Ship Owners Face Challenges operating in the Arctic

October 06, 2014

Arctic Shipping North American Forum in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Oct. 20-21, 2014

Oct. 6, 2014

The IMO intends to have a mandatory Polar Code approved by the end of 2014, with projected implementation in 2016 or 2017. 

For ship owners, the shortened trade route to Asia from eastern North America or Western Europe would, of course, take less time and therefore be less costly, however, there are many challenges for the ship owner.  Ballast water treatment, oil discharges and air emissions are three areas which need to be well understood by ship owners.  With respect to ballast water treatment, until the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) enters into force, the ballast water management provisions of the ballast water exchange standard of the BMW Convention should be considered as appropriate.

The Polar Codestates that any discharge into the sea of oil or oily mixtures from any ship shall be prohibited. And black carbon emissions – widely recognised as the second most important agent of climate change after CO2 has not been addressed.  The ASF conference in St. John’s will try to discuss all these challenges and more.  I hope to see you there.

Craig Carter, Canada

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