October 27, 2003

Transport canada announces maritime security requirements

Canadian Transport Minister David Collenette has announced a new marine security-reporting requirement for a wide range of Canadian-flagged vessels and port facilities.

The Canadian requirement will complement the final maritime security rules announced last week by the U.S. Coast Guard. Under the new requirement, Transport Canada's marine security regime will no longer be limited to SOLAS-class vessels and port facilities, but will include:

  • cargo vessels of 100 gross tonnage or greater;
  • towing vessels greater than eight meters in length engaged in towing certain classes of barge; and
  • passenger vessels carrying more than 12 passengers.

Under the requirement, operators of vessels in these categories operating on international voyages or on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway must identify themselves to Transport Canada for marine security purposes by November 28, 2003.

Vessel and port facility operators that have already reported to Transport Canada and are developing security plans need not do so again.

Port facilities that serve SOLAS-class vessels must also meet this requirement.

Fishing vessels and pleasure craft are exempt from this requirement.

Once vessel operators have reported, they will be requested to conduct a security assessment and develop a security plan for submission to Transport Canada.

Following Transport Canada approval of a vessel security plan, the department will issue the operator a security certificate that will allow them to enter U.S. and Canadian waters.

Transport Canada says it is working closely with the U.S. Coast Guardto coordinate and harmonize the marine security regimes of the two countries so that Canadian-flagged ships that meet Canadian security standards can enter U.S. harbors and U.S. flagged ships that meet U.S. standards can enter Canadian harbors.

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