Consultation: Ships in polar waters and other maritime and
marine protection rules

17 May 2017

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has developed a new code for ships in polar waters, and made other changes to improve safety of ships, crew, and the environment.

Maritime NZ Director, Keith Manch, said consultation begins tomorrow (Thursday) on how New Zealand will apply these changes.

“When international codes are made or changed, New Zealand must change our maritime and marine protection rules to meet our obligations,” Mr Manch said.

“We are contacting the maritime industry asking for its comments about the proposed changes.

“The overall aim is safer ships, safer crew, and less risk to the environment.”

The IMO’s Polar Code has two parts, ship safety and environmental protection.

The Code improves ship safety by heightening requirements for ship structure, stability, lifesaving, navigation and other matters.

International Maritime Organisation (IMO) ©2017
A new IMO film showing how the code supports safe and environmentally-friendly shipping in the Arctic and Antarctic waters.

Antarctic waters already have special environmental protection under the IMO’s “MARPOL” convention from oil, sewage, garbage and chemicals. The new Polar Code will extend similar environmental protections to Arctic waters.

The consultation also includes:

  • a new code for SOLAS ships powered by liquefied natural gas and other similar fuels – this is a new technology starting to be used overseas but not yet on ships in New Zealand
  • additional safety requirements for ships carrying dangerous chemicals in bulk and solid bulk cargoes
  • minor changes tightening rules about oil
  • minor changes tightening evacuation rules.

Consultation documents will be on the Maritime NZ website from midday tomorrow.

View the consultation

Submissions close 5pm, Thursday, 22 June 2017.

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