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Canada Border Services Agency has released Customs Notice 18-09, amending the time frames for the release of commercial goods. This notice will supercede Appendix B, in Memorandum, D17-1-4 Release of Commercial Goods. Upon implementation of changes to the house bill process (Date TBD), goods imported through the commercial process will only be eligible for release upon arrival of the goods at final destination (i.e. arrival at the location where the importer is seeking release).  Changes to release time frames are required as a result of the amendments to the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations and the Customs Sufferance Warehouse Regulations which came into force . These amendments established the requirement for carriers and warehouse operators, to electronically notify the CBSA of the arrival of goods. Note CBSA has released a new version of the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD), “Chapter 1: Advance Commercial Information (ACI) Marine” containing a number of updates, wording changes and clarifications on sub-location codes. An update to this Customs Notice will be published when an official system release date is available for the house bill process.

Friday, 20 July 2018 12:38

New measures on grain dust take effect

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Changes to the occupational health and safety regulations for workers exposed to grain dust and flour dust in federally regulated workplaces take effect. The regulations will significantly lower the risk of workers coming into contact with airborne substances in the workplace, while ensuring consistency with most provincial and territorial regulations. These changes will also align the exposure limits for these hazardous substances with the highest safety standards in Canada and internationally. The Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) for grain dust in the federal jurisdiction of 10 mg/m3 is higher than the limit recommended by scientific consensus to protect the health and safety of employees at risk. The OEL for grain dust will be decreased to 4 mg/m3. 

Friday, 20 July 2018 12:25

US Maritime Regulatory Reform

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The US Office of Management and Budget have received 72 submissions in response to its request on how the Federal government may prudently manage regulatory costs imposed on the maritime sector. Multiple Federal agencies regulate the US maritime sector consistent with their statutory authorities. OIRA seeks public comment on how existing agency requirements affecting the maritime sector can be modified or repealed to increase efficiency, reduce or eliminate unnecessary or unjustified regulatory burdens, or simplify regulatory compliance while continuing to meet statutory missions. This will inform US agencies' development of regulatory reform proposals. Canada maritime sector is drowning with the government's silos and administrative burdens - it's time for action. Submissions can be found at:  

Friday, 20 July 2018 12:20

FMC offers NVOCC greater flexibility


Final Rule published by the Federal Maritime Commission offering deregulatory flexibilities for Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs) and NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs) will go into force on August 22, 2018. The key changes to NRAs allow them to be amended at any time; allow the inclusion of non-rate economic terms; and, allow an NVOCC to provide for shipper’s acceptance of the NRA by booking a shipment. NSAs will become easier and more attractive to use by removing filing and essential terms requirements.

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The US Coast Guard is investigating the 88-foot fishing vessel Mark I for knowingly discharging oil overboard in Canadian waters. On July 7th Transport Canada's National Aerial Surveillance crew detected the Mark I transiting through the Canadian exclusive economic zone 97-miles off of Cape St. James, BC with an approximate 26-mile oil sheen trailing behind. The USCG pollution response investigators and investigative service agents boarded the Mark I in Dutch Harbor, Friday. During the boarding they found evidence that bilge waste and oil had been discharged overboard.  The operators of Mark I have been order to perform certain marine environmental actions and clean up. US vessels are prohibited from discharging oil or oily water within and outside US waters.  The Mark I violated the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and the discharge can result in up to 10 years confinement and a criminal fine up to $250,000. 

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Draft guidance to support planning for the implementation from 1 January 2020 of the lower limit of 0.50% for sulphur content in fuel oil used by ships has been developed by an International Maritime Organization (IMO) PPR intersessional meeting (9-13 July). The draft guidance is part of a set of guidelines being developed by IMO to help ensure the consistent implementation of the MARPOL regulation coming into effect from 1 January 2020. This will cut the limit for sulphur content in fuel oil to 0.50% mass by mass (m/m), from 3.50%. (The limit will remain at 0.10% in the four internationally designated Emission Control Areas (ECAs): the Baltic Sea area; the North Sea area; the North American area (covering designated coastal areas off the United States and Canada); and the United States Caribbean Sea area (around Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands).  The guidance includes sections on:

  • risk assessment and mitigation plan (impact of new fuels);
  • fuel oil system modifications and tank cleaning (if needed);
  • fuel oil capacity and segregation capability;
  • procurement of compliant fuel;
  • fuel oil changeover plan (conventional residual fuel oils to 0.50% sulphur compliant fuel oil); and
  • documentation and reporting.

The draft guidance is expected to be approved at the next session of IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 73), 22-26 October 2018. A more comprehensive document containing guidelines of a more operational nature to help operators manage both distillate fuels and fuel oil blends containing residual fuel will be developed at PPR in February next year for approval by MEPC 74 in May, 2019.

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The IMO's 2018 World Maritime Day will celebrate 70 years of helping international shipping become safer, more secure and develop a greener environmental footprint. A short animated film shows how IMO has developed mandatory international regulations covering almost every aspect of shipping. As a result, modern shipping conforms to the highest practicable standards and is the safest, cleanest and most efficient way to move goods around the world.  The animation traces IMO's voyage from the 1948 United Nations conference in Geneva, which saw its founding convention adopted, through to the present day. It highlights key developments such as new rules for tanker safety following the infamous Torrey Canyon incident in 1967, the satellite-based Global Maritime Distress and Safety System and the designation of several vital environmentally sensitive areas around the world which today receive special protection from shipping.

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The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) posted Maritime Advisory 2018-009 to update on areas of violence due to regional conflict and piracy.  Conflict may affect vessels transiting the southern Red Sea, Bab al Mandeb Strait and Gulf of Aden, while concerns piracy remain in the southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and Gulf of Oman. The newly released Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy and Enhance Maritime Security in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea (BMP5), and Maritime Global Security website at (which contains BMP5) provide excellent security recommendations and should be consulted prior to operating in the above listed geographic areas.

Friday, 20 July 2018 11:29

ZIM teams up with 2M Alliance

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Israel-based shipping giant Zim Integrated Shipping Services has joined into a partnership with the 2M Alliance, one of the world’s largest shipping groups, to open trade lines between the east coast of the United States and Asia. The 2M Alliance includes Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company. Starting in September, the companies will operate five loops between Asia and the US east coast. Zim will operate one loop and 2M will operate four loops, and the parties will swap slots on all loops. 

Friday, 20 July 2018 11:14

Refiner in China charters 60 tankers

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China’s independent refiner Baota Petrochemical Group plans to bareboat charter 60 product tankers from a number of international tanker owners, including Maersk Tankers, Hafnia Tankers, and Scorpio Tankers.  McQuilling Partners Inc. shipbrokers and Mare Maritime Singapore ship management service providers have a role to play. Baota is operates refineries based in Xinjiang, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia and Guandong with a total annual refining capacity of 15 million tons.

Friday, 13 July 2018 10:14

Tsawwassen CEF operator announced

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The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority announced that Tidewater Container Services Inc. and Harbour Link Container Services have been selected as the operator and drayage provider for the Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility.  Tidewater is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harbour Link.  The new facility is being built on Tsawwassen First Nation Industrial Lands at a projected total cost of $33 million and is expected to be operational by the end of the year.



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The presence of southern resident killer whales in Haro Strait was confirmed on July 12th.  The return of these endangered whales signals the start of the voluntary vessel slowdown in Haro Strait.

Vessels are requested to please slow down to the speed indicated below througth the slowdown area.

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The slowdown period will remain active until September 15 and, if the whales remain in the area, may be extended up to October 31.  If you wish to receive newsletters about the slowdown, you may click here to subscribe to recieve future updates and notification from the ECHO Program.



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