Canada: Ultra low sulphur fuel


Published: 6 January 2015

The updated MARPOL Annex VI Regulations with respect to maximum sulphur content in marine fuels for designated Emission Control Areas (ECAs) have now come in to force. A lot of focus has been on European and American regulation and practice, but it must be kept in mind that Canada also applies the new strict limits.

The development

Members trading to, from or within ECAs, particularly North America, will have seen a lot of information published in the run up to January 2015 with respect to US Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency information on the more stringent MARPOL Annex VI Regulations coming in to force.

It will, however, be necessary to also give due attention to the implementation of these regulations in Canada.

ECM Maritime Services have published a client alert, republished here with their kind permission, summarising key points.

Reference should also be had to Transport Canada's Ship Safety Bulletin No. 08/014, in which an overview is provided of the applicable regulations as they apply in Canada, the standards which will be enforced, including the geographic range to which the ECA will apply.

The Association had previously advised on Canadian implementation of MARPOL Annex VI Regulations.

The regulations

Transport Canada has provided succinct information, about the application of the regulatory regime, including:

  • geographical range and limits for the ECA
  • details of information required to be shown on Bunker Delivery Notes
  • guidance as to how compliance will be determined
  • enforcement and penalties for non-compliance

Important to note will be that compliance is determined by the sulphur content of the fuel, not the fuel type.

That means, just like in the USA, a vessel will need to consider the full range of useable and compliant fuels when taking on supplies and before entering in to the Canadian ECA.

Loss prevention

The Association has published a number of advisories and guides to assist members with the challenges presented by the new regulatory regime.

The Association is grateful to ECM Maritime Services, as well as Borden Ladner Gervais of Montreal for their contribution to this update.