Arctic Yearbook 2012
The Future of Arctic Shipping Along the Transpolar Sea Route
International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for
Seafarers, London, 1 December 1978, as amended (STCW 78).
IMO Guidelines for Ships Operating in Arctic ice-covered Waters adopted by IMO
MSC/Circ.1056, MEPC/Circ.399, 23 December 2002.
IMO Guidelines for Ships Operating in Polar Waters adopted by IMO Assembly Resolution
A.1024(26), 2 December 2009.
A Working Group on the development of a mandatory Polar Code was established in
November 2010; See IMO Report DE 54/23, 17 November 2010, Section 13. Further relevant
documents regarding the progress on a mandatory Polar Code are available at
publicly accessible online archive of the IMO:
In addition the Tokyo MoU applies to the Asia-Pacific region with China’s Maritime Safety
Administration as member authority.
In that regard both the 1979 International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue and the
1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation are stipulated as basis for search and rescue
operations under the Arctic Council’s agreement. See Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement,
Article 7. Consequently agreement reaffirms and implements preexisting legal treaty obligations,
yet now specifically covering the Arctic region.
Technical challenges for Arctic shipping involve the ship hull structure, the hull form, the width
of ships and propulsion systems and propeller.
Maersk Line operated its fleet at 17 knots in 2011. See Wienberg & Bhatia, 2012.
The global benefits of related reduced CO2 emissions could, for example, compensate the
external added costs of Arctic shipping in a global Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). See
Schøyen & Bråthen, 2011.
With regard to the NWP and the NSR, political and legal issues, as well as potentially high
transit fees also matter.
In that regard see Verny & Grigentin (2009) for a recent calculation on the economic viability of
container shipping in the NSR.
In that regard satellite space system on High Elliptical Orbit (HEO), as currently used by Russia,
could enhance polar coverage above 70° North.
Today China has two of the world’s largest banks in ship financing. See UNCTAD 2011.
AMSA. (2009, April).
Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report
. Arctic Council. Retrieved
Anderson, A. (2009).
After the ice: Life, death, and geopolitics in the new Arctic.
Arctic Portal. (2012).
Interactive data map.
Retrieved (05.3.12) from,
China strengthens Arctic cooperation with Iceland.
Retrieved (05.7.12) from,