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2016 Legal News


October 21, 2016 - Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations Amendments

The amendments strengthen Canada’s ability to seek the consent of importing and transit countries for any export from Canada of waste or recyclable material subject to the Basel Convention; and Canada’s obligation to take or send back shipments that cannot be completed as planned.


October 7, 2016 - Regulations Amending the Schedule to the Navigation Protection Act

The Regulations add the Nottawasaga River, in Ontario, and the Nass River, in British Columbia, to the Navigation Protection Act’s (NPA) list of navigable waters. Originally (since 1882) the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) applied to all navigable waterways in Canada. On April 1, 2014, amendments to the NWPA came into force and the Act was renamed the Navigation Protection Act and applied only to the “busiest commercial and recreation-related waterways” (162 navigable waterways were listed in the schedule). Waterways can be added or removed from the schedule through regulation.


October 7, 2016 - Regulations Amending the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations (Columbia River)

The amendments implement a year-round restriction on the operation of power-driven vessels on the main channel of the upper Columbia River in B.C. and its tributaries.

September 30, 2016 - Port of Prince Rupert Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities Regulations

The Regulations incorporate by reference the provincial regulatory framework applicable to liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and allow for the regulation of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of LNG projects proposed on federal lands at the Port of Prince Rupert. The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission (BC OGC) will administer regulatory oversight over the proposed LNG activities at the Port on behalf of Canada.

September 30, 2016 - Marine Activities in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park Regulations.

The Regulations are intended to increase the protection of marine mammals, in particular, St. Lawrence belugas, as well as supervision of activities practised in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park. The Regulations will come into force on January 1, 2017.


September 23, 2016 - Order Amending the Schedule to the Customs Tariff (Harmonized System, 2017)

The Order amends the Customs Tariff to incorporate the required amendments to the Harmonized System adopted at the World Customs Organization (WCO). It will come into force on January 1, 2017. Canada is a party to the International Convention on the Harmonized System Commodity Description and Coding System along with the US and EU. The HS identifies approximately 5,000 commodity groups by a 6-digit code supported by well-defined rules to achieve uniform classification. 

September 8, 2016 - Finland Signs Ballast Water Management Convention

Finland has signed the IMO’s International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWMC), which will enter into force in 12 months’ time on September 8, 2017.

Canadian Maritime Law, 2nd ed. published

Canadian Maritime Law is the leading text and reference book on maritime law in Canada. Metcalf & Company contributed two chapters to the book: "The Safety Management of Ships" and "Towage Law". Read more.

July 13, 2016 - Small Fishing Vessel Inspection Regulations Amendments

The amendments update the current safety equipment and vessel stability requirements as well as introduces safe operating procedures requirements for small fishing vessels. The amendments are the first phase of a comprehensive overhaul of fishing vessel safety regulations adopting a safety regime based on risk, regardless of size or tonnage. The Regulations will come into force on July 13, 2017.


June 14, 2016 - Ferry-Boats Remission Order, 2016

The 25% tariff on all ferries will be waived for all ferries imported as of October 1, 2015 to facilitate the fleet renewal plans of Canadian ferry operators. Remission will only apply to the first importation of a ferry, thereby maintaining the duty incentives for repair, refit and conversion work to be done in Canadian shipyards.

May 25, 2016 - Regulations Establishing a List of Spill-treating Agents (Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act)

These Regulations follow the enactment of the Energy Safety and Security Act (see below at February 26, 2016) and establish a list of spill-treating agents (STAs) acceptable for use in the event of an oil spill from an offshore facility. STAs are substances that help control oil spills, and include dispersants, herding agents, emulsion treating agents, solidifiers, bioremediation agents, and surface-washing agents. The use of unauthorized STAs in Canadian waters is prohibited under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, the Fisheries Act and the ocean disposal provisions of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA). The Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act sets out the conditions under which STAs may be used.


March 29, 2016 - Port Authorities Management Regulations and the Port Authorities Operations Regulations Amendments

Schedules 1 and 2 of the Port Authority Operations Regulations are amended to reflect the amalgamation of the three former west coast port authorities (the Fraser River Port Authority, the North Fraser Port Authority and the Vancouver Port Authority)

Section 50 of the Port Authorities Management Regulations are amended to account for the title change to the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants Handbook.


March 23, 2016 - Atlantic Pilotage Authority Regulations amended

The amendments restore the APA’s ability to establish a program of further training for applicants for pilotage certificates in certain ports with a low volume of traffic, namely the Miramichi or Restigouche compulsory pilotage areas of New Brunswick, the Bay of Exploits, Voisey’s Bay, Humber Arm or Stephenville compulsory pilotage areas of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Pugwash compulsory pilotage area of Nova Scotia

March 11, 2016 - Potable Water on Board Trains, Vessels, Aircraft and Buses Regulations

The Regulations do not oblige conveyance operators to provide water to passengers, but set out requirements for when operators choose to provide water for drinking, handwashing, oral hygiene and food preparation, and when they provide ice for drinks or for cooling foods intended for passengers.


The new regulations The Regulations will repeal and replace the 1954 Potable Water Regulations for Common Carriers with modernized requirements . The new Regulations come into force in 6 months.


February 26, 2016 - Energy Safety and Security Act enters into force

These changes, developed jointly with the federal government are a comprehensive update of the legislation. Notably, the absolute liability threshold for operators of offshore oil and gas and nuclear facilities is increased to $1 billion. The amendments also include three new regulations:


1. Cost Recovery Regulations establishing a framework through which the Atlantic offshore regulatory boards will recover their operating costs from industry and reduce the cost for governments. Only "operators" will be invoiced.


2. Financial Requirements Regulations which require applicants seeking operating licences to demonstrate that they have the means to cover any claims in the event of an accident or spill. They do not apply to shipowners.


3. Administrative Mometary Penalties Regulations designating as a “violation” the contravention of specific provisions of the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act or either of the accord implementation Acts, or regulations made under any of these Acts.

January 22, 2016 - Ballast Water Convention closer to entry into force

In November 2015, Morocco, Indonesia and Ghana ratified the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) bringing the total number of ratifications to 47 States representing almost 34% of world tonnage. The BWM Convention will enter into force 12 months after ratification by 30 States representing 35% of world tonnage. Large flag states such as Panama, Malta and Vanuatu have delayed ratification due to concerns at the lack of assurance for shipowners regarding approval of ballast water management systems at ports around the world - See more at IHS Fairplay


January 1, 2016 – New IMO Audit Scheme in force

SOLAS, STCW, MARPOL, the International Convention on Load Lines and the COLREGS have all been amended to make audits under the IMO Member State Audit Scheme mandatory for all IMO member states. The purpose of the amendments is to better ensure that member states are implementing and enforcing the aforementioned IMO instruments. The changes came into effect on January 1, 2016.


January 1, 2016 – Carriage of stability instruments mandatory for tankers

Annex 1 of MARPOL has been amended so that stability instruments capable of handling both intact and damage stability are now mandatory onboard tankers. The requirement applies to new ships at delivery and for existing ships at their first renewal survey, but in no case later than January 1, 2021.


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