Annex D - Direction & Control of Commercial Shipping

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A. Purpose

To delineate the working relationship between Transport Canada and Fisheries & Oceans with respect to direction and control of defective, deficient, damaged or hazardous vessels which are in, or intend to enter Canadian waters without attracting liabilities to the Crown but ensure operational safety and protection of the marine environment.

B. Definitions

Defective Ship:  
Means a ship that complies with Part XV of the Canada Shipping Act or the AWPPA and regulations made thereunder, except that an item or items of the compulsorily fitted pollution prevention or navigational equipment are defective and there has been no opportunity to make repairs, or a chart or charts appropriate to the voyage could not be obtained despite all reasonable effort, or the ship has been involved in an incident that has affected its seaworthiness. Deficient Ship: Means a ship that does not comply with Part XV of the Canada Shipping Act or the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, or a regulation made thereunder.

Marine Casualty:
 Is a reportable marine incident as defined by in the Canadian
Transportation Accident Investigation Board Act.

C. Officers of Primary Interest

For the purpose of this annex, inquiries may be addressed to, and issues of concern may be raised with either of these offices:

  • Transport Canada: Director General, Marine Safety
  • Fisheries & Oceans: Director, Marine Communication & Traffic Services

D. International Conventions, Legislation & Regulations

  1. Canada Shipping Act, Parts XV & XVI
  2. The Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations
  3. The MARPOL Code
  4. Port State Control Agreement
  5. Arctic Shipping Pollution Prevention Regulations

E. Responsibilities and Authorities

  1. Marine Communication & Traffic Services ( MCTS ) Centres are the recognised communication hubs and are responsible for issuance of clearances to all ships transiting or intending to transit Canadian waters. No vessel, which has identified problems (defective, deficient or a casualty), shall be cleared without the approval of Transport Canada
  2. In the case of serious or potentially serious problems (defective, deficient or a casualty), the clearance will be discussed by the regional heads of the Canadian Coast Guard and Transport Canada Marine Safety.
  3. To meet the needs of the marine industry, Transport Canada Marine Safety will maintain a 24-hour, year-round emergency duty officer, with whom MCTS operations will communicate. Transport Canada will provide professionally qualified personnel to direct and control defective, deficient and damaged or hazardous vessels as required under emergency conditions.
  4. When necessary, Transport Canada and Fisheries & Oceans will jointly determine, together with the appropriate port authority, access of the foregoing vessels to ports of refuge. Transport Canada will determine whether the vessel is seaworthy for the transit to the specified port.
  5. Transport Canada and Fisheries & Oceans will jointly approve salvage operations, emergency lightering or discharge of cargo.
  6. Fisheries & Oceans, when practical, will make its resources (ships and aircraft) available to Transport Canada to carry out its functions with respect to the direction and control of defective, deficient, damaged or hazardous vessels.

F. Procedures and Consultations

  1. Fisheries & Oceans, MCTS will normally provide the communication link to vessels and issue clearance to defective, deficient, damaged or hazardous ships only after consultation with Transport Canada, Marine Safety. When there is a potential threat to the environment, Marine Safety will consult with the Canadian Coast Guard.
  2. Transport Canada, Marine Safety will maintain a 24- hour, year-round response capability to respond to routine and emergency situations as outlined above (Section D: Responsibilities & Authorities).
  3. For serious incidents, Transport Canada will set up an independent team of marine surveyors (Ship Rapid Assessment Team) in each region to correlate and evaluate shipboard data and plans to provide rapid technical guidance with respect to a ship's residual damaged stability and longitudinal strength. The Transport Canada representative on the Coast Guard emergency response team will liaise with this team and provide advice.
  4. Jointly investigate the sharing of a common database and content thereof to ensure reciprocal access to information and adequate implementation of joint department objectives subject to Transport Canada Security Manual, TP 789.

G. Signing Authorities

M. Turner
Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries & Oceans
R. Jackson
Assistant Deputy Minister,
Safety & Security
Transport Canada



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