Transport Canada introduces new Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations

Transport Canada, “in order to uphold the Government of Canada’s high standards for marine shipping in the north”, has introduced new Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations. The regulations incorporate the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (the Polar Code) into Canada’s domestic legislation.

Transport Canada (TC) noted that Canada’s Arctic was a vast and diverse region that was an integral part of the country. Marine transportation in the Arctic connected Canada to other countries and provided an essential lifeline for northern communities.

TC noted that the Polar Code addressed the unique hazards encountered by certain vessels that operated in the Arctic and Antarctic. The Polar Code and Canada’s new regulations included a variety of safety and pollution prevention measures, including those related to vessel design and equipment, vessel operations and crew training. TC noted that, “drawing from decades of experience as an Arctic regulator, Canada played a key leadership role in developing the Polar Code at the International Maritime Organization”.

Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport said:  “These new regulations demonstrate Canada’s leadership on the international stage when it comes to shipping safety and pollution prevention in the Arctic. Under the Oceans Protection Plan, we will continue to protect the safety of those who travel on Canada’s waters and safeguard our coasts for future generations as we continue to support the economy.”