Canada next to mandate ballast water management

Implying that the IMO's Convention on Ballast Water Management is unlikely to enter into force soon enough, the Canadian Department of Transport has announced its intention to implement mandatory requirements for ballast water management.  

Draft regulations have been published recently within the Canada Shipping Act, setting a 75-day comment period. While making a large part of the original Canadian Ballast Water Guidelines mandatory, the form of the regulations is largely based on the IMO Convention. Additionally, the Department of Transport has attempted to harmonise the rules to every extent possible with the United States' rule. 

Ballast water exchange plays a large role in the preventative measures outlined by the regulations, specifying that this must be carried out 200 miles offshore and in waters at least 2000 metres deep. Provisions are also included for those vessels that do not travel outside the 200 mile limit and for those vessels for which it is impractical or unsafe to manage their ballast in such a manner. 

One area of deviation from the IMO Convention is the requirement for ships to report to the state following any ballast water management procedure carried out in order to achieve compliance with the rules. The system to support the reporting of ballast management methods has already been established by the Canadian Government and is to a large extent utilised by vessels trading to Canada. In addition to this, ships would also be required to maintain a ballast water management plan.  

The full text of the proposed rule can be found on page 2129 of

Contact: Tim Wilkins