| FNI PROJECTS
Arctic Shipping Guidelines: From Voluntary to Mandatory
Tool for Environmental Protection and Navigation Safety?
preoccupation with protecting the Polar marine environment has added new
dimensions to the concept of maritime safety. Among the recent global,
regulatory initiatives are the "Guidelines for Ships Operating in Arctic
Ice-covered Waters", adopted by the International Maritime Organization in
2002. They aim to provide guidance for the purpose of regulating international
shipping in ice-covered waters, with special consideration for the risks faced
by ships operating in the Arctic Ocean.
The overall objective of this
research project is to explore the various maritime, geopolitical and legal
issues raised by the introduction of these regulations. Key elements and
structure of the Guidelines are analysed, as well as the roles of governments,
the IMO and classification societies in the lawmaking process. The possible
relevance for the Guidelines to be implemented for Antarctic navigation is also
A major part of the research aims to analyse the shortfalls
of the current arrangement and their contribution to maritime safety in a
non-binding form. If the regulations prove to have little legal and practical
impact as recommendatory provisions only, what will be the most appropriate
avenue for adopting a compulsory regime, and moreover, which foreseeable
repercussions are then likely within the special jurisdictional context of the
Vidas (project leader)
Guidelines: Towards a Legal Regime for Navigation Safety and Environmental
Protection?'. Polar Record, Vol 44, No 2, 2008, pp.
Jensen, Øystein, The IMO Guidelines for Ships
Operating in Arctic Ice-Covered Waters: From Voluntary to Mandatory Tool for
Navigation Safety and Environmental Protection? FNI Report 2/2007.
Lysaker, FNI, 2007, 32 p.
Fridtjof Nansen Institute