the applicable requirements is a priority of the authorities members of the Paris MoU; emphasize the responsibility of the port state control regime for the harmonized enforcement of compliance with Polar Code requirements, thereby improving the level of compliance and ensuring a level playing field.
A ship will only be subject to one inspection related to this inspection campaign during this period. Port State Control Officers (PSCOs) will use a pre-defined questionnaire to assess whether the information and equipment provided on board complies with the relevant conventions. Of course, the polar code elements of SOLAS and MARPOL will also be taken into account.