Stricter environmental requirements for ships operating the Arctic region is the effect of the environmental rules of the Polar Code, which has now been approved.

The IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has adopted new rules tightening the environmental requirements for ships operating in polar waters. Among other things, a total ban is introduced on the discharge of oil and chemicals along with stricter requirements for the discharge of sewage and waste.

In the spring of 2014, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) approved the part of the Polar Code relating to safety. Now, the only thing pending is the final adoption by the MSC and the MEPC in the spring of 2015. The Polar Code is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2017.