The Polar Code is different to most existing regulation because it is, in part, goal-based rather than prescriptive. LR can make it easier for you to navigate your way to compliance.


With new operators starting to explore the polar regions, and following several incidents in recent years, there has been a drive towards increasing the safety of vessel design and operations. Furthermore, an increased perception that there is easier access to these regions and that they are more navigable, has increased shipping traffic. This has been a catalyst for protecting the sensitive polar environment from the effects of shipping. Regulatory frameworks are working to keep pace and, as such, the Polar Code will come into effect from the 1st January 2017 for new construction projects and from the 1st January 2018 for existing ships in service.

What we offer

We are your partner in complying with the Polar Code and you can access our wealth of arctic expertise to get exactly what you need, when you need it. Our interactive toolkit allows you to work through the Code on your own terms and you can download our free guidance, templates and examples to help you understand and meet your compliance needs.

The Polar Code: A Regulatory Interpretation Guide

The Polar Code is, in part, goal based. As this is a new regulatory approach, we have prepared an interpretation guide to help you understand the meaning of some of the text. Our guide has the complete Polar Code text on one side of the page, with our commentary and guidance on the opposite side. We have used colour coding for easy reference across the pages.

How to use POLARIS

The Polar Operational Limit Assessment Risk Indexing System (POLARIS) is an accepted methodology from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that can be used to assess the operational capabilities and limitations of a ship in ice. Our guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to use POLARIS to understand the ship's risk level using the ice class and ice conditions.

Operating Envelope: Guidance note and template

An operating envelope identifies the conditions in which a ship is intended to operate. These conditions are used as inputs when using the Polar Code and setting the ship's operational limitations. Our guide and template helps you identify these inputs in a structured way, so that you can start to use the parts of the Code that are relevant to your operations.

Limitation Wording for Polar Ship Certificate: Guidance note

The Polar Code Certificate has ship limitations for ice conditions, low temperatures and high latitudes. In order to understand at an early stage what limitations will be relevant for your ship's certificate, we have prepared a guide with standard wording. You can use this to understand how your ship will be limited, based on the inputs from the operating envelope.

Operational Assessment: Guidance note and template

The Polar Code requires an operational assessment to be undertaken for all ships. The assessment is used to set operational limitations, determine the balance between operational procedures and equipment provision, and identify any additional hazards that the Code has not already addressed. Our guidance note explains how the operational assessment fits into the Polar Code, and our template leads you through the steps to enable you to submit the results of the completed assessment for review.

Meeting the Polar Code 1 January: Guidance for existing ships

The Polar Code is in two mandatory Parts, Part IA addresses safety aspects and Part IIA relates to environmental protection. Part IIA is the first part of the Code to enter in to force for existing ships. Our guidance note explains what operational steps and procedures need to be in place to operate in polar waters from the 1 January 2017.