On February 28, 2019, Canada enacted the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act (the Act). The new legislation prohibits vessel abandonment and enacts within Canadian law the International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007.

The Act:

  • Addresses owner responsibility and liability for abandoned and derelict vessels;
  • Includes provisions that require owners of vessels of 300 gross tonnage and above, and unregistered vessels being towed, to maintain wreck removal insurance or other financial security; and
  • Empowers the government to remove vessels and charge the cost of doing so back to the Owners.
  • Penalties for non-compliance and prosecution could result in a fine of up to $1M for individuals and $6M for companies or corporations.