Home United States USCG MMC › You are here


Pick your Language (Translate)

STCW Basic and Advanced Polar Code General, Sea Service and Other Requirements by U.S. Coast Guard

uscg polar code

The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) has been developed to supplement existing IMO instruments in order to increase the safety of ships' operation and mitigate the impact on the people and environment in the remote, vulnerable and potentially harsh polar waters. ‚ÄčIMO has adopted the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) and related amendments to STCW Convention and STCW Code to make it mandatory under both the SOLAS and the MARPOL.

The Polar Code entered into force on 1 January 2017 and the National Maritime Center (NMC) will issue a Basic or Advanced Polar Code STCW endorsement to mariners who have voluntarily fulfilled the applicable STCW requirements. Please note that these endorsements are not currently mandated by Coast Guard regulation but voluntary. However, any vessel entering into polar waters are subjected to foreign port state control and are required to comply with the regulations.

ship in polar waters uscg

The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) entered into force on January 1, 2017



USCG Polar Code Requirements

  • Must hold valid STCW endorsement as Master, Chief Mate or OICNW as appropriate

USCG Basic Polar Code Operations Endorsement (STCW V/4-1) Requirements

  • Original STCW Capacity until July 1, 2020: 90 days of seagoing service operating on polar waters with at least one day prior to July 1, 2018 at the management level or as OICNW within the previous five years while operating within polar waters, OR; Proof of Completion of Training as specified in B-V/g of the STCW Code (Note 1 and Note 2 apply). Completion of training alone does not meet Advanced Polar Code Operations.
  • Original STCW Capacity with or without sea service operating in polar waters prior to July 1, 2018: Coast Guard approved course in Basic Polar Code Operation, OR; Proof of Completion of Training as specified in A-V/4-1 of the STCW Code.

USCG Advanced Polar Code Operations Endorsement (STCW V/4-2) Requirements

  • Original STCW Capacity until July 1, 2020: 90 days of seagoing service operating on polar waters with at least one day prior to July 1, 2018 at the management level (STCW Master or Chief Mate) within the previous five years while operating within polar waters, OR; 60 days of sea going service operating on polar waters with at least one day prior to July 1, 2018 at the management level within the previous five years while operating within polar waters AND proof of Completion of Training as specified in B-V/g of the STCW Code.
  • Original STCW Capacity with or without sea service operating in polar waters prior to July 1, 2018: Satisfactory evidence of meeting Basic Polar Code Operations, AND Coast Guard approved course in Advanced Polar Code Operations OR proof of Completion of Training as specified in A-V/4-2 of the STCW Code, AND 3. 60 days of seagoing service at the management level or as OICNW while operating within polar waters.

Notes

  • Mariners issued Advanced Polar Code Operations (V/4-2) will also be endorsed with Basic Polar Code Operations (V/4-1).
  • Sea service must be documented in accordance with 46 CFR 10.232 and should include the number of days served and capacity served on a vessel operating in polar waters.
  • Service in the capacity of Ice Pilot may be accepted as long as the appropriate STCW is currently held. Service as Ice Pilot did not have to be while holding any credential as long as the appropriate STCW capacity is currently valid for the endorsement sought.

 For more details on STCW Polar Code requirements, please visit our STCW Code section

Disclaimer: For general information purpose - please check with USCG for the latest requirements and accurate info

1 1 1 1 1