There is a growing interest in new transportation routes that combine benefits of shorter distances, cost-effective transits and routes not troubled by maritime security concerns. The Northwest Passage offers a package of routes through the Canadian maritime zone; it is 9,000 km shorter than the Panama Canal route and 17,000 km shorter than the Cape Horn route. The Northern Sea Route shortens a Hamburg-Yokohama voyage by 4,800 miles, in comparison with the Suez Canal route. The transpolar route, if it materializes with an ice-free Central Arctic Ocean route, would shorten distances even further. Given the increase in regional and international navigation and shipping in the region, it is therefore not surprising that in recent years Arctic States and international bodies focused on the needs of enhanced safety and environmental standards for polar shipping. In addition to the dedicated domestic polar shipping regulation, primarily in Canada and the Russian Federation, the Arctic Council and International Maritime Organization (IMO) have launched important initiatives. The most important is establishing of international rules for ships operating in polar waters – The Polar Code.
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