The Federal Maritime Commission is seeking updated comments in support of its ongoing investigation of whether Canadian ballast water regulations in the Great Lakes are unfavorable to shipping in the U.S.-Canada trade.
The FMC investigation was launched in June 2020 in response to a petition filed by the Lake Carriers’ Association, a trade association made up of vessel owners and operators in the Great Lakes. The petition alleges that the Canadian regulations serve no environmental purpose, are prohibitively expensive to comply with, and are designed to drive U.S.-flag vessels from the market.
Transport Canada issued proposed regulations in 2019 that required installation of ballast water management systems on Laker vessels. A final rule was issued by Transport Canada in June 2021 that becomes effective in 2024 but exempts compliance until 2030 for vessels built prior to Jan. 1, 2009. The FMC requests that interested parties provide comments on the application and impacts of the final Canadian regulation.
The FMC’s investigating authority allows it to take regulatory actions if the it finds that a foreign government’s regulations create unfavorable conditions to shipping in foreign trade which authorizes investigation of shipping regulations of foreign nations. The Great Lakes Carriers’ Association maintains that the Canadian regulations serve no environmental purpose, are prohibitively expensive to comply with, and are designed to drive U.S.-flag vessels from the market.