In the Strait of Juan de Fuca, all vessels calling Pacific Northwest ports in the US and Canada must adhere to traffic lanes which direct vessels to transit US waters inbound and Canadian waters outbound. As these vessels transit the waters of both countries, all vessels calling into Pacific Northwest ports must comply with the pollution prevention requirements of both countries.
In the absence of legislation that would recognize these transits in the shared waters as innocent passage in territorial waters, the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) and Washington State Maritime Cooperative (WSMC), established a Reciprocal Arrangement Agreement that would waive the fee for vessels in transit only to avoid duplication of the enrolment fees. This exemption was extended to vessels properly enrolled with the designated response organization in the port of call, i.e. WCMRC (for Canadian calls) or WSMC (for US/Washington State calls).
In January 2014, a similar arrangement between WCMRC and the National Response Corporation (NRC) was established following their recent designation as a Primary Response Contractor by the Washington State Department of Ecology.
Vessels bound for Canadian ports
Vessels transiting through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and destined for a Canadian port must have in place a Ship Membership Agreement with Western Canada Marine Response Corporation prior to entering Canadian waters.
For the inbound transit portion in US waters, vessels can choose to have a response arrangement with one of the two designated Primary Response Contractors in Washington State - WSMC or NRC. Vessels that already have arrangements in place with WSMC or NRC, are already covered for the transit in US waters and do not need to re-apply.
Washington State Maritime Cooperative
To enroll with the WSMC the pdf WSMC Enrollment Agreement (96 KB) and pdf Schedule of Vessel Information (46 KB) page must be submitted. On the Schedule of Vessel Information, vessels in transit only should check the box which indicates that the vessel transit is "to/from Canadian port(s), only via the Strait of Juan de Fuca" which notes that the vessel would qualify for the no-fee WSMC Enrollment under the Canada Reciprocal Agreement.
National Response Corporation
Arrangements with WSMC and NRC only need to be updated if and when the information on file is no longer valid.
Vessels bound for US/Washington State ports
Vessels bound for US/Washington State ports and transiting Canadian waters outbound are required to complete Western Canada Response Corporation's the pdf Juan de Fuca (Non-Bulk) Ship Membership Agreement (204 KB) or the pdf Juan de Fuca (Bulk) Ship Membership Agreement (258 KB) for tank vessels prior to departure from the US port or entry into Canadian waters.
These Ship Membership Agreements must be renewed on an annual basis.
Active links in the article above will lead you to the required forms and all contracts/forms are available on our Files & Downloads section.