Operating in polar waters
Guidelines for fishing vessels in polar waters
These guidelines offer advice for operators of fishing vessels of 24 metres in length or more that operate in polar waters. These guidelines are modelled on the IMO’s International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (‘Polar Code’).
The Polar Code is not mandatory for fishing vessels (or other non-SOLAS ships) under New Zealand law. However, non-SOLAS ships are operating with increasing frequency in polar waters – they are vulnerable to the same risks as SOLAS ships, such as:
- accidents or incidents that could cause serious injury or loss of life, and
- damage to, or loss of, the vessel.
Applying these voluntary guidelines will help operators of fishing vessels in polar waters to safely navigate and manage the risks to their vessels, the people on board, systems and operations, and ensure they achieve the same level of safety as SOLAS vessels operating in polar waters.Guidelines for fishing vessels in polar waters [PDF: 881kB, 33 pages]
Guidelines for pleasure yachts operating in polar waters
These guidelines for pleasure yachts of 300 gross tonnage and above have been developed by IMO member states to supplement existing industry and/or national standards.
They provide additional guidance aimed at increasing the safety of yachts and persons on board, to mitigate the additional risk arising from the climatic conditions and other hazards when operating in polar waters.
These guidelines are recommendations only. Their wording is designed to provide guidance, rather than mandatory direction.Guidelines for pleasure yachts operating in polar waters [PDF: 538kB, 20 pages]
Information on mandatory requirements for ships travelling in polar waters
Polar ship certificate guidance
Guidance on how to comply with health and safety and pollution prevention requirements in polar waters.Polar Ship Certificate Guidance [PDF: 809kB, 10 pages]
It should be noted that pollution prevention requirements are mandatory on all ships visiting polar waters.
Polar Water endorsements on STCW qualifications
With this endorsement, you can work on NZ SOLAS ships or NZ ships which require a polar certificate under Maritime Rule 46.14(10) in polar waters and perform duties to the designated level (basic or advanced). The endorsements are valid for five years and can be renewed.
Find information for the polar water endorsement, including how to apply and pay for your endorsement, and where to find more help.
Certification fees and charges
Find out what is required in the polar water environment.