Spill Response Preparedness

All tankers of 150 gross tonnes and all other vessels over 400 gross tonnes destined to a Canadian port must ensure that they have a valid contractual arrangement in place with the certified oil spill response organization in their region prior to arrival in Canadian waters.  Groups of vessels, towed or pushed, that are 150 gross tonnage or more in aggregate and carry oil as cargo must also have an arrangement in place. 

Understanding Spill Response Regulations and Requirements

The certified response organization on Canada’s West Coast is Western Canada Marine Response Corporation and the reference to this requirement falls under the Canada Shipping Act 2001 in Part 8 – Pollution Prevention and Response 167(1)

Every prescribed vessel must have:

    1. An arrangement with a response organization in respect of a quantity of oil that is at least equal to the total amount of oil that the vessel carries, both as cargo and as fuel to a prescribed maximum quantity; and,
    2. A declaration specified on board that indicates:
      • the name and address of the vessel’s insurer; 
      • confirmation of the arrangement; and
      • the person(s) who is authorized to implement the arrangement. 

Further details in TP 14909E – Environmental Response Standards.

Marine Insurance Requirements

All seagoing vessels operating in Canadian waters, including the territorial sea, inland waterways and the exclusive economic zone may require one or more certificates depending on the nature of the vessel:

  • Under the Bunkers Convention, vessels of 1,000GT or greater and carrying bunker oil for its propulsion or operation require a Bunkers Certificate.
  • Under the 1992 Civil Liability Convention (CLC), vessels capable carrying 2,000 tonnes or more of persistent oil in bulk as cargo require a certificate (i.e. tankers and certain barges).
  • Under the Wreck Removal Convention, vessels of 300GT or greater require a Wreck Removal Certificate.

For more information on the requirements noted above, view Transport Canada’s FAQs.