Global warming in recent years has resulted in increased maritime traffic in the Northern Sea Route ("NSR"). Whilst the NSR offers both time savings in terms of voyage duration and also bunker cost savings, navigating the Arctic presents a number of challenges for the shipping industry and raises a number of safety and environmental concerns.
As a result, the International Maritime Organisation ("IMO") has produced a draft Polar Code to cover all aspects of shipping in the Arctic and Antarctic areas. The Polar Code comprises a set of mandatory safety and environmental protection regulations, together with non-mandatory provisions relating to both. In May 2014, the IMO's Marine Safety