Canada to impose domestic ban on use and carriage of heavy fuel oil in Arctic waters

Tanker deck
Tanker deck (representative photo only)

The government of Canada has imposed a domestic ban on the use and carriage for use as fuel of heavy fuel oils (HFOs) in Arctic waters. The ban came into effect on Monday, July 1, and is being implemented through an Interim Order while the regulations are being amended.

All double hulled ships will be exempted from the HFO ban until July 1, 2029. Ships involved in Arctic community resupply can apply for a waiver until July 1, 2026.

As HFO does not evaporate as quickly as other fuels, it is more likely to be trapped in ice, which can make recovery difficult. It is generally used by bulk carriers serving mines, general cargo vessels, and tankers servicing communities. The fuel remains in the environment for a long time should a ship-source oil spill occur.

Any waiver decisions that Transport Canada issues will made public through the Marine Technical Review Board publication process. This information will become available after the start of the ban.

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World