Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
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Room S354, CGIS South Bldg, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge

Arctic Shipping and the Northern Sea Route, Shipping Trends, and The New Polar Code Regulations: The Concerns and Contributions of the International Insurance Industry

Michael Kingston, Managing Director, Michael Kingston Associates; Special Advisor, Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) Working Group, Arctic Council will look at the increasing trends in Arctic Shipping and Northern Sea Route transits, in the context of the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and the Costa Concordia Disaster in Italy in 2012, which caused significant concern in the London Insurance Market. 

Michael worked as legal advisor on leading reports by Lloyd’s of London into the incidents. Michael also worked on Lloyd’s of London’s leading report into Arctic risk in the shadow of these disasters, which resulted in significant recommendations with far-reaching affect in both the development of the International Maritime Organization’s Polar Code for Shipping, and in the development of the Arctic Council’s Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum and its web portal established by the 8 Arctic States  at the end of the United States Arctic Council Chairmanship in Fairbanks Alaska in May 2017 to assist with the harmonized implementation of the Polar Code. The aim of this work is to ensure that the Arctic is protected by focusing on increased safety and environmental protection both in the planning of operations and in their actual real time operation. The aim is to ensure all decision makers in the process – operators, Flag States, the Insurance Industry and Port State Control understand the regulations, and UpToDate information about best practice to create the correct behavioural atmosphere so that those who are operating correctly can go about their business, and those who are not are stopped. The Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum is a ground breaking development bringing together the who’s who of Arctic Stakeholders who then provide information available on a publicly accessible Web Portal so that it is all in one place creating a harmonised approach to the regulations. This includes State Administrations providing important information for industry, such as the Russian Federation. It is a truly collaborative approach to the implementation of regulation. For further reading see ‘Rules are one thing. Implementation another’. This concept will be presented by Iceland, incoming chair of the Arctic Council, with Michael’s assistance, on behalf of the 8 Arctic States to the World Delegations at the International Maritime Organization in June 2019 as an example for the implementation of other world regulation.

Michael Kingston, based in London, is an Irish Lawyer from Goleen, Co Cork in Ireland, and is the 2014 - 2015 Lloyd’s List Global Maritime Lawyer of the Year for his contribution to safety of life at sea, particularly in the Polar regions in relation to risk and regulation as the Polar Code was being finalised. Michael represented the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) on the IMO’s world delegation Correspondence Group in the final stages of the development of the ‘ice regime’ that will guide limitation for operation in ice, following his earlier work on specialist insurers, Lloyd’s of London’s Arctic Report. He worked with the US Government during their Arctic Council Chairmanship and in July 2015 received the US Coastguard Challenge Coin for his efforts to promote maritime safety by raising awareness about the IMO Polar Code. In Stockholm in February 2016 , Michael presented to the Arctic Council’s Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment Working Group (PAME) on the need for a Best Practices Information Forum to achieve universal understanding for navigational inputs in Arctic Operations. It was unanimously agreed to build the forum and Michael worked with PAME’s Shipping Expert Group and presented the final proposal in Portland, Maine in September 2016. Terms of Reference were approved by PAME and included in their 2017 – 2019 Work Plan declared at the Ministerial Summit in Fairbanks, Alaska on 11th May 2017. The first Forum met in London, UK on 5th & 6th June 2017, the second Forum on 14th & 15th May 2018 when the Forum’s Web Portal for the Implementation of the Polar Code was launched. Michael is a key member of the Forum’s Organising Team as a Special Advisor to PAME. For further reading about this topic see Riviera Media’s special publication ‘Decoding the Polar Code’. Michael is also working with the IMO on the ratification of the Cape Town Agreement for Fishing boat safety and has recently been nominated by Iceland as a UN IMO Ambassador.

Contact Name: 

Sarah Failla

Research Areas: 

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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