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Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) Requirements for Seafarers on Ships Operating in Polar Waters

polar waters nma

Masters, chief mates and officers in charge of a navigational watch on passenger ships and tankers with a Polar Ship Certificate operating in open polar waters shall from 1 July 2018 hold a Certificate of Proficiency Polar Code - Basic. And masters and chief mates on ships with a Polar Ship Certificate operating in other polar waters shall from 1 July 2018 hold a Certificate of Proficiency Polar Code - Advanced.

Open polar waters means areas of freely navigable water in which sea ice is present in concentrations less than 1/10. In open polar waters, no ice of land origin shall be present.

polar code nma

Masters, chief mates and officers in charge of a navigational watch on board ships operating in polar waters must have completed appropriate training

Certificate of Proficiency Polar Code - Basic Requirements



  • Officers in charge of a navigational watch on ships with a Polar Ship Certificate and operating in other polar waters shall hold a Certificate of Proficiency Polar Code - Basic. Other polar waters means bergy waters or areas which are neither ice-free nor open.
  • The Certificate of Proficiency Polar Code - Basic may be issued to persons who have successfully completed approved basic training covering the subjects set out in Annex XII table A-V/4-1.

Certificate of Proficiency Polar Code - Advanced Requirements

The Certificate of Proficiency Polar Code - Advanced may be issued to persons who, in addition to meeting the requirements for the issue of a Certificate of Proficiency Polar Code - Basic, have -

  • At least two months of seagoing service as master, chief mate or officer in charge of the navigational watch on ships operating in polar waters or equivalent seagoing service; AND
  • Successfully completed approved advanced training covering the subjects set out in Annex XII table A-V/4-2.

Transitional Provisions for Certificate of Proficiency Polar Code

Seafarers who can document having commenced seagoing service on ships operating in polar waters prior to 1 July 2018, may before 1 July 2020 be issued with a Certificate of Proficiency Polar Code - Basic when it is also documented that one of the following conditions is met -

  • At least three months of seagoing service during the preceding five years on ships operating in polar waters or equivalent seagoing service, as master, chief mate or officer in charge of a navigational watch; AND
  • Training in accordance with Annex XIII.

Seafarers who can document having commenced seagoing service on ships operating in polar waters prior to 1 July 2018, may before 1 July 2020 be issued with a Certificate of Proficiency Polar Code - Advanced when it is also documented that one of the following conditions is met -

  • At least three months of seagoing service during the preceding five years on ships operating in polar waters or equivalent seagoing service, as master, chief mate or officer in charge of a navigational watch; AND
  • Training in accordance with Annex XIII, and at least two months of seagoing service during the preceding five years on ships operating in polar waters or equivalent seagoing service, as master, chief mate or officer in charge of a navigational watch.

Dsclaimer: For general information purpose only. Please check with NMA for the latest and accurate information

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