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Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin #12/2018 – Legalization of cannabis in Canada and vessel operation. The bulletin reminds authorized representatives and seafarers of their responsibility to operate vessels safely, taking into account the implications of the Cannabis Act and related amendments.

Friday, 19 October 2018 14:36

Pressure to ratify CPTPP

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The push is on for Parliament to quickly ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade agreement so that Canada can reap the benefits that come from being an early adopter of the deal. Canada's CPTPP legislation, Bill C-79, passed the House of Commons on Tuesday and it is just now starting its journey through the Senate. 

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The federal government has given Lockheed Martin Canada the first crack at inking a contract to design Canada’s $60-billion fleet of new warships. Lockheed’s proposed design beat out two rival submissions to design the replacements for the navy’s entire frigate and destroyer fleets. Lockheed Martin Canada Inc. must pass the due diligence process first and it is anticipated a contract award will be in place this winter, with construction beginning in the early 2020s. The Canadian Surface Combatant project is the largest, most complex procurement ever undertaken by the Government of Canada.


The Coast Guard recently published a letter to the Coast Guard-accepted independent laboratories (ILs) providing guidance for evaluating manufacturer-identified operational limitations during type approval testing of ballast water management systems (BWMS). The letter clarifies the responsibilities of the BWMS manufacturer, the Coast Guard-accepted IL, and the Coast Guard, with regard to evaluating and assessing operational limitations of BWMS and including limiting conditions referenced in type approval certificates, and how to amend these conditions.

Friday, 19 October 2018 14:30

US looks for new coal export outlets

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As US coal consumption declines, the US Department of the Interior is indicated that it is considering using military bases to accommodate export facilities for coal or natural gas. Six proposed coal ports in Washington and Oregon have been rejected or shelved due to worries about air and water pollution and rail safety, combined with changing market conditions. The department’s strategy is to use naval facilities on the west coast regardless of whether or not the states where the bases are located agree to it. Washington State governor, Jay Inslee, released a statement questioning the “harebrained” logic behind this move in view of Pentagon reports on climate change.

Friday, 19 October 2018 14:26

US reconsiders 2020 global cap

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The Trump administration is pushing to ease the rollout of the IMO’s global sulphur cap that is set to take effect on January 1, 2020. The administration is concerned that the surge in demand for specific fuels will affect all commodity markets and prices for crude, diesel and other petroleum products. The White House is gauging the support of other countries for a more staggered approach and is backing proposals for enforcement of the new measures to gradually increase over time, an approach that will be discussed at at the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee meetings next week. Major flag states like Panama, Liberia and the Marshall Islands along with trade bodies have said the IMO should examine a possible “grace period” of a few months until all oceangoing vessels empty their tanks of high-sulfur fuel.

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The Rhine River’s water level has slumped to its lowest in more than a decade, choking off fuel supplies to key European markets. Water levels have been affected by severe drought and are forecast to fall even further to 35 centimetres. Fuel stockpiles in the region are rising as most oil barge movements have been restricted and passenger liners have stopped transits since Monday. Thyssenkrupp declared force majeure as the delivery of raw materials to its Duisburg plant has been disrupted. Meanwhile the dried-out riverbed has exposed all kinds of objects, including a 50-kilo World War II bomb that will have to be defused in the coming days.

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Two years after the grounding of the articulated tug and barge, Nathan E. Stewart, in Gale Pass, the Heiltsuk Nation has filed a claim against the federal and provincial governments, as well as the operator, Kirby Corporation. The 110,000 litres spill impacted an important Heiltsuk food harvesting, village and cultural site.  The lawsuit alleges that government agencies and the operator were too slow to respond to the emergency, failing to address the impacts on the health and safety of the Heiltsuk people and their way of life.  The Heiltsuk Nation is seeking compensation for the considerable financial and administrative burden of essential traditional and scientific testing of the scope and impact of the spill. The civil claim is also asking the court to clarify whether Aboriginal title, a legal term that is used to describe the inherent Indigenous right to land or territory, also applies to the seabed and foreshore, the part of a shore between the water and developed land. Transport Canada has laid three charges against the Kirby Corporation, including two pollution-related counts.

Friday, 12 October 2018 13:15

Paper Excellence to buy Catalyst Paper

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British Columbia-based Catalyst Paper Corp. has reached an agreement to sell three coastal mills to Paper Excellence Canada of Richmond, B.C.  The mills are located at Crofton and Port Alberni on Vancouver Island and Powell River.  The jobs and livelihoods of 1,500 British Columbia forestry workers will be secured by the acquisition which is still subject to regulatory review and final approvals.  Catalyst Paper manufactures 1.3 million tonnes of pulp and paper products. These products include industrial packaging, food service, coated ground-wood, newsprint and directory papers. Customers include retailers, publishers and commercial printers in North America, Latin America, the Pacific Rim and Europe.

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Canada Border Services Agency has issued Customs Notice 18-17, an order imposing a 25% surtax on the importation of certain steel goods effective October 25, 2018.  This includes, steel plate, concrete reinforcing bar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel, stainless steel wire and wire rod.  Absent a specific permit, the safeguard surtax will apply to all goods including those released from a Customs Bonded Warehouse or Sufferance Warehouse on or after October 25, 2018 when the Order comes into force.

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BC Premier John Horgan, Washington state Governor, Jay Inslee, and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Jonathan Wilkinson, met this week to discussion regional issues including the importance of ongoing joint efforts on protecting whale populations, specifically the at-risk Southern Resident Killer Whale population in view of the growing concerns about activity on the water and prey availability. BC and Washington State entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to act jointly to grow the region’s innovation economy, protect the environment and combat climate change, promote trade and improve transportation connectivity.

Friday, 12 October 2018 13:08

CBSA Arctic Customs Clearance Pilot Program

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Canada Border Services Agency has issued Customs Notice 18-14, on the Arctic Shipping Electronic Commercial Clearances Program (ASECC) pilot program. The program provides a risk-based alternative approach for clearing commercial cargo and conveyances in the marine mode, for specific vessels destined to the Arctic. The program is being updated for the 2019 arctic shipping season.

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