That and the associated MARPOL amendments to make the code mandatory were approved last week by the International Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee.
The Polar Code covers the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue and environmental protection matters relevant to ships operating in waters surrounding the two poles.
The newly adopted environmental provisions address the prevention of pollution by oil, noxious liquid substances, sewage and garbage.
The adoption of the environmental provisions follows the adoption of the safety-related requirements of the Polar Code and related amendments to make it mandatory under SOLAS by IMO's Maritime Safety Committee in December 2014.
The complete Polar Code, encompassing the safety-related and environment-related requirements, is expected to enter into force on Jan. 1, 2017.
The Polar Code will apply to new ships constructed on or after that date. Ships constructed before 2017 will have to meet the relevant requirements of the Polar Code by the first intermediate or renewal survey, whichever occurs first, after Jan. 1, 2018.