Since the Arctic Shipping Pollution Prevention Regulations ( ASPPR ) were developed in the 1970’s there has always been a definition for an “Ice Navigator” and a requirement for them to be aboard tankers or other ships at certain periods when using the Zone / Date System. When the regulations were recently amended to introduce the AIRSS , it also included more stringent qualifications and experience an ‘Ice Navigator’. The term Ice Navigator is not new, but the role of the Ice Navigator has become more prominent including the requirement to have an Ice Navigator aboard any ship that intends to take advantage of the flexibility offered by the Ice Regime System.
6.1 Qualifications and Requirements for an Ice Navigator
The qualifications and requirements for an Ice Navigator are stated in Section 26 of the ASPPR which is reproduced below for reference:
- No tanker shall navigate within any zone without the aid of an ice navigator who is qualified in accordance with subsection (3).
- No ship other than a tanker shall navigate in any zone set out in the heading to each of Columns II to XVII of Schedule VIII
- where the words “No Entry” are shown in that column of item 14, and
- where a period of time is shown in that Column of item 14, except during that period of time, without the aid of an ice navigator who is qualified in accordance with subsection (3).
- The ice navigator on a ship shall
- be qualified to act as master or person in charge of the deck watch in accordance with regulations made pursuant to the Canada Shipping Act; and
- have served on a ship in the capacity of master, or person in charge of the deck watch for a total period of at least 50 days, of which 30 days must have been served in Arctic waters while the ship was in ice conditions that required the ship to be assisted by an icebreaker or to make manoeuvres to avoid concentrations of ice that might have endangered the ship.
- Despite subsections (1) and (2), a tanker or ship referred to in those subsections may navigate in a zone without the aid of an ice navigator during any part of the transit in open water.
- For the purposes of subsection (4), "open water" has the meaning assigned to that term in the Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System ( AIRSS TP , published by Marine Safety, Transport Canada, in June 1996, as amended from time to time.
There is work in progress to develop an endorsement / certification process for Ice Navigators (who may not necessarily be the Master of the ship). In the interim, personnel will be assessed using the criteria above. It is the responsibility of the shipowner to ensure that qualified persons be on board for the intended voyage.
6.2 When is an Ice Navigator Required?
Section 26 of the ASPPR lists the circumstances under which an Ice Navigator must be aboard, however it is always recommended to have an experienced person guiding the ship when there is the potential for encountering sea ice. To summarize and illustrate:
- An Ice Navigator is required:
- i) on all tankers (when carrying oil as cargo) at all times that the tanker is in a Shipping Safety Control Zone,
- ii) when any ship, over 100 gross tons is navigating outside the dates set out in row 14 of Schedule VIII in the ASPPR (the Type E dates from Zone / Date Table), and
- iii) while using the Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System.
- An Ice Navigator is not required:
- iv) during any part of a ship's transit (including oil tankers) while the vessel is in open water [ ASPPR , Section 26 (4)],
- v) when a ship other than a tanker is navigating under the Zone / Date System, in zones 7 to 16, within the dates listed in row 14 of Schedule VIII in the ASPPR (the Type E dates from Zone / Date Table), and
- vi) outside Canada's Shipping Safety Control Zones.
This is an example of how the Dates of Entry Table applies to a Type B ship.
Example: Entry of a Type B Ship into Zone 15
|Item||Category||Zone 14||Zone 15||Zone 16|
|10||Type A||June 25 to Nov. 30||June 25 to Dec. 5||June 20 to Nov. 20|
|11||Type B||July 1 to Nov. 30||July 1 to Nov. 30||June 20 to Nov. 10|
|12||Type C||July 1 to Nov. 25||July 1 to Nov. 25||June 20 to Nov. 10|
|13||Type D||July 10 to Nov. 10||July 5 to Nov. 10||July 1 to Oct. 31|
|14||Type E||July 20 to Oct. 31||July 20 to Nov. 5||July 1 to Oct. 31|
(Extract from the - Shipping Safety Control Zones - Dates of Entry)
Note: The bullets below indicate how the table could be interpreted relevant to the Zone / Date System and the Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System.
- The Type B ship in this example, that is not a tanker, can be in Zone 15 anytime between July 20th and Nov. 5th without having an Ice Navigator on board. (the Type E dates)
- A Type B ship, can be in Zone 15 from July 1st to November 30th if there is an Ice Navigator on board.
- A Type B ship can be in zone 15 prior to July 1st and after November 30th (
outside the Zone / Dates) if all of the following conditions are complied with:
- there is an Ice Navigator on board,
- the vessel is using the Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System,
- the ship transmits an Ice Regime Routing Message that illustrates positive Ice Numerals along its route,
- the ship receives an acknowledgement from NORDREG related
- to the Ice Regime Routing Message, and
- the ship intends to complete an After Action Report.