Legal frameworks in creation: Canada

In the still wild pristine landscape of yacht disposal, dots are connecting on the legal fields.

Future yacht recycling is an area where some valid perspectives for long-term income creation might come up: A widely recognised environmental problem in need to be resolved. The yachts are numerous and they must be disposed of.  What if a mandatory registration for boat owners could be created, together with an obligatory creation of financial resources aka insurance? Powerful players have entered the field and another bigger game has begun.

Case in point: Canada.
Whose business should yacht disposal be, speaking about costs?
Who will be in time to speak up for the industry? For the boat owners? The tax payers?

The Canadian Ministry of Transport, acknowledging that shipwrecks of all sizes pose a very tangible problem to safe waterways, the environment and most different budgets, apparently came to their conclusion: The yacht owners should pay for yacht disposal.

To advance and defend that view, they have elaborated a discussion paper called
Proposed Canadian Legislative Regime for the Remediation of Hazards Related to Shipwrecks. Published in June 2015.

It is a highly interesting read. Not only because it asks and tries to answer some basic questions like “when is a wreck to be considered a wreck at all”? “When does it pose a hazard, and to whom / what?” But also regarding the composition of the basic argument (“owners should be forced to pay”). Part of which is the almost inescapable conclusion that a ship owner in the future, to be able to pay the costs ‘incurred by the state’ for removal of his wreck, should of course be insured to have the financial means when that given moment comes and, obviously, must be traceable as owner as well = registered.

Quote from the summary:
“The purpose of this Discussion Paper is to seek stakeholder views on the possible development of a regime, including legislation based on the International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007 (IWR Convention), that would comprehensively address the hazards associated with shipwrecks. The text of the Convention is attached in the Annex to this paper.
The legislative objective of the proposed regime would be to ensure that commercial vessels and pleasure craft whether or not they are registered, listed, or licensed under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001Footnote 1, that become a hazardous wreck in the future, will be removed or remediated by their owners at the owners’ expense, and that owners have the financial resources to meet that obligation. The regime would also allow Canadian authorities to remove or remediate a hazardous wreck – broadly defined – subject to Canadian jurisdiction and where the situation requires immediate action, or where the owner fails to meet their responsibilities, at the owner’s expense. The proposed regime would not apply to wrecks in existence prior to its coming into force.”

Read and download the full paper here for free – 37 pages.

About mele

I research and write about the intersection of yachting with the environment aka 'sustainable sailing'. From sourcing planet-friendly yacht construction materials, sailors for ocean science, clean regattas, renewable energies aboard right up to yacht recycling. Academic training in environmental science, sailor, living at the shores of the Dutch IJsselmeer. Want me to write for you, too? Get in touch!

What do you think of the above? Let me know: