Acts & Regulations

Current Legislative Mandate

Transport Canada's responsibilities for Arctic Shipping includes the following Acts and Regulations

The Arctic Water Pollution Prevention Act (AWPPA) and the Arctic Water Pollution Prevention Regulations (AWPPR) provide measures to prevent pollution from ships, and in particular, the deposit of waste into Arctic waters. The Arctic Shipping Pollution Prevention Regulations (ASPPR) deal with construction and operational aspects of navigating in the Arctic, including the need for Ice Navigators. The ASPPR contains the Zone/Date System (Z/DS) , which is a system dividing the Arctic into 16 Safety Control Zones, each with fixed opening and closing dates for ships of various ice capabilities. The Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System (AIRSS) was introduced as a more flexible system that uses the actual ice conditions to determine whether entry is allowed in an ice regime. An Arctic Water Pollution Prevention Certificate may be issued to a vessel outside of Canada by an IACS recognized Classification Society.


The Canada Shipping Act (CSA) 2001 is Canada’s principal legislation for shipping. It applies in all Canadian waters, including the Arctic. The Marine Liability Act (MLA) makes the owners and/or operators of vessels responsible and liable for their vessels and the consequences of its operations. The Marine Transportation Security Act (MTSA) provides for the security of marine transportation. It applies to ships and marine facilities in Canada, and to Canadian ships outside of Canada. The Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) protects navigation from being impeded or made more dangerous, and it regulates ferry cables and draw bridges.

Through these Acts and Regulations, Canada implements various International Maritime Organization Conventions. MARPOL 73/78 does not apply in Canadian Arctic waters.