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Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act (S.C. 2019, c. 1)

Act current to 2022-11-16 and last amended on 2019-08-28. Previous Versions

PART 1Removal of Wrecks (continued)

Interpretation (continued)

Marginal note:Inconsistency

 In the event of any inconsistency between this Part and the Wreck Removal Convention, this Part prevails to the extent of the inconsistency.

Marginal note:Application

 This Part applies in respect of

  • (a) vessels in Canadian waters or in the exclusive economic zone of Canada;

  • (b) Canadian vessels, wherever they are; and

  • (c) wrecks

    • (i) that are located in the Convention area of a State Party to the Wreck Removal Convention, and

    • (ii) that are the result of a maritime casualty.

Hazards

Marginal note:Obligation to report

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), if a vessel — other than a vessel that is registered, listed, recorded or licensed in a state that is not a party to the Wreck Removal Convention and that is located in the exclusive economic zone of Canada — is involved in a maritime casualty that resulted in a wreck, the master and the operator of the vessel must, without delay and in accordance with Article 5 of that Convention, provide a report containing the information referred to in paragraph 2 of that Article to a marine communications and traffic services officer designated under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, unless another person has been designated by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, in which case it must be provided to that person. To the extent that either the master or the operator complies with the obligation, the other is not required to provide a report.

  • Marginal note:Canadian vessels abroad

    (2) If the vessel referred to in subsection (1) is a Canadian vessel located in the Convention area of a State Party to the Wreck Removal Convention other than Canada, the report under subsection (1) must be made to the government of that state, unless another person has been designated by that state, in which case it must be made to that person.

  • Marginal note:Designation

    (3) The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans may designate persons or classes of persons for the purposes of subsection (1).

Marginal note:Marking

 Unless otherwise directed by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the owner of a vessel — other than a vessel that is registered, listed, recorded or licensed in a state that is not a party to the Wreck Removal Convention and that is located in the exclusive economic zone of Canada — that was involved in a maritime casualty that resulted in a wreck that poses a hazard must ensure that all reasonable steps are taken without delay to mark the wreck with markings that conform to the internationally accepted system of buoyage in use in the area where the wreck is located.

Marginal note:Direction — locating, marking and removal

  •  (1) If the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is of the opinion that a wreck poses a hazard, he or she may direct the owner of the vessel that was involved in the maritime casualty that resulted in the wreck, within the time that he or she specifies, to

    • (a) take all measures that that Minister considers practicable to establish the precise location of the wreck; and

    • (b) take all measures that that Minister considers proportionate to the hazard to mark or remove the wreck.

  • Marginal note:Measures — Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

    (2) If the measures referred to in subsection (1) are not taken within the period specified by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, he or she may take the measures.

  • Marginal note:Measures — owner cannot be contacted

    (3) If the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is of the opinion that a wreck poses a hazard and the owner of the vessel that was involved in the maritime casualty that resulted in the wreck cannot be contacted, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans may take the measures referred to in subsection (1).

Marginal note:Immediate action required

 If the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is of the opinion that a wreck poses a hazard and that a measure referred to in subsection 21(1) must be taken immediately, he or she may take the measure.

Liability

Marginal note:Owner

 Subject to any limit set out in the Marine Liability Act, the liability of the owner of a vessel for the purposes of Article 10 of the Wreck Removal Convention also includes

  • (a) the costs and expenses incurred by any person in Canada or any person in a state, other than Canada, that is a party to that Convention, including those incurred by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in determining whether a wreck poses a hazard, if he or she determined that it posed one; and

  • (b) any loss or damage caused by the measures taken in accordance with this Act.

Insurance or Other Financial Security

Marginal note:Absence of certificate

  •  (1) Unless a vessel of 300 gross tonnage and above carries a certificate described in paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Wreck Removal Convention and issued in accordance with subsection 25(1), the vessel must not

    • (a) enter or leave a port in Canadian waters or in the exclusive economic zone of Canada or arrive at or leave an offshore facility in Canadian waters or in the exclusive economic zone of Canada; or

    • (b) operate, if it is a Canadian vessel.

  • Marginal note:Certificate to be produced on request

    (2) Unless, in accordance with paragraph 13 of Article 12 of the Wreck Removal Convention, the certificate is not required to be carried on board the vessel, the master, a crew member or any person on board who is, or appears to be, in charge of the vessel must produce the certificate and give details of it at the request of an enforcement officer or the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Marginal note:By whom certificate must be issued

  •  (1) The certificate must be issued

    • (a) if the vessel is a Canadian vessel, by the Minister;

    • (b) if the vessel is registered, listed, recorded or licensed in a state, other than Canada, that is a party to the Wreck Removal Convention, by or under the authority of the government of that state; or

    • (c) if the vessel is registered, listed, recorded or licensed in a state that is not a party to the Wreck Removal Convention, by the Minister or by or under the authority of the government of a state, other than Canada, that is a party to that Convention.

  • Marginal note:Designation by Minister

    (2) The Minister may designate persons or classes of persons to issue, refuse or revoke a certificate on the Minister’s behalf.

  • Marginal note:Issuance of certificate by Minister

    (3) Subject to the regulations, on an application to the Minister for a certificate in respect of a Canadian vessel or a vessel registered, listed, recorded or licensed in a state that is not a party to the Wreck Removal Convention, the Minister must issue the certificate to the owner of the vessel — in printed or electronic form, or both — if he or she is satisfied that a contract of insurance or other financial security satisfying the requirements of Article 12 of that Convention will be in force in respect of the vessel throughout the period for which the certificate is issued.

  • Marginal note:When Minister may refuse certificate

    (4) Subject to the regulations, if the Minister is of the opinion that the insurer or guarantor will be unable to meet their obligations under the contract of insurance or other financial security referred to in Article 12 of the Wreck Removal Convention, or that the contract of insurance or other financial security will not satisfy the requirements of that Article, the Minister may refuse to issue the certificate.

  • Marginal note:When Minister may revoke certificate

    (5) Subject to the regulations, the Minister may revoke the certificate issued by him or her if the Minister is of the opinion that the insurer or guarantor is unable to meet their obligations under the contract of insurance or other financial security referred to in Article 12 of the Wreck Removal Convention, or that the contract of insurance or other financial security does not satisfy the requirements of that Article.

Marginal note:Towing

  •  (1) Subject to the regulations, the Minister may, on any terms and conditions that he or she considers necessary, exempt a vessel that is not registered, listed, recorded or licensed from the application of section 24, for the period during which it is being towed, if he or she is satisfied that a contract of insurance or other financial security in an amount equal to that set out in paragraph 1 of Article 12 of the Wreck Removal Convention will be in force in respect of the vessel while it is being towed and the insurer or guarantor will be able to meet their obligations under the contract of insurance or other financial security.

  • Marginal note:Proof to be produced on request

    (2) The master, a crew member or any person on board who is, or appears to be, in charge of the vessel that is towing a vessel that has been exempted under subsection (1) must produce proof of the exemption and give details of it at the request of an enforcement officer or the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

PART 2Vessels and Wrecks of Concern

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Part.

dilapidated vessel

dilapidated vessel means a vessel that meets any prescribed criteria and

  • (a) is significantly degraded or dismantled; or

  • (b) is incapable of being used for safe navigation. (bâtiment délabré)

hazard

hazard means any condition or threat that may reasonably be expected to result in harmful consequences to the environment, coastlines, shorelines, infrastructure or any other interest, including the health, safety, well-being and economic interests of the public. It does not include harmful consequences that are excluded by the regulations. (danger)

wreck

wreck means

  • (a) a vessel, or part of a vessel, that is sunk, partially sunk, adrift, stranded or grounded, including on the shore; or

  • (b) equipment, stores, cargo or any other thing that is or was on board a vessel and that is sunk, partially sunk, adrift, stranded or grounded, including on the shore. (épave)

Application

Marginal note:Application

 Unless otherwise provided, this Part applies in respect of

  • (a) wrecks and Canadian vessels in Canadian waters and in the exclusive economic zone of Canada; and

  • (b) all other vessels in Canadian waters.

Marginal note:Exclusions

 This Part does not apply in respect of vessels that are less than 5.5 m in length and are designed to be primarily human-powered or wind-powered, including those that have become wrecks.

Prohibitions

Marginal note:Dilapidated vessel

  •  (1) It is prohibited for an owner of a dilapidated vessel to leave it stranded, grounded, including on the shore, anchored or moored in the same location — or within a radius of three nautical miles of, or, if a radius is prescribed, within that prescribed radius of that location — for a period of 60 consecutive days or, if a number of consecutive days is prescribed, that number of consecutive days.

  • Marginal note:Exception — consent

    (2) An owner of a dilapidated vessel does not contravene subsection (1) if they obtain the express consent to leave the vessel, at each location where the vessel is situated during the period referred to in that subsection, of a person that has the authority to give that consent as owner, manager or lessee of the location. The onus of proving that consent is on the owner of the dilapidated vessel.

  • Marginal note:Measures

    (3) If subsection (1) has been contravened, the Minister may

    • (a) take the measures that he or she considers necessary in respect of the dilapidated vessel or its contents, including repairing, securing, moving or removing the vessel or its contents or selling, dismantling, destroying or otherwise disposing of them;

    • (b) monitor the measures taken by any person in respect of the dilapidated vessel or its contents; and

    • (c) if he or she considers it necessary to do so, direct any person or vessel to take measures referred to in paragraph (a) or to refrain from doing so.

Marginal note:Vessel adrift

 It is prohibited for an owner of a vessel to leave it adrift for a period of 48 hours without taking measures to secure it.

Marginal note:Abandoned vessel

  •  (1) It is prohibited for an owner of a vessel to abandon it.

  • Marginal note:Presumption — abandonment

    (2) An owner of a vessel is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, presumed to have abandoned it if they leave the vessel unattended for a period of two years.

  • Marginal note:For greater certainty

    (3) For greater certainty and despite subsection (2), it is not necessary for an owner to leave a vessel unattended for a period of two years for the owner to be found to have contravened subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (4) An owner of a vessel who abandons it does not contravene subsection (1) if

    • (a) the abandonment is in accordance with a Canadian permit, as defined in subsection 122(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, authorizing the disposal of the vessel;

    • (b) the abandonment is in accordance with any other Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province;

    • (c) the abandonment is temporary and necessary to avert a danger to human life; or

    • (d) it is a wreck, as defined in Article 1 of the Wreck Removal Convention, and its owner complies with Part 1.

Marginal note:Vessel becoming wreck

 It is prohibited for an owner of a vessel to let it become a wreck by reason of failing to maintain it.

Marginal note:Sinking, stranding or grounding vessel

  •  (1) It is prohibited for a person in charge of a vessel to knowingly cause it to sink or partially sink or to be stranded or grounded, including on the shore.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) A person in charge of a vessel that knowingly causes it to sink or partially sink or to be stranded or grounded, including on the shore, does not contravene subsection (1) if

    • (a) they do so in accordance with any other Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province;

    • (b) they cause it to sink in accordance with a Canadian permit, as defined in subsection 122(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, authorizing the disposal of the vessel; or

    • (c) they cause it to be stranded or grounded so as to avert a danger to human life.

Marginal note:Sale, destruction or other disposition

 The Minister may sell, destroy or otherwise dispose of a vessel that is abandoned.

Measures

Marginal note:Minister of Fisheries and Oceans — general powers

 If the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has reasonable grounds to believe that a vessel or wreck poses, or may pose, a hazard, he or she

  • (a) may take the measures that he or she considers necessary to prevent, mitigate or eliminate the hazard, including by repairing, securing, moving or removing of the vessel, the wreck or their contents or selling, dismantling, destroying or otherwise disposing of them;

  • (b) may monitor the measures taken by any person to prevent, mitigate or eliminate the hazard; and

  • (c) if he or she considers it necessary to do so, may direct any person or vessel to take measures referred to in paragraph (a) or to refrain from doing so.

 
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