Coping with deficiencies in the Polar Code: a Russian perspective // Polar Journal. 2020. DOI 10.1080/2154896X.2020.1799615. URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/2154896X.2020.1799615?journalCode=rpol20. Published online: 07.09.2020.
This article examines shortcomings of the Polar Code (PC) from a Russian perspective. While the PC represents a historic milestone in international regulation of navigation in polar waters, the expert community has noted several drawbacks. Russian experts’ concerns relate mainly to potentially negative effects of the PC’s goal- oriented approach. The code leaves much to the discretion of the flag states’ administration, shipowners, and classification societies in terms of defining the exact scope and substance of the safety standards. This approach exacerbates the problem of weak control over maritime operators’ compliance with international require-ments. Since polar shipping requires special capacities, knowledge and skills available only to a limited group of stakeholders, the goal- oriented approach could pose significant risks in the Arctic. This article studies possible measures to mitigate these challenges, such as the implementation of national safety requirements based on Art. 234 of UNCLOS, establishment of a regional port state control mechanism and exercise of port state jurisdiction.
Keywords: Arctic | Russia | Polar Code | maritime safety | port state control | port state |
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