Regulatory Frameworks for Maritime Transport in the Arctic: Will a Polar Code Contribute to Resolve Conflicting Interests?

In John Grue and Roy H. Gabrielsen (eds), Marine Transport in the High North. Oslo, Novus Forlag, 2011, pp. 73-91.

This chapter discusses the ability of Norway as a coastal state to regulate maritime transport in the Arctic in light of the major interests associated with such transportation. As a coastal state heavily dependent on marine resources, Norway has significant interests in protecting the environment against damages from maritime accidents and pollution from maritime transport activities. But Norway does also promote other interests. As an important flag state, Norway defends the freedom of navigation. As a country with an open economy depending on international trade, Norway has a strong interest in cost effective maritime transportation.This chapter first discusses Norwegian jurisdiction under the current international regime in the Arctic. Thereafter follows an assessment of how Norway’s regulatory jurisdiction may be affected by negotiation and adoption of a binding Polar Code. The final part of the contribution considers how Norway can ensure an appropriate balance of the interests should the negotiations of a Polar Code fail to provide appropriate results within a reasonable time frame.