Marine service standards

Service standards publicly state the level of performance that citizens can reasonably expect to encounter under normal circumstances. Transport Canada has developed these standards as part of its ongoing commitment to quality client service.

Domestic Vessel Regulatory Oversight

Extension

  • What is this? An extension of a short-term certificate or a letter of compliance.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Inspection outside Canada

  • What is this? A survey or inspection of a ship outside Canada.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

First Inspection of ship - passenger, non-passenger or unmanned

  • What is this? All vessels over 15 gross tonnes or carrying more than 12 passengers must be inspected before they are put into service and periodically thereafter for the purpose of certification.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Re-inspection of ship - passenger, non-passenger or unmanned

  • What is this? The re-inspection of a ship of over 15 gross tonnes or carrying more than 12 passengers that was registered in Canada, then registered elsewhere than in Canada and is then again registered in Canada.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Periodical Inspection of Self-Propelled ship - passenger, non-passenger or unmanned

  • What is this? An annual, quadrennial or quinquennial inspection of a self-propelled ship, subsequent to the first inspection.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Periodical Inspection of Non-Self-Propelled ship - passenger, non-passenger or unmanned

  • What is this? An annual, quadrennial or quinquennial inspection of a non-self-propelled ship, subsequent to the first inspection.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Inspection of a Non-Canadian ship – General

  • What is this? The inspection of a ship that is subject to the Coasting Trade Act is requested for the issuance of a letter of compliance.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Issuance of Safety Convention Certificates

  • What is this? Where inspection of a non-Canadian ship is requested for the purpose of obtaining a Safety Convention Certificate or where inspection of the life-saving equipment, fire extinguishing equipment, lights and sound signals of a non-Canadian ship is requested for the purpose of obtaining a Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate only.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Extension of Safety Convention Certificates

  • What is this? The inspection of a non-Canadian ship made for the purpose of extending a Safety Convention Certificate.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Approval of Manufacturing or Servicing Plants

  • What is this? An inspection, made pursuant to the Marine Machinery Regulations, of a plant for which approval is required for the manufacture or servicing of ships' machinery or equipment.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate of approval within 15 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Inspection During Construction or Manufacture

  • What is this? An inspection during construction or manufacture of components for use on a ship

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection

Test of Materials

  • What is this? An inspection or testing of materials used in the construction of hulls, machinery, equipment or cargo gear.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection

Inspection of Imported Machinery and Equipment

  • What is this? An inspection during installation of machinery or equipment that was not previously inspected, that was built outside Canada and that is required to be inspected pursuant to the Marine Machinery Regulations

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection

Initial Issuance of Certificate of Approval

  • What is this? The initial issuance of a certificate of approval for structural or outfitting components or for safety equipment

  • Our standard: Issue certificate within 15 working days after receipt of request and once submission is complete

Renewal of Certificate of Approval

  • What is this? The renewal of a certificate of approval for structural or outfitting components or for safety equipment.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate within 10 working days after receipt of request and once submission is complete.

Examination or Approval of Plans and Other Documents

  • What is this? The examination or approval of a first submission of each plan, each diagrammatic layout, each system schematic or each technical document submitted in respect of a new ship or modifications to an existing ship.

  • Our standard: Examine or approve plan and other documents within 45 working days after receipt of complete information.

Issuance and Renewal of Load Line Certificates and Annual Load Line Surveys

  • What is this? Load Line Certificate for a classed or unclassed ship.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Extension of Load Line Convention Certificates for Non-Canadian Ships

  • What is this? Inspection of a non-Canadian ship for the purpose of extending a Load Line Convention Certificate.

  • Our standard: Extend/Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Authorization for Clearance

  • What is this? Inspection is required for the purpose of obtaining authorization for clearance for a non-Canadian ship to proceed on a voyage from any place in Canada.

  • Our standard: Issue authorization for clearance within 1 day after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Other Examinations or Inspections

  • What is this? Examinations or inspections that include:

    • attendance by an inspector at an overload suspension test of a davit-launched life raft or a gas inflation test or pressure test on an inflatable life raft;

    • reissuance of an inspection certificate that is required because of a change in the ship’s voyage classification;

    • issuance of a certificate where an authorized authority has inspected a Canadian registered ship on behalf of the Minister;

    • For each test or examination of a lifting, loading discharging appliance or accessory;

    • Issuance of a letter of compliance for standby ships for the oil industry or mobile offshore drilling unit.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection

Issuance of a Safe Manning Document

  • What is this? The program issues safe manning documents to Canadian vessels, where the authorized representatives have made an application and prerequisites are met in accordance with the Marine Personnel Regulations and related procedures.

  • Our standard: Issue Safe Manning Document within 15 working days after reception of complete application.

Renewal of a Safe Manning Document

  • What is this? The program issues safe manning documents to Canadian vessels, where the authorized representatives have made an application and prerequisites are met in accordance with the Marine Personnel Regulations and related procedures.

  • Our standard: Issue Safe Manning Document within 10 working days after reception of complete application.

Other Examinations or Inspections: Exemption Certificate

  • What is this? Issuance of an Exemption Certificate, in accordance with the requirements of the Safety Convention or the Load Line Convention.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after issuance of the decision by the Marine Technical Review Board

Other Examinations or Inspections: Cancellation

  • What is this? Cancellation or postponement by a shipyard operator, ship owner or ship operator, or an authorized representative thereof, of an inspection while the inspector is en route to, or when the inspector has arrived at, the inspection site.

  • Our standard: Issue of report of cancellation/postponement within 5 working days following such a cancellation/postponement date

Other Examinations or Inspections: Attendance of an inspector

  • What is this? Attendance by an inspector at a light ship survey or a re-inclining test.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory survey or test

Other Examinations or Inspections not listed

  • What is this? Examination, inspection or certification, other than those referred to in items 1 to 11, for each visit.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory examination, inspection or certification

Oil Pollution Prevention

  • What is this? The inspection of a ship, other than an oil tanker or a barge that carries oil in bulk, leading to the issuance of an International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate, a Canadian Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate or a Certificate of Compliance (Oil).

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Examination of Plans and Technical Documents

  • What is this? The examination of a plan or technical document for any class of ship.

  • Our standard: Examine or approve plan and other documents within 45 working days after receipt of complete information.

Inspection of Pollution Prevention Equipment

  • What is this? Inspection during the construction or manufacture of components of a piece of a ship's operational pollution prevention equipment.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate within 15 working days after receipt of request and once submission is complete.

Dangerous Chemical and Noxious Liquid Substance — under Annex II to the Pollution Convention

  • What is this? Inspection leading to the issuance of an International Pollution Prevention Certificate for the Carriage of Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk, a Canadian Pollution Prevention Certificate for the Carriage of Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk, an International Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk, a Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk or a Certificate of Compliance (Noxious Liquid Substances).

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 working days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Great Lakes Sewage Pollution Prevention

  • What is this? An inspection during the construction or manufacture of components of each piece of a ship's operational marine sanitation device leading to the issuance of a Certificate of Approval of a ship's operational marine sanitation device.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate within 15 working days after receipt of request and once submission is complete.

Vessel Registry

Initial registration of a vessel

  • What is this? Processing an application for the initial registration of a vessel.

  • Our standard: Initial Registration: Within 30 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Name Extension

  • What is this? For extending reservation of a name of a vessel for an additional period – 12 months.

  • Our standard: Temporary Registration: Within 30 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Re-registration

  • What is this? For processing an application of a vessel that was previously registered in Canada and is being re-registered in Canada.

  • Our standard: Renewal Registration: Within 30 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Bareboat - Registry of bare-boat charter

  • What is this? Processing an application for the listing of a bare-boat charter and issuing a certificate of registry, for each six-month period.

  • Our standard: Registration of bare boat charter and issuance of certificate of registry within 5 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Bareboat - Suspension of Canadian registration (Bareboat Charter)

  • What is this? A Canadian vessel is suspended in Canada while listed in a foreign country (Bareboat Charter out).

  • Our standard: Suspension of registration within 30 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Reinstatement of Canadian registration after suspension

  • What is this? The reinstatement of registration with respect to suspending the right of a Canadian vessel to fly the Canadian flag while the vessel is shown on the registry of a foreign country as a bare-boat chartered vessel.

  • Our standard: Reinstatement of registration: Within 30 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Issuance of Provisional certificate

  • What is this? Issuing a provisional certificate.

  • Our standard: Provisional Registration: Within 2 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Replacement of a Certificate of Registry

  • What is this? Replacing a certificate of registry or provisional certificate.

  • Our standard: Replacement or deletion of certificate of registry or provisional certificate: Within 5 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Registration of an Alteration to a Vessel

  • What is this? Amending the Register or a certificate of registry to reflect an alteration to a vessel and issuing a new certificate of registry.

  • Our standard: Alteration, change of ownership, transfer of port, vessel name change: Within 30 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Transfer Port of Registry

  • What is this? Amending the Register or a certificate of registry to reflect the transfer of the registry of a vessel to a new port of registry and issuing a new certificate of registry.

  • Our standard: Alteration, change of ownership, transfer of port, vessel name change: Within 30 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Issuance of a Deletion Certificate

  • What is this? Issuing a certificate of deletion from the registry.

  • Our standard: Provisional certificate of deletion of registry: Within 5 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation. Replacement or deletion: Within 5 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Transfer of Ownership

  • What is this? Amending the Register to reflect a change of ownership of a Canadian vessel or a share in one and issuing a new certificate of registry.

  • Our standard: Alteration, change of ownership, transfer of port, vessel name change: Within 30 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Temporary Recording of a vessel

  • What is this? Temporarily recording a vessel that is about to be built or is under construction in Canada.

  • Our standard: Alteration, change of ownership, transfer of port, vessel name change: Within 30 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Mortgages - Registration/Discharge/Assignment

  • What is this? Registering a mortgage and entering its discharge in the Register.

  • Our standard: Register/discharge, transfer, transmission, change in priorities, amendments: Within 5 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Mortgages - Transmission of mortgagee

  • What is this? Amending the Register to reflect the transfer or transmission of a registered mortgage.

  • Our standard: Register/discharge, transfer, transmission, change in priorities, amendments: Within 5 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Mortgages - Recording change to priorities of mortgages

  • What is this? Recording a change to the priorities of mortgages or for recording a court injunction or order.

  • Our standard: Register/discharge, transfer, transmission, change in priorities, amendments: Within 5 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Amendment of the Certificate of Registration due to change of name of vessel

  • What is this? Approving a change in the name of a Canadian vessel and issuing a new certificate of registry.

  • Our standard: Alteration, change of ownership, transfer of port, vessel name change: Within 30 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Historical Research Respecting the Register – Various Sources

  • What is this? For historical research respecting the Register that requires searching through various information sources other than the computer database, per request, for each vessel listed under the category "active vessel" and “non active vessel”.

  • Our standard: Process request within 30 working days after receipt excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Historical Research Respecting the Register – Computer Database

  • What is this? For historical research respecting the Register that requires the use of the computer database, for each side of a two sided printed page.

  • Our standard: Process request within 30 working days after receipt excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Transcript

  • What is this? The issuance of transcripts or abstracts of entries in the Register.

  • Our standard: Certified or uncertified transcripts or abstracts: Within 2 working days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Small Vessel Initial Registration

  • What is this? Registering a vessel or fleet of vessels in small vessel registry, for each five year period.

  • Our standard: Initial (Small Vessels) Registration: Within 45 days excluding any delays incurred to obtain missing information and/or documentation.

Marine Cargo Inspections

Port State Control program

  • What is this? Port State Control inspections require a marine inspector to board a foreign vessel entering Canadian waters to ensure the vessel meets the safety requirements of the major international maritime conventions and also has on board all required documentation. There is no fee for an initial inspection, as it is considered a compliance inspection; however, fees are charged for follow-up inspections, including for the rescinding of a detention order.

  • Our standard: Issue a transcript, report or rescission of a detention order, as applicable, within 24 hours of completing inspection.

Request an approval of shippers’ procedures for cargoes that may liquefy

  • What is this? Every shipper of cargo to be loaded in Canadian waters must comply with the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code). Under the IMSBC Code, TC shall approve the procedures established by the shipper regarding sampling, testing and controlling of the moisture content of a cargo that may liquefy.

  • Our standard: Issue a letter of approval within 10 business days after satisfactory completion of verification

Inspection for vessels loading, carrying or unloading dangerous goods

  • What is this? TC is responsible for the inspection of vessels on which dangerous goods in solid bulk and/or packaged form are loaded, carried or unloaded, such as ammonium nitrate–based fertilizers and explosives. The vessels can be inspected by TC at the request of in "interested person" (like a marine carrier) as per the Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations part 2 for bulk and part 5 for packaged form.

  • Our standard: Issue certificate and/or transcript, as applicable, within 5 workings days after completion of satisfactory inspection.

Marine cargo inspection related to vessels loading concentrates, grains or timber

  • What is this? The inspections for higher-risk marine cargoes are governed pursuant to the Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations. They ensure that the loading and carriage of cargo (the higher-risk cargoes) are done safely and in accordance with strict requirements.

  • Our standard: Issue a certificate or transcript, as applicable, within 24 hours of completing requested inspection.

Environmental Protection

Request a prewash endorsement

  • What is this? The Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations provide the authority to conduct prewash inspections or grant exemptions as per Annex II of MARPOL. Vessels that contained "Category X" substances require a prewash operation prior to leaving the port of unloading or must be granted an exemption under the list provided in the Regulations.

    Exemptions to the prewash requirement can be given for reasons such as reloading with the same or compatible substance, washing to occur at another port with an appropriate reception facility, or using various other approved methods of dealing with cargo residues. Exempted vessels are still required to have a TC inspector verify necessary procedures and documentation to support the exemption.

  • Our standard: Endorse the appropriate entries in the relevant documentation within 24 hours of completing a satisfactory inspection.

Marine Insurance Unit

Marine Insurance Certificate

  • What is this? In a country where the Bunkers, Civil Liability and Wreck Removal Conventions are in force, vessels need insurance certificates. In Canada, Transport Canada issues these certificates to Canadian and foreign ships that are registered in countries where these conventions are in force.

  • Our standard: Once we receive your application, including supporting documentation, it will take us 10 business days to issue the certificate of insurance.

Marine Personnel

Conduct of an oral or practical examination for the purpose of obtaining a limited or restricted certificate

  • What is this? The program conducts oral and practical examinations for seafarers who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, who have made an application and who meet the prerequisites in accordance with the Marine Personnel Regulations and related procedures.

  • Our standard: Process request by scheduling a date for examination within 10 working days after receipt of complete application if all the prerequisites are met.

Conduct of an oral or practical examination for the purpose of obtaining a certificate other than a limited or restricted certificate

  • What is this? The program conducts oral and practical examinations for seafarers who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, who have made an application and who meet the prerequisites in accordance with the Marine Personnel Regulations and related procedures.

  • Our standard: Process request by scheduling a date for examination within 10 working days after receipt of complete application if all the prerequisites are met.

Conduct of a simulator-based examination

  • What is this? The program conducts simulator-based examinations, for seafarers who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, who have made an application and who meet the prerequisites in accordance with the Marine Personnel Regulations and related procedures.

  • Our standard: Process request by scheduling a date for examination within 10 working days after receipt of complete application if all the prerequisites are met.

Conduct of a written examination

  • What is this? The program conducts written examinations for seafarers who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, who have made an application and who meet the prerequisites in accordance with the Marine Personnel Regulations and related procedures.

  • Our standard: Process request by scheduling a date for examination within 10 working days after receipt of complete application if all the prerequisites are met.

Replacement of a certificate or an endorsement except for a certificate or an endorsement lost owing to shipwreck

  • What is this? The program replaces and issues certificates or endorsements for seafarers who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, who have made an application and who meet the prerequisites in accordance with the Marine Personnel Regulations and related procedures.

  • Our standard: Issue Minister's certificate or endorsement - 120 working days after receipt of complete application if all the prerequisites are met.

Issuance of a certificate or an endorsement not requiring examination other than a medical examination

  • What is this? The program issues certificates or endorsements, for seafarers who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, who have made an application and who meet the prerequisites in accordance with the Marine Personnel Regulations and related procedures.

  • Our standard: Issue a Minister's certificate or endorsement - 120 working days after receipt of complete application if all the prerequisites are met.

Issuance of a record of qualifications and examinations for a certificate or an endorsement

  • What is this? The program issues records of qualifications and examinations for seafarers who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, who have made an application and who meet the prerequisites in accordance with the Marine Personnel Regulations and related procedures.

  • Our standard: Assess request within 5 working days after receipt of complete application if all the prerequisites are met.

Seafarers’ Identity Document (ILO)

  • What is this? The program issues seafarers’ identity documents that conform to International Labour Organization (ILO) to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who have made an application and who meet all the prerequisites in accordance with the Marine Personnel Regulations and related procedures.

  • Our standard: Issue within 20 working days after receipt of complete application if all the prerequisites are met and results of the Transportation Security Clearance, if applicable, are received.

Replacement of Seaman's record of service

  • What is this? The program replaces a Seaman’s record of service to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who have made an application and who meet all the prerequisites in accordance with the Marine Personnel Regulations and related procedures.

  • Our standard: Replace within 90 working days after receipt of complete application if all the prerequisites are met.

Public Ports

Berthage

  • What is this? An area (as advertised) to secure a vessel for the purpose of moving passengers and goods in a safe and efficient manner while protecting the environment.

  • Our standard: At Transport Canada’s public port facilities, an area (as advertised), to secure a vessel for the purposes of moving passengers and goods will be available for use.Footnote 1

Harbour Dues

  • What is this? The administrative authority to control vessel traffic and port activities as it relates to the safe and efficient movement of passengers and goods in a manner that protects the environment within the limits of the public port.

  • Our standard: At Transport Canada’s public ports, Transport Canada will provide for the control of vessel movements and port activities within the limits of the public port that is available for use.Footnote 1

Storage

  • What is this? An area (as advertised) to store goods in a safe and efficient manner while protecting the environment.

  • Our standard: At Transport Canada's public port facilities, an area (as advertised) to store goods in a safe and efficient manner will be available for use.Footnote 1

Utilities and Other Services

  • What is this? The administrative authority to provide a service to assist in the carrying on of the movement of passengers and goods in a safe and efficient manner while protecting the environment.

  • Our standard: At Transport Canada's public port facilities, utilities and other services will be made available for use, where those services are available.Footnote 1

Wharfage & Transfer

  • What is this? An area of wharf (as advertised) to move goods in a safe and efficient manner while protecting the environment.

  • Our standard: At Transport Canada's public port facilities, an area of wharf (as advertised) will be available for use for berthed vessels.Footnote 1