Commercial Vessel Compliance

2/10/2016: Guidelines for training of personnel on ships subject to the Polar Code

The Coast Guard has published OES Policy Letter 01-16 to provide guidance for the training of personnel on ships subject to the international code for ships operating in polar waters.

Taking into consideration concerns over increased shipping traffic in remote polar areas, the International Maritime Organization, or IMO, has developed and adopted, a mandatory International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters commonly referred to as the Polar Code. This code addresses safety and environmental requirements for ships and the level of training required for deck officers engaged on them, the Polar Code 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, 1978, as amended (STCW). These amendments are expected to be adopted in July of 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 the STCW Convention and Code by IMO, the Coast Guard is providing this guidance to ensure there are sufficiently trained mariners by the time the Polar Code enters into force.

View Policy Letter CG-OES 01-16 for full details.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.