G-1 Layout of the Guidelines
G-1.1 The Guidelines include general, construction, equipment, operational and environmental protection and damage control parts, presented in that order and subdivided into chapters.
G-1.2 This section provides definitions for important terms that are used exclusively within the Guidelines or where any term has more than one meaning in other applicable Conventions. Otherwise, terms have the meanings defined in the Convention(s) relevant to each chapter.
G-1.3 All parts and chapters of the Guidelines should be applied to Polar Class ships. All parts and chapters, with the exception of those dealing with purely construction issues (Part A), should be applied to all ships in polar waters. Each chapter notes any additional differentiation of provisions between ship classes specific to that chapter.
G-1.4 Guidance provided in Part A of the Guidelines is only intended for new Polar Class ships.
G-2 Key provisions
G-2.1 Only those ships with a Polar Class designation or a comparable alternative standard of ice-strengthening appropriate to the anticipated ice conditions should operate in polar ice-covered waters.
G-2.2 The combination of hull structural design, material quality, subdivision and segregation measures prescribed in the Guidelines and supporting standards should be adequate to reduce the risk of human casualties, pollution incidents or ship losses to acceptably low levels of probability during prudent operations in polar waters.
G-2.3 No pollutants should be carried directly against the shell in hull areas at significant risk of ice impact. Operational pollution of the environment should be minimized by equipment selection and operational practice.
G-2.4 Key safety-related, survival and pollution control equipment should be rated for the temperatures and other conditions which may be encountered in the service intended.
G-2.5 Navigation and communications equipment should be suitable to provide adequate performance in high latitudes, areas with limited infrastructure and unique information transfer requirements.
G-2.6 Sea suction(s) should be capable of being cleared of accumulation of slush ice.
For the purpose of the Guidelines, unless expressly provided otherwise, the terms used have the meanings defined in the following paragraphs. Terms used, but not defined in the Guidelines, are to be interpreted as they are defined in the relevant Conventions.
G-3.1 Administration means the Government of the State whose flag the ship is entitled to fly.
G-3.2 Polar waters includes both Arctic and Antarctic waters.
G-3.3 Arctic waters means those waters which are located north of a line extending from latitude 58º00'.0 N, longitude 042º00'.0 W to latitude 64°37'.0 N, longitude 035°27'.0 W and thence by a rhumb line to latitude 67º03'.9 N, longitude 026º33'.4 W and thence by a rhumb line to Sørkapp, Jan Mayen and by the southern shore of Jan Mayen to the Island of Bjørnøya and thence by a great circle line from the Island of Bjørnøya to Cap Kanin Nos and thence by the northern shore of the Asian continent eastward to the Bering Strait and thence from the Bering Strait westward to latitude 60º N as far as Il’pyrskiy and following the 60th North parallel eastward as far as and including Etolin Strait and thence by the northern shore of the North American continent as far south as latitude 60º N and thence eastward along parallel of latitude 60º.N, to longitude 56º37; .1 W and thence to the latitude 58º00'.0 N, longitude 042º00'.0 W (see figure 1).
G-3.4 Antarctic waters means those waters which are south of 60° S (see figure 2).
G-3.5 Ice-covered waters means polar waters where local ice conditions present a structural risk to a ship.
G-3.6 COLREG means the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, as amended.
G-3.7 Company means the owner of the ship or any other organization or person such as the manager, or the bareboat charterer, who has assumed the responsibility for operation of the ship from the shipowner.
G-3.8 Conning position means the stations in which the ship’s steering control and devices for ahead or astern operations are located.
G-3.9 Escort means any ship with superior ice capability in transit with another ship.
G-3.10 Escorted operation means any operation in which a ship’s movement is facilitated through the intervention of an escort.
G-3.11 IACS means the International Association of Classification Societies.
G-3.12 Ice Navigator means any individual who, in addition to being qualified under the STCW Convention, is specially trained and otherwise qualified to direct the movement of a ship in ice-covered waters.
G-3.13 Icebreaker means any ship whose operational profile may include escort or ice management functions, whose powering and dimensions allow it to undertake aggressive operations in ice-covered waters.
G-3.14 International voyages means voyages in international waters, as defined in chapter I of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, as amended.
G-3.15 ISM Code means the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention, as amended.
G-3.16 ICLL means the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966.
G-3.17 MARPOL means the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the 1978 Protocol relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78), as amended.
G-3.18 Organization means the International Maritime Organization.
G-3.19 Polar Class means the class assigned to a ship based upon IACS Unified Requirements.
G-3.20 Polar Class ship means a ship for which a Polar Class has been assigned.
G-3.21 Pollutant means any substance controlled by MARPOL which, if introduced into the sea, is liable to create hazards to human health, to harm living resources and marine life, to damage amenities or to interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea.
G-3.22 Recognized organization means an organization recognized by an Administration in accordance with IMO resolutions A.739(18) and A.789(19).
G-3.23 Ship means any vessel required to comply with the 1974 SOLAS Convention.
G-3.24 SOLAS means the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended.
G-3.25 STCW means the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended.
G-3.26 Unified Requirements means IACS Unified Requirements for Polar Class Ships (UR-I).
G-3.27 WMO means the World Meteorological Organization.
G-3.28 Working liquids means any substances that are pollutants used for the operation of the ship’s machinery.
G-3.292008 IS Code means the International Code on Intact Stability, 2008, as adopted by resolution MSC.267(85).
Figure 1 – Maximum extent of Arctic waters application (see paragraph G-3.3)2
Figure 2 – Maximum extent of Antarctic Waters application (see paragraph G-3.4)1
1Maps are for illustrative purposes only.
Chapter 1 General
1.1.1 Except where specifically stated otherwise, these Guidelines provide guidance for ships operating in Antarctic waters or while engaged in international voyages in Arctic waters.
1.1.2 Part A of the Guidelines provides guidance for new Polar Class ships.
1.1.3 Parts B, C and D of the Guidelines provide guidance for Polar Class and all other ships.
Table 1.1 – Class descriptions
|Polar Class||General description|
|Year-round operation in all ice-covered waters|
|Year-round operation in moderate multi-year ice conditions|
|Year-round operation in second-year ice which may include multi-year ice inclusions|
Year-round operation in thick first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions
|Year-round operation in medium first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions|
|Summer/autumn operation in medium first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions|
|Summer/autumn operation in thin first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions|
Note: Ice descriptions follow the WMO Sea Ice Nomenclature.
1.1.4 All Polar Class ships and the equipment to be carried in accordance with the Guidelines should be designed, constructed and maintained in compliance with applicable national standards of the Administration or the appropriate requirements of a recognized organization which provide an equivalent level of safety1 for its intended service. Special attention should be drawn to the need for winterization aspects. Ships intending to operate as an icebreaker are to receive special consideration.
1.1.5 The structures, equipment and arrangements essential for the safety and operation of the ship should take account of the anticipated temperatures.
1.1.6 Special attention should be given to essential operating equipment and systems and safety equipment and systems. For example, the potential for ice building up inside the ballast tanks and sea chests should be considered. The life-saving and fire extinguishing equipment specified in part B of the Guidelines, when stored or located in an exposed position, should be of a type that is rated to perform its design functions at the minimum anticipated air temperature. In particular, attention is drawn to the inflation of life-saving equipment and the starting of engines in lifeboats and rescue boats.
1.1.7 Operations in polar waters should take due account of factors such as: ship class, environmental conditions, icebreaker escort, prepared tracks, short or local routes, crew experience, support technology and services such as ice-mapping, availability of hydrographic information, communications, safe ports, repair facilities and other ships in convoy.
1.1.8 Equipment, fittings, materials, appliances and arrangements may deviate from the provisions of the Guidelines provided that their replacement is at least as effective as that specified in the Guidelines.
1.1.9 The provisions of the Guidelines do not apply to any warship, naval auxiliary, other vessels or aircraft owned or operated by a State and used, for the time being, only on government non-commercial service. However, each State should ensure, by the adoption of appropriate measures not impairing operations or operational capabilities of such vessels or aircraft owned or operated by it, that such vessels or aircraft act in a manner consistent, so far as is reasonable and practicable, with the Guidelines.
1.2 Ice Navigator
1.2.1 All ships operating in polar ice-covered waters should carry at least one Ice Navigator qualified in accordance with chapter 14. Consideration should also be given to carrying an Ice Navigator when planning voyages into polar waters.
1.2.2 Continuous monitoring of ice conditions by an Ice Navigator should be available at all times while the ship is underway and making way in the presence of ice.2
1 Refer to SOLAS chapter II-1 and to the IACS Unified Requirements for Polar Class Ships.
2 Refer to the Guidelines on voyage planning, as adopted by resolution A.893(21), and the Guidelines on voyage planning for passenger ships operating in remote areas, as adopted by resolution A.999(25).