Canadian Legislation Relating to Derelict and Abandoned Vessels will affect Boat Owners

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It’s about time!

Canada’s new Sunk, Abandoned, or Hazardous Vessels Act came into force on July 30th, 2019 and affects all boats’ owners.

If you own a boat, or intend to buy one, there’s a lot to know. Boats come in all sizes and lengths. When you own a personal watercraft, a sailboat, a commercial vessel, a pleasure ship with a motor or a luxury yacht, it is your duty to operate it safely, keep it in good working order and dispose of it properly until it reaches the end of life. You are also responsible for any costs relating to emissions or danger, including clean-up and/or repair.

For any boat owner there comes a time when they don’t want or need their boat anymore. You may elect to sell it. Boats sometimes move from owner to owner as they get older, before they eventually end up in the hands of someone who doesn’t have the money/time to take care of it. If you do sell your boat, ensure proper transfer of the ownership documents as well as the licence or registration.

When your boat has reached the end of her useful life, don’t dump/drop it anywhere. Abandoning your boat is contrary to legislation. Part of owning a boat of any sort is disposing of it properly before it creates problems for the environment and/or other people’s health.

Abandoning your boat is against the law. Here are some options rather than abandonment.

Find a boat recycling facility in your area. Find charities or businesses in your region that may take old not working boats. Ask the nearest landfill operator if they accept old boats Ask local boat retailers whether they take old boats in exchange for money.

The Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Recovery Program for Fisheries and Oceans Canada offers up to $1,325 million to Harbor Authorities and other qualifying parties for the recovery and disposal of wrecked vessels found in federal small craft harbours.

Through the initiative, 23 boats have been scrapped and disposed of across Canada, and funding has been allocated for additional 11 vessels to take ownership of.

Individuals who refuse to comply with the act might get hit with a fine of $50,000, while companies would have to pay $250,000.

Transport Canada regulates legislation and enforces the reckless management provisions of the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act in all Canadian waters and Canada’s exclusive economic zone.



About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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