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Vessels have recently been sanctioned in eastern Canada for failure to have valid arrangements with certified oil spill response organisations (OSROs).

23 July 2014 / Web only

Management of Canada's marine oil spill preparedness and response regime rests with Transport Canada (TC) and is based on the polluter-pays principle. Pursuant to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, all oil tankers of 150 gross tonnes or more and all other vessels of 400 gross tonnes or more, that carry oil as fuel or cargo in Canadian waters south of the 60° north latitude, are required to enter into an arrangement with private sector owned and operated response organisations certified by TC.1

There are currently four certified OSRO agencies operating in Canada, each covering a separate geographical area. An overview of their contact details and a map indicating the areas for which each of these agencies is responsible can be found at: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/oep-ers-regime-ros-771.htm


The response areas of these agencies do not overlap and in order to avoid detentions and fines when trading to Canadian ports, Members and clients should ensure that each vessel has entered into an agreement with OSROs covering every area through which it sails within Canadian waters. More information on Canada’s National Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime can also be found at: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/oep-ers-regime-menu-1780.htm.

Information received with thanks from Gard’s correspondent Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Montreal, Canada.

1 As lead federal response agency, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) maintains a preparedness capacity for response to spills north of the 60° north latitude and provides an initial response and monitoring capacity for the entire marine spill response regime.