Appearance at TRAN: Supplemental Mandate Letter and on the pre-entry testing requirements



The National Strategy to Address Canada’s Wrecked and Abandoned Vessels, launched in 2016 as part of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan, includes five key measures focused on preventing and addressing problem vessels. Collectively, these measures aim to reduce the risks posed by problem vessels in Canadian waters, and support the preservation and restoration of marine ecosystems and the environment.

As of the end of 2020, 476 vessels have been addressed under the National Strategy - exceeding the 275 vessel target more than a full year in advance.

Measure #1: NEW LEGISLATION (TC and CCG lead)

Description: Introduce new legislation that closes gaps and signals federal leadership by increasing owner responsibility and liability for vessels that reach end-of-life. This includes prohibiting vessel abandonment and other acts of irresponsible vessel management. Bring into Canadian law the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007, that requires large vessels in Canadian waters to carry mandatory insurance to cover the costs and damages should the vessel become wrecked. Strengthen federal powers to intervene in addressing wrecked, abandoned or hazardous vessels.

Accomplishments / Results to Date:

  • The Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act came into force on July 30, 2019, featuring strong penalties for non-compliance.
  • Over 275 vessel of concern cases addressed under the new legislation by both Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard, utilizing a graduated approach to compliance. This ranges from resolving the situation with the owner, authorizing third parties to take possession of the vessel in question, or taking action to remediate the vessel directly.
  • The first administrative monetary penalty was issued in fall 2020.


Description: Support local coastal communities, organizations, harbours and marinas in cleaning up smaller, high priority abandoned or wrecked vessels. Provide funding that can increase boat owners’ awareness of their responsibilities throughout the boat lifecycle; and support research into boat recycling and design for the environment.

Accomplishments/Results to Date:

  • 5-year, $6.85M Abandoned Boats Program launched by TC in May 2017. As of December 2020:
  • 112 boats removed and disposed across Canada (majority in British Columbia), with one remaining call for proposals planned for 2021-22.
  • 3 vessel recycling research and development projects funded, final reports to be completed in 2021.
  • 5 owner targeted education and awareness projects completed (e.g., provincial boating association awareness campaigns).
  • 5-year, $1.9M Small Craft Harbours Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Program launched by DFO in fall 2017. As of December 2020:
    • 89 boats removed and disposed in federal small craft harbours across Canada.

Note: Both programs sunset March 2022, {ATIP removed}

Measure #3: Enhance Vessel Owner Identification Systems (TC lead)

Description: Improve the capacity to identify vessels and owners to support enforcement of WAHVA. This will also improve the ability to enforce the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and other federal marine legislation, with associated safety, environmental and security benefits.

Accomplishments / Results to Date:

  • Between 2017 and 2019 engaged with various provincial/territorial governments and Indigenous groups, and held national consultations with marine industry stakeholders and law enforcement.
  • Identified regulatory, policy and service delivery improvements to the pleasure craft licensing (PCL) program.
  • Launched consultations on proposed regulatory changes to the PCL program, as well as new service fee in fall 2020.

Next Steps:

  • Implement regulatory, policy and service delivery enhancements for the PCL program. Targeting late fall 2022 for regulatory changes, including introduction of new service fees.
  • Complete the IM/IT prototype for new vessel registration system.
  • Develop service fee proposal for vessel registrations, and consult on vessel registry enhancements. Target early 2023 for introduction of amended service fees.


Description: Create, manage and maintain a national inventory of wrecked, abandoned and hazardous vessels across Canada. Develop a national risk assessment methodology to rank and prioritize the vessels in the inventory, to inform remediation and monitoring plans.

Accomplishments / Results to Date:

  • National inventory reporting and tracking infrastructure developed – over 1,800 vessels identified so far, and growing.
  • Risk assessment methodology and risk assessment scoring tool developed and regionally tested.

Next Steps:

  • Integrate into the departmental information technology management system, train field personnel and develop contingency plans.

Measure #5: VESSEL REMEDIATION FUND (TC lead, CCG support)

Description: Develop options for a vessel owner financed long-term remediation fund that enables the government to take proactive measure for high priority vessels (informed by risk) while alleviating pressure on taxpayers. Fund preventative measures to help reduce new cases of problem vessels going forward.

Accomplishments / Results to Date:

  • Provincial/territorial engagements, followed by national stakeholder and indigenous groups
  • Study on the economic impacts of regulatory charges on pleasure craft owners

Next Steps:

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  • Formal consultations on the pleasure craft and commercial regulatory charge (Summer 2021)
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Creation of the Fund (Measure #5) is the last step of the National Strategy in reforming how the federal government addresses this issue. Establishment of the Fund will provide for a sustainable program over the long-term, {ATIP removed}