Shipping industry "confident about Arctic and environmental performance"News // March 13, 2015
At a high-level Arctic Summit, organised by The Economist magazine in Oslo on 12 March, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the global trade association for merchant ship operators, highlighted important issues associated with the growth of Arctic shipping and expressed confidence in the industry's environmental performance.
The ICS stressed the "critical importance" of a mandatory and uniform regulatory framework to ensure maritime safety and environmental protection, as the volume of Arctic shipping gradually increases in response to new interest in developing the region's natural resources.
ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe, said: "The International Maritime Organization is the appropriate forum for developing standards for ships operating in the Arctic as it has the necessary legal and technical expertise to take full account of the interests of all maritime nations including those with an Arctic coastline."
He added that the shipping industry is fully committed to the implementation of the mandatory IMO Polar Code, following its recent adoption by IMO Member States and its expected entry into force in January 2017.
"The Polar Code will deliver an even greater level of confidence in the environmental performance of shipping using a risk-based approach which addresses the hazards relevant to the type of ship operation, the ship's location and the season of operation," he said.
ICS asserts that the shipping industry's environmental performance is "very impressive," but the industry "fully recognises" concerns about the potential sensitivity of Arctic ecosystems and the need for a high degree of care when ships navigate Arctic waters, which is fully reflected in the new IMO Polar Code.