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In its 2018 Budget and Fiscal Plan released Feb 20, the BC Government has moved to support the competitiveness of BC marine fuel exports by eliminating the Motor Fuel Tax on purchases of marine diesel fuels used for international shipping. The impact this tax exemption is forecasted at $7 million per year in savings to the shipping industry.

Thanks in large part to the lobbying efforts led by CLIA North West & Canada, the 2018 Budget report states that “Effective April 1,2018, marine diesel fuel used in interjurisdictional cruise ships and ships prohibited from coasting trade under the Coasting Trade Act is exempt from motor fuel tax. This exemption parallels the existing exemption from carbon tax for these ships. Previously, a ship was only exempt if it had a gas turbine engine.“  

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Petition E-1490 to the Government of Canada has been initiated to withdraw the proposed ban on crude oil tanker traffic off BC's north coast.  The petition encourages a new process whereby the interests of all affected, especially Indigenous and other communities in the region, are considered concurrently with a robust industry and national economic assessment, which recognizes the importance of ensuring Canada’s world-leading environmentally and socially responsible oil and gas industry can reach the growing demand of global markets.  The petition is open for signature until June 5, 2018.

Friday, 23 February 2018 14:14

Port authorities seeking directors

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Both the Nanaimo Port Authority and the Port Alberni Port Authority are seeking candidates for their respective Boards through the Governor in Council appointment process.  For more information visit: https://appointments.gc.ca/slctnPrcs.asp?menu=1&lang=eng

Friday, 23 February 2018 14:10

CP launches new perishables service

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Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) has begun offering a new shipping service for perishable products, dubbed “CP TempPro” and will be investing in more than 400 new 53' reefer containers in an effort to meet growing demand for temperature-controlled goods transport.  According to CP, the railroad will also be the first to use Thermo King's SLXi-DRC model refrigeration system, which features a slimmer design, allowing for two additional pallet positions in a shipment, and utilizes a more environmentally friendly refrigerant compared to its predecessors.

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The Government of Canada has designated Prince George as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) to promote the hub for international trade.  The FTZ provides tariff and tax exemptions for the purchase or importation of raw materials and good that can be stored, processed or assembled for re-export. In addition to the FTZ announcement federal funding of $335,566 was provided to the City to develop a clean technology cluster.

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The provincial government will be moving forward with consultation around four bitumen spill safeguards while referring to the courts the outstanding issue around British Columbia's right to protect its coast.  Legal counsel has been retained to prepare a reference to the courts that will seek to reinforce BC's constitutional rights to defend against the risks of a bitumen spill.  In the meantime, consultations are expected to begin soon on the remaining four safeguards:

  • Spill response time
  • Geographic response plans
  • Compensation for loss of public and cultural use of land
  • Application of regulations to marine spills

Friday, 23 February 2018 13:49

Funds for research on contaminants

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The Government of Canada has committed $2.7 million to Canadian researchers to study the biological effects of contaminants on our fish, marine mammals, and other aquatic species. Funded through Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s National Contaminants Advisory Group, thirteen universities and not-for-profit research organizations will conduct single- and multi-year research projects on aquaculture therapeutants, pesticides, and other contaminants of emerging concern, including microplastics.  Contaminants are one of the key anthropogenic threats facing the Southern Resident Killer Whales.

Friday, 23 February 2018 13:38

Offences for dangerous goods infractions

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Amendments to the Contraventions Regulations bring into force penalties for infractions under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 (TDGA)The offences below have been designated as contraventions and can now be prosecuted by means of a contraventions ticket:

  • subsection 5(c) of the TDGA:  Failing to use required or permitted means of containment, fine amount of $500;
  • section 5.1 of the TDGA: Failing to comply with means of containment safety requirements, fine amount of $500;
  • section 6.1 of the TDGA: Affixing or displaying a misleading dangerous goods mark, fine amount of $500; and
  • subsection 9(1) of the TDGA: Failing to keep supply records, fine amount of $500.
  • subsection 18(3) of the TDGA: Failing to report loss or theft to prescribed person, fine amount of $1,000. 

On a related note, Transport Canada is holding stakeholder consultations regarding a new Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Client Identification Database (CID) for businesses involved in the importing, offering for transport, handling, and transport of dangerous goods. Online consultations and information are available at www.letstalktransportation.ca/cid. An in-person consultation will happen in Vancouver on March 15th between 09:00 - 12:00 hrs.  

Friday, 23 February 2018 13:34

Esquimalt Graving Dock receives upgrade

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The Government of Canada has awarded a $15.8 million contract for the replacement of the main (north) substation at the Esquimalt Graving Dock. Scansa Construction Ltd. will construct a new, modern substation building and replace aging high- and low-voltage transformers with modern and efficient equipment. The newly installed equipment is designed to last for a minimum of 30 years and will be easier and safer to use. The contract also includes the cleanup of service tunnels and the replacement of old, lead-based electrical cables with environmentally friendly cables. The replacement of the main (north) substation at the Esquimalt Graving Dock began in December 2017 and is scheduled for completion in December 2018.

Friday, 23 February 2018 12:54

US toughens stance on North Korea

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The US has introduced new unilateral sanctions against 27 companies, one individual, and 28 vessels located, registered, or flagged in North Korea, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Marshall Islands, Tanzania, Panama, and the Comoros.  The sanctions are targeted at entities that are facilitating North Korea's ship-to-ship transfers of imported oil and petroleum products and its export of coal.  The US Treasury Department published photos (pictured above) of a US-designated North Korean vessel, Kum Un San 3, which it said used false identifying information and conducted an illicit ship-to-ship transfer, possibly of oil, with a Panama-flagged vessel that was among the ships sanctioned.

Friday, 23 February 2018 12:50

US Trade Commission challenges acquisition

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The US Federal Trade Commission will challenge Wilhelmsen Maritime Services' plan to buy smaller US rival Drew Marine Group. The FTC said the $400 million proposed deal would reduce competition in the market for marine water treatment chemicals, used in a ship's boiler water and engine cooling water systems. If Wilhelmsen closed the deal with New Jersey's Drew Marine, the FTC said the company would have 60 percent of the market for marine water treatment chemicals, while its closest competitor would have 5 percent.


In three separate decisions, the European Commission has fined four maritime car carriers €395 million, two suppliers of spark plugs €76 million, and two suppliers of braking systems €75 million, for taking part in cartels, in breach of EU antitrust rules. Chilean maritime carrier CSAV, the Japanese carriers "K" Line, MOL and NYK, and the Norwegian/Swedish carrier WWL-EUKOR were implicated but fines were reduced for some for revealing the cartel and cooperating with the Commission's investigation. 

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