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Canada announces mandatory environmental measures for cruise ships


The Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, has announced mandatory environmental measures for cruise ships effective immediately. Non-compliance will be subject to fines.

The measures address discharges of greywater (the drainage from sinks, laundry machines, bathtubs and showers, or dishwaters) and sewage (wastewater from bathroom and toilets):

These mandatory measures for the cruise ship industry include:

  • Prohibiting the discharge of greywater and treated sewage within three nautical miles from shore where geographically possible across Canada;
  • Strengthening the treatment of greywater together with sewage before it is discharged between three and twelve nautical miles from shore south of 60°N using an approved treatment device in non-Arctic waters. This will complement existing regulations for Arctic waters under the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act; and
  • Reporting compliance with these measures in Canadian waters upon request.

The Government of Canada had announced these measures last year for the cruise ship industry on a voluntary basis, but going forward, cruise ships will be subject to fines for non-compliance with these measures, up to the maximum permitted ($250,000) under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. These measures will better protect Canada’s oceans and the marine environment, and will support the work that is underway to conserve 25 percent of Canada’s oceans by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.

(Photo Port of Vancouver)