Arctic shipping in Canada is governed by several pieces of legislation. Principally these are the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act and its regulations, the Canada Shipping Act 2001, the Marine Liability Act, the Marine Transportation Security Act, the Coasting Trade Act, and the Canada Labour Code. These acts were created to enhance safety and to protect life, health, property and the marine environment. It is the responsibility of shipowners and operators to ensure that they comply with all applicable acts and regulations.
Ships must be designed, built and equipped to resist ice loads and to handle Arctic weather and operating conditions. Canadian construction standards for ice class ships are found in the Arctic Shipping Pollution Prevention Regulations. It is the responsibility of shipbuilders and owners to ensure that their ships are built to proper standards.
It is also the responsibility of owners and operators to ensure that they operate in a safe and environmentally sustainable way. Discharges to the water, emissions to the air, ballast water release and hull fouling all impact the environment. Complying with the acts, regulations, standards, and guidelines, and employing trained and experienced staff will support safe operations.
The Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act and its regulations aim to prevent pollution in Canadian Arctic waters. By following best practices and complying with the acts and regulations, shipowners and operators can reduce their impact.
Guidelines for the Operation of Passenger Vessels in Canadian Arctic Waters and Pollution Prevention Guidelines for the Operation of Cruise Ships under Canadian Jurisdiction help cruise ships operate in a safe and sustainable way.
In addition, a number of IMO guidelines are relevant to Arctic operations. Other resources and references, such as frequently asked questions (FAQ), definitions and related sites, are also available.