Costs and Fees on the Northwest Passage

(by Karl Magnus Eger)


Essentially, the NWP is open to navigation, and there is no fee system for this passage1.  The Canadian government monitors the fairway, but there are examples of ships having navigated the NWP without the knowledge of the authorities2. The NWP is a dangerous route to navigate, so without a formal system for transit passage, one can only classify a transit here as hazardous. If a ship ends up in a distressed situation, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centres will no doubt response to any SAR incidents. It is highly unclear, however, what the bill for such an operation will amount to. It is unlikely that Canadian government would introduce any icebreaker fees in the future. Currently, it is, very costly to ship cargo on the NWP, and the Canadian government wants to encourage the economic viability for any future transportation3.


  •  1. According to Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard
  •  2. See section 5.3.2 of this Chapter.
  •  3. Interviews/Conversations: Transport Canada, 09 & 15 January (2010)

Karl Magnus Eger, 2010, Costs and Fees on the Northwest Passage, CHNL.©

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