Report on Supply Chain Compliance 2, no. 22 (November 21, 2019)
Despite Russian support for the Arctic Passage as an alternative route for shipping, few countries have signed on yet. Sovcomflot did order its first vessel for an Arctic liquefied natural gas project, but efforts by the Ocean Conservancy to protect the Arctic Passage from potentially damaging ship traffic and development by appealing to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is also gaining steam.
The IMO developed the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) in 2017, and, as of now, that code is the regulatory final say on shipping through the Arctic. The IMO must also contend with Russian eagerness to open the passage, considerations by the eight-member Arctic Council, and Denmark’s current objection to the idea.