Canada: Marine: Emissions

Overview

Marine engines under 37 kW are covered by the Off-Road Compression-Ignition Emission Regulations, which are aligned with US EPA Standards. Engines over 37 kW are covered under International Maritime Organization standards. Canadian vessels are also subject to international marine emission regulations.

Standard type
Conventional pollutant emission limits

Regulating Body
Transport Canada and Environment Canada

Applicability

Domestic: Marine propulsion engines larger than 37 kW (regulated by IMO, enforced by Transport Canada); Marine propulsion engines less than 37 kW (jointly regulated by Transport Canada and Environment Canada, enforced by Transport Canada)

International: Diesel engines over 130 kW installed on ships constructed after 1 January 2000, or engines over 130 kW that undergo a major conversion after 1 January 2000

History

Domestic Policy

Environment Canada and Transport Canada jointly regulate emissions from marine propulsion engines smaller than 37 kW. The Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations cover compression ignition marine engines less than 37 kW of the 2006 and later model years. Regulations are planned for marine spark-ignition engines. The Air Pollution Regulations of the Canada Shipping Act of 2001 regulates the density of black smoke from ships in Canadian waters and within 1 mile of land.

Transport Canada has authority to regulate emissions from marine propulsion engines larger than 37 kW. Transport Canada also has the authority to set emission standards for ships.

Emission standards and test procedures for engines are aligned with those of the US EPA.

International Policy

International requirements for the prevention of pollution from air emissions are contained in Annex VI of MARPOL, Pollution Convention entitled Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships. Annex VI contains requirements for nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel engines, sulphur content of fuel, fuel oil quality, emissions of ozone-depleting substances, incinerators, emissions of volatile organic compounds and International Air Pollution Certificates, as outlined below. Annex VI came into force on 19 May 2005. Annex VI of the Pollution Convention requires that diesel engines over 130 kW installed on ships constructed after 1 January 2000, or engines over 130 kW that undergo a major conversion after 1 January 2000, must meet NOx emission standards and be certified under the NOx Technical Code.

The former Air Pollution Regulations only addressed the colour of stack emissions. The new Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and for Dangerous Chemicals (SOR/2007-86) (30 March 2012) under the Canada Shipping Act align with Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships, IMO MARPOL 73/78 Annex VI. The new Regulations provide a consolidation of requirements of Annex VI of the Pollution Convention and the former Air Pollution Regulations. This Division applies to all ships in Canadian waters and to all Canadian ships everywhere. The regulations require ships of more than 400 tons gross tonnage to keep on board an Air Pollution Prevention Certificate. The regulations ban the release of ozone-depleting substances. Tankers using a vapour collection system for volatile organic compounds are required to meet international standards for the collection system. The regulations also ban the incineration of specified substances and require that incinerators be approved. The regulations specify the quality of fuel that can be used by a ship. Provisions concerning black smoke present no change from current smoke requirements.

On 18 April 2013, the Department of Transport and the Department of Natural Resources finalized Regulations Amending the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations. The Regulations implement new standards set out under MARPOL Annex VI to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from vessels. They apply to vessels operating in Canada and the exclusive economic zone of Canada, and to Canadian vessels operating overseas. More stringent standards also apply within Canada’s portion of the Environmental Control Area (ECA) that was adopted on 26 March 2010, by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Concerning air pollutants, the Regulations set new standards that, by 2020, are expected to reduce ship-source emissions of sulphur oxides by 96% and of nitrogen oxides by 80%, both being the key pollutants of concern.

The Regulations Amending the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations also implements new international standards for vessels for which the building contract is placed after 30 June 2013, to meet energy efficiency standards that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by 2025.

Technical Standards

The Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations cover compression ignition marine engines less than 37 kW of the 2006 and later model years. Technical standards are available on the Canada Nonroad Emissions page. Emission standards and test procedures for engines are aligned with those of the US EPA.

Smoke density rating is determined by the Department of Transport Smoke Chart, which is set out in the schedule of the regulations and reproduced below. For vessels with diesel engines, a smoke density less than No. 1 is normally required with the exception that a smoke density of No. 2 is allowed for an aggregate of not more than 4 minutes in any 30-minute period.

Smoke.png

Smoke Density Chart

International Standards

New IMO standards which came into force on 1 July 2010, set limits on emissions of sulphur and nitrogen oxides from vessel exhausts and prohibit deliberate emissions of ozone-depleting substances. These standards will be implemented for all vessels that are currently subject to the existing Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations, namely vessels of 400 gross tonnage or more.

Sulphur oxide emissions

The primary approach to reduce sulphur oxide emissions is to limit the percentage of sulphur content, by mass, in marine fuel. As the standards allow for the use of emissions control systems, emissions performance of vessels can also be set by limits that are equivalent to the sulphur content in marine fuel. This equivalent approach compares concentrations of sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide in a vessel’s exhaust gas. The ratio of sulphur dioxide to carbon dioxide in the exhaust is equivalent to the percentage of sulphur in the fuel.

The Regulations incorporate the new global standards of MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 14, which reduces the maximum permissible sulphur content of fuel used on board a vessel as follows:

Maximum allowable fuel sulphur content (global), MARPOL Annex VI
Dates Maximum allowable fuel sulphur content
Before 1 January 2012 4.50%
1 January 2012 to 31 December 2019 3.50%
1 January 2020, and thereafter 0.50%

To bring ECA standards to inland waters, the Regulations set a fleet averaging approach to control sulphur oxide emissions from Canadian vessels operating in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waters. Beginning on 18 April 2013, the permissible sulphur emissions (expressed as an equivalent percentage of sulphur content of fuel oil, by mass) for a fleet progressively decline on 1 January of each year. The permissible sulphur emissions start from 1.30% and decline to 0.10% on 1 January 2020, at which time the requirements in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waters match those of the North American ECA. However, provisions permit these annual fuel sulphur limits to be exceeded by a maximum cumulative amount of 0.40% before 2017, declining to 0.10% in 2020, at which time cumulative sulphur emissions in excess of the base annual limits will have been offset with corresponding reductions. Vessels operating on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waters must report to Transport Canada on how the emission targets are being met.

The Regulations require vessels subject to MARPOL Annex VI to comply with the emissions standards for ECAs. These levels are more stringent than the aforementioned global standards, with maximum allowable sulphur content in fuel as follows:

North American ECA maximum allowable fuel sulphur content
Dates Maximum allowable fuel sulphur content
1 August 2012 1.00%
1 January 2015, and thereafter 0.10%

Nitrogen oxide emissions

The Regulations phase in these new IMO standards and parts of the NOx Technical Code 2008 for engines installed on vessels built after 1 January 2011, to meet 20% more stringent limits on nitrogen oxide emissions, known as Tier II standards. Details of these standards are presented below:

Tier I/Tier II nitrogen oxide emissions standards
Tier I Tier II
•17.0 g/kWh when n is less than 130 rpm;
•45 × n-0.2 g/kWh when n is 130 or more but less than 2 000 rpm; and
•9.8 g/kWh when n is 2 000 rpm or more.
•14.4 g/kWh when nis less than 130 rpm;
•44 × n-0.23 g/kWh when n is 130 or more but less than 2 000 rpm; and
•7.7 g/kWh when n is 2 000 rpm or more.
Notes:
“n” refers to rated engine speed (crankshaft revolutions per minute)

In addition to controls on sulphur oxides, vessels operating in any ECA that are built on or after January 1, 2016, will be required to adhere to the most stringent standards for nitrogen oxide emissions. Known as Tier III standards, they represent an 80% reduction from current nitrogen oxide emissions under current standards. It is expected that these vessels will need to use emissions control systems. Details of these standards are set out below:

Tier III standards for emissions of nitrogen oxides:

  • 3.4 g/kWh when n is less than 130 rpm;
  • 9 × n-0.2 g/kWh when n is 130 or more but less than 2 000 rpm; and
  • 2.0 g/kWh when n is 2 000 rpm or more

Contact Us

Questions or updates about policies?