International requirements for the prevention of pollution from garbage are contained in Annex V of MARPOL, Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships. Annex V contains requirements for placards, garbage management plans, garbage record keeping, disposal of garbage, and reception facilities. Annex V came into force on December 31, 1988.

The Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and for Dangerous Chemicals, Division 5 – Garbage – provide a consolidation of the requirements contained in Annex V of the Pollution Convention that have not been fully addressed by regulation in Canada under the former Garbage Pollution Prevention Regulations.

Division 5 applies to all ships in Canadian waters and to all Canadian ships everywhere. The regulations ban the discharge of garbage into internal waters and specify requirements for discharge of garbage into the oceans. Provisions for the discharge of cargo residues in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River have been included, consistent with established voluntary practices and United States Coast Guard requirements. The regulations specify record-keeping requirements for commercial carriers. Smaller craft operators and short run ships are excluded from the record-keeping requirements. Adoption of these requirements will permit Canada to accede to Annex V of the Pollution Convention.