What is contained on the Polar Ship Certificate?


Navsregs>Ship Certification>

Certifying that a vessel is safe for Polar Waters

This new series of posts on the Polar Code continues with a look at the contents of the Polar Ship Certificate. A look that also gives me an excuse to enjoy using some of my favourite photographs. 

Which ships have to carry a valid Polar Ship Certificate?

Every ship to which the Code applies

Click here for information on which ships these are>

When is a Polar Ship Certificate issued?

After an initial or renewal survey.

For category C cargo ships however, if the result of and assessment is that no additional equipment or structural modification is required to comply with the Code, the Certificate may be issued based upon documented verification that the ship complies with all relevant requirements. An on board survey will be undertaken at the next scheduled survey.

Polar Ship Certificate validity, survey dates and endorsements shall be harmonized
with the relevant SOLAS certificates as  required by HSSC.

What should accompany the certificate?

A Record of Equipment for the Polar Ship Certificate.

What does the Polar Ship Certificate Certify?

  • That the ship has been surveyed in accordance with the applicable safety-relatedSea beginning to freeze
    provisions of the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters.
  • That the survey showed that the structure, equipment, fittings, radio station arrangements, and materials of the ship and the condition thereof are in all respects satisfactory and that the ship complies with the relevant provisions of the Code

What is contained on the Polar Ship Certificate?

  • Particulars of ship
    • Name of ship
    • Distinctive number or letters
    • Port of registry
    • Gross tonnage
    • IMO number
  • Category A/B/C (see below)
  • Table of ice class against drafts fore and aft (maximum and minimum)
  • Ship type: tanker/passenger ship/other
  • Ship restricted to operate in ice free waters/open waters/other ice conditions
  • Ship intended to operate in low air temperature: Yes/No
  • Polar Service Temperature: ……..°C/not applicable
  • Maximum expected time of rescue


  • A statement that the ship was/was not subject to alternative design and arrangements.
  • A statement that a Document of approval of alternative design and arrangements for structure, machinery and electrical installations/fire protection/life-saving appliances and arrangements is/is not appended to this Certificate.
  • Operational limitations
    • Ice conditions
    • Temperature
    • High latitudesSmall iceberg

What is a polar code  Category A/B/C ship?

  • Category A ship means a ship designed for operation in polar waters in at least medium first-year ice, which may include old ice inclusions
  • Category B ship means a ship not included in category A, designed for operation in
    polar waters in at least thin first-year ice, which may include old ice inclusions
  • Category C ship means a ship designed to operate in open water or in ice conditions
    less severe than those included in categories A and B


HandyBooks Ship Certification Revision Aids

The Really Handy Range of Kindle publications contain a series of books on ship certification.

Click here for more information>

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