Canada has made its ballast water discharge regulations mandatory

Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations have just been published by the Government of Canada (click here to view). These regulations came into force on 28 June 2006. This means that all the operational requirements must now be complied with (i.e. ballast water exchange, ballast water management and reporting). For the most part, these requirements are consistent with the IMO Ballast Water Management Treaty, including the discharge standard, which is an allowable option to ballast water exchange. The rules aim to ensure that ships exchange their ballast outside the 200 nautical mile zone or in designated coastal areas where the water is more than 2,000 metres deep. 

Ships that do not operate beyond 200 nautical miles from shore, or that cannot make an exchange because of weather or other related safety issues, can treat the ballast in their tanks or simply retain it. Transport Canada inspectors will use portable devices to measure the salt content of ballast water on ships arriving at Canadian ports to make sure they comply with the regulations. 

Members should note that there is a requirement for a ballast water management plan, but this plan is not required until 28 December 2006. Except for Canadian flag ships, there is no requirement for the ballast water management plan to be approved by the flag state. 

According to the Canadian Transport Minister, Lawrence Cannon, the rules have been harmonised as much as possible with the U.S. Coast Guard requirements and with the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments. 

Contact: Howard Snaith or Joe Angelo