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U.S. Lake Carriers Association Petitions FMC to Investigate Canada’s BWM Regulations

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has voted to investigate a complaint from the Lake Carriers Association (LCA) that claims the proposed Transport Canada (an agency of the Government of Canada) ballast water regulations will discriminate against US flag vessel operators.

In the petition, LCA alleges that Transport Canada has proposed regulations that would require their members who operate exclusively on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River (Lake Freighters commonly called, Lakers) to install a ballast water management system to treat ballast water that is loaded in Canada and discharged in the United States.

The investigation will examine the harm that will be faced, especially by the Laker fleet, as a result of the proposed regulations. If the FMC finds the regulations are detrimental shipping in a United States-foreign trade they may be able to offer some remedies to discourage discriminatory conditions under Section 19 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1920, as amended.