environmentCommercial ship operators recognize the importance of establishing sustainable port communities to maintain the trading routes that have been established over the centuries. The marine industry is perhaps the most international of the world's industries, serving more than 90 per cent of global trade by carrying huge quantities of cargo cost effectively, cleanly and safely. Increased demand for imports and exports worldwide, together with the need to reducing the industry's environment footprint has resulted in significant changes in the shipping industry.

Shipping is one of the most regulated industries around the world and requires the development of international standards on safety, security and environmental issues where the operation of international vessels worldwide are concerned. The International Maritime Organization is the United Nations specialized agency responsible for improving marine safety and preventing pollution from ships.


Marine Pollution and Discharges

Marine discharges and pollutants are regulated by Transport Canada and Environmental Canada. Legislation provides severe consequences for intentional polluters. A national emergency response framework has been place for several years and requires a dedicated response organization with capability to respond to a pollution incident anywhere on the coast within a prescribed timeframe.

For more information on the regulations and the response regime, visit the following links.

Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations

National Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime


Air Quality

The Chamber of Shipping continues to work with Environment Canada and Port Metro Vancouver on air quality issues relating to vessel emissions. Through participation at the International Maritime Organization and regional working groups including Transport Canada, Environment Canada and Metro Vancouver, COS has been pro-active in supporting the development of international standards through the IMO and is supportive of incentive-based programs to encourage emission reductions in the absence of regulation.

Read more about our Air Quality Initiatives.