01 What are Ice condition codes?

BSH – Ice Observations

By the end of the 19th century, the national ice services of several countries bordering the North and Baltic Seas had introduced routine ice observing and reporting systems. The search for a suitable ice reporting code began very early because a quick and convenient way of transmitting the ice observations to a central body and making them available to users was urgently needed. Shipping traditionally has a large variety of terms designating the different ice phenomena, taking into account regional differences that are attributable to different natural environments.

Today, the following systems have become established:

  • Baltic Sea Ice Code as of 1980
  • Commission Regulation (EC) No 416/2007 of 22 March 2007 concerning the technical specifications for Notices to Skippers referred to in Article 5 of Directive 2005/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on harmonised river information services (RIS) on inland waterways in the Community
  • World Meteorological Organization Sea Ice Nomenclature (WMO No. 259)