This enactment enacts the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act, which promotes the protection of the public, of the environment, including coastlines and shorelines, and of infrastructure by regulating abandoned or hazardous vessels and wrecks in Canadian waters and, in certain cases, Canada’s exclusive economic zone, and by recognizing the responsibility and liability of owners for their vessels.
The Act, among other things,
(a) implements the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007;
(b) requires owners of vessels of 300 gross tonnage and above, and unregistered vessels being towed, to maintain wreck removal insurance or other financial security;
(c) prohibits vessel abandonment unless it is authorized under an Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province or it is due to a maritime emergency;
(d) prohibits the leaving of a dilapidated vessel in the same place for more than 60 days without authorization;
(e) authorizes the Minister of Transport or the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to order the removal of a dilapidated vessel left on any federal property;
(f) authorizes the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to take measures to prevent, mitigate or eliminate hazards posed by vessels or wrecks and to hold the owner liable;
(g) authorizes the Minister of Transport to take measures with respect to abandoned or dilapidated vessels and to hold the owner liable;
(h) establishes an administration and enforcement scheme, including administrative monetary penalties; and
(i) authorizes the Governor in Council to make regulations respecting such matters as excluding certain vessels from the application of the Act, setting fees and establishing requirements for salvage operations, the towing of vessels and the dismantlement or destruction of vessels.
The enactment also re-enacts and revises provisions related to the International Convention on Salvage, 1989 and to the receiver of wreck. The enactment strengthens the protection of owners of certain wrecks in cases where the owner is unknown or cannot be located and maintains regulatory powers related to the protection and preservation of wrecks having heritage value.
Finally, it makes related and consequential amendments to other Acts.