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Places of Refuge: Considerations for Determining a Canadian Approach

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines issues to be considered in the development of a Canadian national policy on places of refuge for ships in need of assistance and evaluates the operational, legal and regulatory viability of such a policy in the Canadian context. Canada has had significant experience with ships in distress seeking refuge in its ports or waters. From the historical perspective, the right of ships to seek refuge when in distress, either in the waters of its own flag state or in the waters of any other state, has been universally accepted as necessary and acknowledged as such in various international instruments. Canada's integrated oceans management strategy should serve as context for the risk assessment process for a place of refuge policy. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Guidelines represent international consensus on the issue of decision-making by the master, salvor and coastal authorities on places of refuge.

Keywords: Canadian national policy; International Law; International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines; places of refuge



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