Ship Safety Bulletins

Date (Y-M-D): 1992-11-24

Subject: Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations

1.Shipowners, marinersand other interested partiesshould be aware that the new Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations will enter into force on February 16, 1993. At that time, the former regulations having the same title and the Non-Canadian Ships Compliance Certificate Regulations will be revoked. These new regulations apply to all ships in Canadian waters and fishing zones, except those waters that are in an Arctic shipping safety control zone, and to Canadian ships in international waters. The regulations give effect to the provisions of Annex I of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, and its 1978 Protocol ( MARPOL 73/78).

The regulations require that a ship have certain oil pollution prevention equipment on board, and follow specified procedures to reduce the discharge, during normal shipboard operations, of oil and oily mixtures into the marine environment. Ship design requirements, which reduce the likelihood of accidental discharges, are also mandated.

2. The regulatory requirements include:

  1. Crude Oil Washing

    An improved system for cleaning cargo tanks using oil instead of water for removing sediments; thus, eliminating the need to dispose of large quantities of oily mixtures.
  2. Segregated Ballast Tanks

    Dedicated ballast tanks making it unnecessary to place water ballast into cargo tanks; thus, eliminating the generation of oily mixtures.
  3. Protectively Located Ballast Tanks

    Ballast tanks located in positions that reduce the likelihood of oil discharges in the event of a collision or grounding.
  4. Oil Filtering EquipmentlOil-Water Separating Equipment

    Equipment permitting the discharge overboard of oily mixtures where such discharges are permitted.
  5. Cargo and Bilge Monitoring Equipment and Control Systems

    Equipment providing a continuous record of the concentration of oil discharged overboard, and the time of discharge. Control systems that ensure alarm activation and automatic stopping of any discharge that exceeds the permitted limits.
  6. Damage Stability Information

    Information which permits a ship to verify that it is properly loaded in accordance with safety and pollution prevention considerations.
  7. Operating Manuals

    Approved manuals to ensure the proper operation of pollution prevention equipment and systems.
  8. Oil Record Book

    A record of internal and external ship transfers and discharges of oil and oily mixtures, and the operability of transfer and pollution prevention equipment.
  9. Inspection and Certification

    Inspections conducted to ensure compliance with the design, construction, arrangement, fitting, installation, system, and equipment requirements. Certification of ships by issuing, as appropriate, an International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate, a Canadian Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate , or a Certificate of Compliance.
  10. Type Test Certificates

    Certificates documenting the approval of pollution prevention equipment and systems.
  11. Discharge Limitations and Prohibitions

    Limitations respecting designated waters, minimum distances offshore, oil concentrations and other operating requirements for the discharge of oil or oily mixtures. Prohibition of discharges in certain waters.
  12. Transfer Operations

    Provisions to ensure the protection of the marine environment during oil transfer operations.
  13. Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan

    Ship-specific plans to assist personnel in dealing with unexpected discharges of oil. Their primary purpose is to set in motion the necessary activities to stop or minimize the discharge, and to mitigate its effects.

For complete details on these and other requirements, including their application, the regulations should be consulted.

3. Several International Maritime Organization ( IMO ) documents are incorporated-by-reference into the regulations. Interested persons can purchase these documents from:

Publications Section

International Maritime Organization
4 Albert Embankment
London SE1 7SR

Telephone: 071-735 7611
Telex: 23588
Facsimile: 071-587 3210

Keywords:                                  Questions concerning this bulletin should be addressed to:

1. Oil
2. Pollution
Transport Canada
Marine Safety
Tower C, Place de Ville
11th Floor, 330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

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