Fourth meeting of the Forum

CoverThe Forum’s fourth annual meeting took place virtually on 24th  – 25th November 2020. Originally scheduled for 11-12 May in London at the Headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the meeting was postponed and instead held virtually on account of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This is the second Forum meeting under Iceland’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

‘The Polar Code: Trending Towards Success” was the theme of this year’s meeting in recognition of the enormous progress made in the Polar Code’s successful implementation. Presentations from a diverse group of experts (e.g. PAME Secretariat, Russian Federation, IMO, World Meteorological Organization, Arctic Regional Hydrographic Commission, International Ice Charting Working Group, Bering Sea Elders Group, International Chamber of Shipping, World Wildlife Fund) addressed efforts to advance harmonized interpretations of the Polar Code, highlighted initiatives to enhance meteorological, oceanographic, and hydrographic products and services that support safe and environmentally sound Arctic shipping, and described training initiatives to strengthen the critical human element in polar navigation

The Polar Operational Limitations Assessment Risk Indexing System (POLARIS) also was a topic of considerable discussion.

The meeting was attended by Arctic States, shipowners, classification societies, and intergovernmental organizations with a stake in implementing, complying with and/or making information available to support implementation of or compliance with the Polar Code. Meeting attendance grew by over 80% to 147 delegates, representing nearly 80 different entities attended the meeting, building on last year’s total of 80.

The Forum Coordinating Committee is deeply appreciative of the active engagement and dynamic support of Forum Participants. The Forum is making great strides in realizing its objective for safe shipping and the protection of the Arctic marine environment based on a collaborative approach.

The Forum's web-portal is available here.

The purpose of the Forum is to support effective implementation of the IMO Polar Code by making publicly available on a dedicated web portal information relevant to all those involved in safe and environmentally sound Arctic shipping, including shipowners/operators, regulators, classification societies, marine insurers, and indigenous and local communities. The theme of this fourth annual Forum meeting was The Polar Code: Trending Toward Success.

The Forum places particular emphasis on collecting information of use to Maritime Administrations and Recognized Organizations in issuing Polar Ship Certificates and conducting Operational Assessments, as well as information used by shipowners and operators in developing Polar Water Operational Manuals.

Meeting documents:



Michael Kingston: Forum Web-Portal Development

Hjalti Hreinsson: Shipping in the Arctic Polar Code area

Heike Deggim: Update from IMO