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- Delegated Statutory Inspection Program – Vessel Monitoring
- Delegated Statutory Inspection Program – Performance Evaluation of Authorized Third Parties
- Small Vessel Manufacturers and Importers Compliance Program
- Service Station Monitoring
- Flag State Certification and Compliance Monitoring
- Cargo Inspections
- Port State Control Inspections
- Air Emission Inspections
- Ballast Water Inspections
- Audits of Programs and Courses Delivered by Recognized Marine Training Institutions
- Organizational Contact Information
The Marine Safety and Security Program develops, administers and enforces the laws and policies that govern marine safety, marine security, and the marine environment. Inspections are an important part of how we oversee and enforce marine safety and security in Canada.
An inspection is a documented, formal look at how industry complies with Canada's transportation safety and security rules, regulations and requirements. Our program generally uses 2 types of inspections:
- Regulatory authorization inspections – inspections that are done when a regulated party applies for permission to do a regulated activity. These inspections are required and are done on-demand.
- Planned, risk-based inspections – inspections that we plan to do in a given cycle. These inspections are planned for based on the risk of non-compliance with the rules.
Every year, the Marine Safety and Security Program does a large number of inspections, and it is important to note that this report is a summary and does not account for every type of inspection.
Delegated Statutory Inspection Program – Vessel Monitoring
Background: Delegated Statutory Inspection Program – Vessel Monitoring
Since January 2014, the inspection and certification of most vessels that are more than 24 metres long is done through the Delegated Statutory Inspection Program. The Minister of Transport has delegated statutory functions to recognized organizations through the Authorization and Agreement Governing the Delegation of Statutory Functions for Vessels Registered in Canada.
Inspection Cycle: Delegated Statutory Inspection Program – Vessel Monitoring
Vessels enrolled in the Delegated Statutory Inspection Program must be inspected every year by a recognized organization. Transport Canada also uses a risk-based approach to monitor vessels enrolled in the program. In 2019-20, the Marine Safety and Security branch aimed to monitor 50% of passenger vessels, 50% of tankers and 25% of all other vessels in the program. The branch also does unplanned inspections to follow-up on questions or incidents.
Inspection Activities, Results and Statistics: Delegated Statutory Inspection Program – Vessel Monitoring
In 2019-2020, there were 726 vessels enrolled in the Delegated Statutory Inspection Program, and the Marine Safety and Security branch inspected 155 of these vessels, which were made up of:
- 57 passenger vessels
- 7 tankers
- 14 fishing vessels
- 77 other vessels
During the inspections, 606 deficiencies were found. Of these deficiencies:
- 54% were related to fire safety, life saving appliances, machinery and electrical systems
- 17% were related to documentation
During 2019-20, the branch decided to improve the way we sample vessels by analysing inspection data and the evaluations of recognized organisations. The branch also wants to identify trends in the issues found, and any areas that need more attention from the recognized organization's surveyors. The branch aims to finish a full-cycle of oversight for all vessels enrolled in the Delegated Statutory Inspection Program. These vessels will have different levels of risk (higher, moderate or lower) to allow for a varied sampling of vessels and, in turn, allowing for 100% of the fleet to be monitored over a five year period.
Delegated Statutory Inspection Program – Performance Evaluation of Authorized Third Parties
Background: Delegated Statutory Inspection Program – Performance Evaluation of Authorized Third Parties
The Minister of Transport authorizes third parties to do inspections for Transport Canada, as allowed by the Canada Shipping Act 2001. The third parties become recognized organizations when they are authorized. 7 recognized organizations do inspections in Canada. They are all members of the International Association of Classification Societies and have at least one office in Canada. Transport Canada does performance audits of the recognized organizations to make sure that they are meeting the requirements in their agreements with the Minister.
Inspection Cycle: Delegated Statutory Inspection Program – Performance Evaluation of Authorized Third Parties
Each year, the branch develops an audit plan to evaluate the performance of authorized third parties. The plan is based on the requirement that the offices and headquarters of all recognized organizations be visited every 5 years. If the branch identifies areas of risk, or knows of issues with a specific office, an office will be audited more than once every 5 years. The audits are based on Transport Canada instructions, agreements with the recognized organizations, Canada Shipping Act, 2001 requirements and the International Maritime Organization Code for Recognized Organizations.
Inspection Activities, Results and Statistics: Delegated Statutory Inspection Program – Performance Evaluation of Authorized Third Parties
In 2019-20, the Marine Safety and Security branch evaluated the performance of several third parties, namely the offices of 5 recognized organizations and the head offices of 2 recognized organizations. These evaluations found that:
- third party surveyors knew the requirements of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and Transport Canada's procedures
- sometimes survey and inspection information was missing, incorrect, or not recorded in a timely way, including issues found during handover or monitoring inspections, and dry docking intervals
- Transport Canada's instructions were followed inconsistently
- some vessels had expired exemptions from the Marine Technical Review Board, which means the vessels did not meet the requirements of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001
- the corrections from recognized organizations were not always properly done, or had not been shared beyond the local office
- survey and inspection results were not always vetted, which sometimes led to errors
- some instructions from Transport Canada need to be updated
The branch also felt that we could improve the procedures and instructions for evaluating the performance of authorized third parties by:
- consistently following-up on the analysis and corrective action plans provided by the recognized organizations, and
- making sure that both the Marine Safety and Security branch and recognized organizations get updates on the rollout of action plans
Small Vessel Manufacturers and Importers Compliance Program
Background: Small Vessel Manufacturers and Importers Compliance Program
Marine Safety and Security branch's Small Vessel Manufacturers and Importers Compliance Program oversees the rules for manufacturers and importers of small vessels to make sure that vessels meet Canadian construction requirements, which are in Parts 7, 8 and 9 of the Small Vessel Regulations, under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
The goal of the Program is to make sure a vessel meets these requirements before it is sold. The Program is for pleasure craft that are less than 24 metres long, and small commercial vessel that are less than 15 gross tonnage. It excludes commercial fishing vessels.
To show compliance, manufacturers and importers of small vessels manufacturers must:
- give the Marine Safety and Security branch a declaration of conformity for each vessel model
- put a compliance notice on each vessel
- give the branch an annual production report
- get, or register, a manufacturer's identification code from Transport Canada, and
- put a hull identification number on the vessel
Inspection Cycle: Small Vessel Manufacturers and Importers Compliance Program
The Small Vessel Manufacturers and Importers Compliance Program does 2 types of inspections:
- administrative monitoring (where we ask a manufacturer or importer to send us documents to prove that they are following the Safe Vessel Regulations), and
- on-site visits (where an inspector visits the offices of a manufacturer or importer)
We monitor or inspect manufacturers or importers when:
- we get a complaint about non-compliance (for example, no compliance notice, or customer did not get a copy of the declaration of conformity)
- we find that the company does not have a good understanding of construction requirements
- the information in companies' annual production report does not match the information in our records
- a Boating Safety Officer or Field Inspector recommends it
- there is a compliance-related incident (for example, we are notified of an alleged safety defect)
- a company is randomly chosen for a spot check
Inspection activities, results and statistics: Small Vessel Manufacturers and Importers Compliance Program
In 2019-20, the Small Vessel Manufacturers and Importers Compliance Program:
- issued 59 manufacturer identification codes
- received and processed 472 declarations of conformity, and
- received and processed 57 annual production reports
Administrative monitoring is working well, but some improvements could still make the program more efficient. We are developing a policy to use a risk-based approach to monitor companies that build and import small vessels. This will give the program more tools to oversee this part of the sector.
Service Station Monitoring
Background: Service Station Monitoring
The Service Stations Monitoring Oversight Program was updated in 2018. It looks at the entire maintenance process to make sure that the process follows the rules for service stations in schedule IV of the Life Saving Equipment Regulations. The Program looks at service station procedures and facilities.
Inspection cycle: Service Station Monitoring
A key program update was creating an inventory so Transport Canada could monitor service stations across the country. Most service stations were monitored within the program's first year in order to raise awareness and confirm that all stations comply with the requirements. Service station monitoring uses a risk-based approach, and most service stations are also inspected by recognized organisations which certify them as authorized service providers.
Inspection activities, results and statistics: Service Station Monitoring
In 2019-20, the branch found only 13 issues while inspecting 11 service stations. These issues were mostly administrative in nature (for example: missing information on a certificate, not having the latest paper copy of the regulations, etc.). The small number of issues found shows that the branch has done a great job increasing awareness of the 2018 program updates.
Flag State Certification and Compliance Monitoring
Background: Flag State Certification and Compliance Monitoring
Under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 all commercial marine vessels that are more than than 15 gross tonnage, or that carry more than 12 passenger, must carry safety inspection certificates and other Canadian maritime documents. In order to get Canadian maritime documents, vessels are inspected by Transport Canada or a recognized organization.
Inspection Cycle: Flag State Certification and Compliance Monitoring
As part of Flag State certification and compliance monitoring, commercial vessels that need to carry a certificate must be inspected before they enter service.
After the first inspection, vessels are inspected every:
- for passenger vessels of more than 15 gross tonnage or that carry 12 or more passengers
- for commercial vessels of more than 150 gross tonnage
- 4 or 5 years
- for commercial non-passenger vessels between 15 and 150 gross tonnage
Transport Canada also inspects all commercial vessels using a risk-based approach, regardless of whether the vessel carries an inspection certificate or not. These inspections make sure that vessels comply the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and regulations made under the act.
In addition to these inspections, the Marine Safety and Security branch runs concentrated inspection campaigns to address specific areas where a high number of issues have been found. These campaigns also help us see how the sector adjusts to new regulatory or international convention requirements.
Inspection Activities, Results and Statistics: Flag State Certification and Compliance Monitoring
In 2019-20, the Marine Safety and Security branch conducted:
- 4,675 regular inspections and
- 1,802 risk-based monitoring inspections
Of these inspections:
- 4,377 (68%) found no issues
- 6,978 individual issues were found during the other 2,100 inspections
- 6 major issues led to vessel detentions (less than 0.1% of all issues found)
- 3,423 other issues were corrected before the vessel left port
- 48% of issues were related to fire safety, life saving appliances and machinery
- 21% of issues were related to documentation
- 13% of issues were related to the hull, structure or load line
- 11% of issues were related to navigation or radio equipment
The Marine Safety and Security branch analyzes inspection data every quarter in order to adjust the inspection and monitoring program. The risks we identify through this process can lead to:
- Ship Safety Bulletins for the owners and operators of commercial vessels, and other interested stakeholders
- new instructions and guidance to Marine Safety Inspectors, and
- new or updated regulations and policies
Background and Inspection Cycle: Cargo Inspections
Transport Canada inspects vessels loading high risk cargo like bulk grain, bulk concentrates and timber on deck for export. This is required by the Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations in order to make sure that these cargoes are loaded in accordance with safety practices and requirements. These inspections help to make sure that loaded vessels are stable, and cargo is properly stowed and secured. Properly stowed cargo protects both seafarers and the environment because it is less likely to spill or cause a vessel to capsize.
We also approve a shipper's procedures for sampling, testing and controlling the moisture content of solid bulk cargoes which may liquefy as required by the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code. The approval for a shipper of solid bulk cargoes which may liquefy is valid for 5 years. 100% of these loadings and applications for approval are inspected.
The Marine Safety and Security branch uses a risk-based approach to inspect freight containers loaded with packaged dangerous goods. We carry out inspections according to recommendations from the International Maritime Organization. We inspect at least 600 containers every year.
When issues are found during an inspection, the vessel must fix all of the issues before it leaves port.
Inspection Activities, Results and Statistics: Cargo Inspections
Cargo inspection data is captured on a calendar year basis.
- In 2019, 1,550 ships loading grain, concentrates, and timber for export were inspected under the Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations. In 2020, 1,706 of those ships were inspected. The Marine Safety and Security Branch has noticed that the number of vessels inspected for the loading of bulk cargo, the amount of cargo that the vessels load and the value of those cargoes has increased every year.
- In 2015, Transport Canada began verifying shippers' procedures for cargoes which may liquefy. As such, we expect more renewal requests in the future. In 2019, we verified the procedures of 7 shippers. In 2020, we verified 4 shippers, and renewed 10 verifications.
- In 2019, 743 cargo transport units were inspected and 215 (29%) of these units had issues. In 2020, 496 units were inspected (fewer units were inspected due to COVID-19 restrictions) and 187 (38%) of these units had issues. The most common issue was regarding the stowing and securing of the dangerous materials in the units.
Port State Control Inspections
Background: Port State Control Inspections
The Marine Safety and Security branch inspects foreign commercial vessels that come to Canadian ports as required under the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) on Port State Control. These vessels are inspected to make sure that they are following International Maritime Organization and International Labour Organization rules.
Inspection Cycle: Port State Control Inspections
The Marine Safety and Security branch uses a risk-based approach for Port State Control inspections. This approach takes into account a vessel's:
- type and age
- inspection history
- flag performance, and
- the recognized organization associated with the vessel
The branch's Canadian Tanker Inspection Program also inspects all foreign tankers on their first visit to a Canadian port, and then every year after that. The program's goal is to inspect all tankers that enter Canadian ports, every year.
Inspection Activities, Results and Statistics: Port State Control Inspections
In 2019-20, Port State Control performed 1,516 inspections. 636 of the inspections found issues and 21 vessels were detained because of these issues. The Marine Safety and Security branch conducted 513 Canadian Tanker Inspections in 2019-20.
Air Emission Inspections
Transport Canada's Port State Control Officers inspect the air emissions from vessels to make sure they comply with the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex VI. MARPOL Annex VI sets limits on sulphur- and nitrogen oxide emissions from ship exhausts and bans emissions of ozone-depleting substances and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
During inspection, Port State Control Officers make sure that:
- equipment onboard complies with relevant statutory certificates
- the Master and Officers are qualified and familiar with operations, and
- equipment is well maintained and works properly
The Marine Safety and Security branch takes action if issues are found. The Master will always be told to fix the issue, but if there is a serious issue the vessel will be detained until the issue is fixed. In 2019-20, Port State Control inspections found 37 issues under MARPOL Annex VI.
Ballast Water Inspections
Background and Inspection Cycle: Ballast Water Inspections
Canadian and foreign ships entering the Great Lakes must change their ballast water at sea. 100% of vessels entering the Great Lakes are inspected for this. Transport Canada shares ballast water inspection duties with our partners: the U.S. St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Ballast water inspections in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in Canada are risk-based and done by Port State Control. The Marine Safety and Security branch checks the documentation of all ships going to the Arctic, but does not test ballast water, although we inspect and check the salinity of ballast water for ships going to Milne Inlet – Baffinland. Salinity must be more than 30 parts per thousand.
Inspection Activities, Results and Statistics: Ballast Water Inspections
In 2019-20, Transport Canada conducted:
- 1459 ballast water inspections for the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway. We share the responsibility for inspecting Great Lakes ballast water with our partners.
- 880 ballast water inspections of vessels travelling in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Audits of Programs and Courses Delivered by Recognized Marine Training Institutions
Background: Audits of Programs and Courses Delivered by Recognized Marine Training Institutions
Recognized marine training institutions are training providers or schools that deliver Transport Canada-approved training courses and training programs. Through these courses and programs people can get certificates of competency, certificates of proficiency, and endorsements.
In order to be approved by Transport Canada, recognized institutions must go through the following process approvals:
- course and program approval
- assessment of competence
- evaluation of qualifications and experience of instructors and assessors
- instructor approval
- training institution approval
- document review, and
- recognized institution audits
Inspection Cycle, Inspection Activities, Results and Statistics: Audits of Programs and Courses Delivered by Recognized Marine Training Institutions
As required by Marine Personnel Regulations Section 114, audits of recognized marine training institutions are completed every five years after the initial approval audit.
The goal of the audits is to ensure that all approved courses and programs are:
- offered at locations with appropriate facilities
- properly designed to meet industry needs
- delivered by qualified personnel
- evaluating students fairly, and
- structured so that the learning system and the learning method improve with experience
In 2019-20, the Marine Safety and Security branch audited 24 marine training institutions. The branch approved three recognized marine training institutions and 60 recognized marine training programs.
Problems, concerns, complaints, suggestions and irregularities regarding all aspects of recognized marine training institutions and their certification is addressed by Transport Canada's Marine Safety and Security branch in a consistent and effective manner based on their magnitude and the degree of risk involved.
Organizational Contact Information
Transport Canada welcomes your comments on this report