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Arctic Legal Landscape Canada/Russia/International. V. M. Santos-Pedro Transport Canada. IMO World Maritime Day Halifax, NS, Canada November 2008 . Overview. Thirty second tour of Arctic shipping activity Comparison of Canadian, Russian and IMO regulatory regimes

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arctic legal landscape canada russia international

Arctic Legal Landscape Canada/Russia/International

V. M. Santos-Pedro

Transport Canada

IMO World Maritime Day

Halifax, NS, Canada

November 2008

  • Thirty second tour of Arctic shipping activity
  • Comparison of Canadian, Russian and IMO regulatory regimes
  • Moving towards harmonization of standards

Arctic Shipping Today

  • Modes of Arctic Marine Transport:
  • Destination & Regional
  • Trans-Arctic
  • Trans-Arctic with Transshipment
  • Intra-Arctic
national arctic shipping legislation

Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act (1970)

Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Regulations

Arctic Shipping Pollution Prevention Regulations

Canada Shipping Act (2001)

Ice Navigation in Canadian Waters (Canadian Coast Guard Publication)


Guide to Navigation through the Northern Sea Route", 1996

Regulations for Navigation on the Seaways of the Northern Sea Route, 1991

Regulations for Icebreaker- Assisted Pilotage of Vessels on the NSR, 1996

Requirements for Design, Equipment, and Supply of Vessels Navigating the NSR,1996

National Arctic Shipping Legislation
administrative reporting arrangements

Application to use NWP required for state vessels - 4 mo. to one year lead

Report to NORDREG on entry to zone and once a day (1600 UTC)

Required 96 hour advance notice (Marine Security Regulations)


Application to use NSR required - 4 mo. lead time

Must report twice a day while in transit

Substantial fees to use NSR

Administrative / Reporting arrangements
liability compliance requirements

Compliance with Marine Liability Act (based on Civil Liability Convention)

Vessels subject to Port State Control

Subject to spot inspections at any time


Demonstration of civil liability protection required

Mandatory inspection prior to use of NSR

Subject to spot inspections at any time

Liability/Compliance Requirements
routing restrictions


Shipping Safety Control Zones with zone-date system based on vessel/crew capability


Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System (AIRSS) based on actual ice conditions


Must maintain selected route unless under state “ice pilot”

Icebreaker assistance mandatory at certain choke points

Routing Restrictions
ice management assistance

Ice reconnaissance and weather reports provided free to the ice- edge

Routing and Icebreaker assistance available via NORDREG

No other fees


Vessel under control of marine headquarters for icebreaking support

Guided by shore based, aircraft, conventional or icebreaker leading or icebreaker assisted pilotage

Appropriate radio contact must be maintained

Ice Management Assistance

Canadian Ice Management Capabilities

Henry Larsen

Louis St-Laurent

Terry Fox




Pierre Radisson


ER Cache

ER Cache

ER Cache

Des Groseilliers

1 x Bell 212 (seasonal)

1 x Bell 212 (seasonal)

ER Cache

National Air Surveillance

MCTS Inuvik

Sir W. Laurier

MCTS Iqaluit

Iqaluit Beachmaster

Sarnia (Regional HQ & Operations Centre)

CCG Base Hay River


Certified ice navigator required:

(1) a tanker, at all times, and

(2) ships, other than a tanker, as detailed in Schedule VIII of the ASPPRs

Ice navigator must be qualified master or person in charge of deck watch for at least 50 days, with at least 30 days in Arctic waters

Master maintains ultimate control despite ice pilots and directions from shore command


Two ice pilots required

Ship crew must be able to maintain three watch system

Master must have 15 days NSR ice experience

Master maintains ultimate control despite ice pilots and directions from shore command

pollution prevention provisions

Zero-discharge of waste (with minor exceptions)

Bilge water discharge restrictions (Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations 2006)

No potential pollutants allowed on ship side or bottom and other construction and equipment requirements


Also more stringent than MARPOL

Wastewater treatment facility with 30 day holding tank

Bilge water separator

Bilge water and garbage discharge restrictions

Double bottom with no storage on petroleum products and other construction requirements

Pollution Prevention Provisions


  • Russia
  • Russian Register Ice class L1, UL or ULA required (equivalent to Lloyds Register 1A, 1AS and AC1)
  • Special stability requirements for icing, and minimum navigation and equipment requirements
  • Canada
  • Special construction requirements for ships over 100 gross tonnage, carrying more than 453 cubic metres of oil
  • Arctic, CAC, Baltic Classes
  • Special navigation equipment requirements for ships in safety control zones
the vision
The Vision
  • “Harmonized standards for all vessels operating in ice-covered waters”
  • “Polar Code”: IMO Guidelines + IACS Polar Class Rules
  • December 2002 IMO Joint Circular

Guidelines for Ships Operating in Arctic Ice-covered Waters

  • March 2008 IACS Members adopt Polar Rules
  • 2008/09 IMO undertakes update of Guidelines
  • Future Canada adopts IACS Polar Rules by reference

Chronology of Polar Rules

  • 1991 Germany proposes Class Rules for polar waters (MSC 59)
  • 1992 Russia proposes zero discharges in Arctic waters (DE 35)
  • 1993 Finland hosts meeting of experts and Outside Working Group (OWG) formed by IMO (DE 36)
  • 1994 Calgary hosts first official meeting of OWG (ICETECH ‘94)
  • 1998 Canada submits draft Polar Code (DE 41)
  • 2000 United States proposes reduced scope as Guidelines for Ships Operating in Arctic Ice-covered Waters (DE 43)
  • 2002 Guidelines approved by IMO as MSC/MEPC Joint Circular
  • 2005 Antarctic Treaty countries propose amendment of Guidelines to include Antarctic Waters
  • 2006 IACS Council approves Polar Rules Unified Requirements
  • 2008 IMO forms correspondence group to update Guidelines (DE 51)
imo arctic shipping guidelines


  • Swedish
  • Russian Register
  • Polar
  • (IACS)
  • 1A Super
  • Type A
  • UL
  • PC6
  • 1A
  • Type B
  • L1
  • PC7
IMO Arctic Shipping Guidelines
  • Construction
  • Equipment
  • Operational
  • Environmental Protection

Nominal Ship Equivalencies

iacs unified requirements for polar ships
Structural Tasks


Ship-Ice Interactive Scenarios

Polar Classes

Hull Areas

Materials and Grades of Steel

Abrasion/Corrosion Allowances

Longitudinal Strength

Plating and Framing



Direct Calculations

Machinery Tasks

Propeller-Ice Interaction Forces

Propeller Strength Procedures



Steering Systems

Sea Water Cooling


Machinery Accelerations

IACS Unified Requirements for Polar Ships
  • Climate change and economic realities may result in significant increases in Arctic marine activity
  • Additional protection is required for ice-covered waters
  • Existing regimes provide protection, have differences, and application is not uniform
  • Harmonized standards will enhance safety and environmental protection while facilitating sustainable development