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4.1 Documentation and Vessel Reporting Procedures

The purpose of this section is to briefly describe and clarify the vessel reporting procedures required for a ship approaching, within, or departing the Arctic Canada Traffic Zone ( NORDREG ). In its most basic form there are three different categories of reporting procedures:

  1. General, NORDREG Reporting:
    Entering the Zone / 1600 UTC Report / Exiting the Zone / etc. The publication, Notices To Mariners 1 to 46, Annual Edition ( Ref. 4) contains a section (Notices to Mariners # C26) that describes in detail, the type and exact content of all NORDREG messages.
  2. Coast Guard Icebreaker Escort:
    Prior to an icebreaker escort, the vessel requesting assistance may be required to send a brief message to the icebreaker containing general information needed to asses the following (escorted) ship’s capabilities. The content of this message may be found in Section 2.7.2 of the publication, Ice Navigation In Canadian Waters. (Section 8.3, 3.)

    - It is not within the scope of this document to describe NORDREG or icebreaker messages because their content is covered in Section 8.2, References 3 and 4.
  3. Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System Messages:
    Whenever the Ice Regime System is used for voyages outside of the existing Zone/Date System, there will be a requirement for ships to submit the following two messages:
    1. Ice Regime Routing Message
    2. After Action Report

(This reporting system will be used during the transitional implementation phase and reviewed or modified as considered necessary before full implementation of the Ice Regime System. It should also be noted that reporting is part of the feedback program.)

Sections 6(3) and 6(3.1) of the Arctic Shipping Pollution Prevention Regulations and the Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System Standards both describe in detail the regulatory requirements of both the Ice Regime Routing Message and the After Action Report. A primary role of the User Assistance Package is to describe all the aspects of what is required to comply with both the Regulations and the Standards.

  • All of these reports constitute part of radio traffic that can be sent free of charge, through any Marine Communications and Traffic Services ( MCTS ) Centre.

(Radio Aids To Marine Navigation)

4.2 Ice Regime Routing Message

For a ship wishing to operate outside the calendar dates of the Zone/Date System, an Ice Regime Routing Message must be sent to the Regional Ice Operations Superintendent at NORDREG containing the following information:

To: Regional Ice Operations Superintendent
NORDREG Canada....................... Facsimile: (867) 979 - 4236


  1. the ship’s name,
  2. the ship’s call sign and IMO number
  3. the ice strengthening of the ship (Type / CAC / Arctic Class / etc. ),
  4. the date and UTC time,
  5. the ship’s current position, course and speed*,
  6. the anticipated destination,
  7. the intended route,
  8. a listing of the ice regimes and their associated Ice Numerals,
  9. the source(s) of ice information,
  10. any other pertinent information / comments
  11. the name of any escorting vessel, and
  12. the name(s) of the Ice Navigator(s) on board


* Course & Speed are not required by the ASPPR but they are by the AIRSS Standards. Providing this information will offer an indication of the vessel’s current status in the ice prior to applying the Ice Regime System and can be analysed later for future requirements.

This message is intended to be brief and may only be sent once per voyage. However if the vessel’s route includes regimes with apparent negative Ice Numerals, it is required that additional information be included explaining the voyage plan ( eg. expected changes in ice conditions and / or other considerations). For those that wish to use the Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System software, the Ice Regime Routing Message can easily be created. (Refer to Section 8.4.)

Later, during the voyage, if there are any changes or amendments to the ship’s original Ice Regime Routing Message, those changes should be attached to NORDREG ’s regular 1600 UTC Report.

4.3 After Action Report

An After Action Report must be submitted to Transport Canada (either in writing, by facsimile, or digitally using the Ice Regime Software) within 30 days of departing NORDREG waters for all voyages where the Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System was utilized outside the Zone / Date System.

The report can be quite brief and for those who have used the Ice Regime Software during the voyage, this report can be generated automatically. In cases where the voyage has involved difficulties or unexpected occurrences, it will be valuable to include any information which the Master considers significant. This information could be useful for the future development of the system and for the overall safety of navigation in the Arctic.

To: Regional Director, Marine
Prairie & Northern Region
Transport Canada ( AMNS )
Place de Ville, Tower C
330 Sparks Street, 14th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N5
Telephone: (613) 991 - 6004
Facsimile: (613) 991 - 4818


  1. the ship’s name,
  2. the ice strengthening of the ship (Type / CAC / Arctic Class / etc. ),
  3. a description of the actual route, including the: ice regimes encountered, transit speeds and the Ice Numerals for each,
  4. copies of the ice information used,
  5. escort information, if applicable
    1. duration of the escort,
    2. the ice regime under escort, and,
    3. the characteristics of the track,
  6. weather conditions and visibility, and
  7. any other important information.


4.3.1 Ice Charts or Imagery

To fulfill the requirements of d) above “copies of the ice information used”, it is suggested that copies of ice analysis charts or imagery that were used on the voyage be attached to the After Action Report and to make reporting easier for Ship’s Officers, the vessel’s courses could be drawn over the ice charts along with brief notations that describe the regimes or conditions of concern. This could, in essence save a lot of time and text writing.

Duplicates of ice reconnaissance or satellite imagery is not required for submission due to its high cost, however photocopies of the data, if relevant to the report should be included.

4.4 General Reporting Guidelines:

  1. Under Section 6(3) of the ASPPR ,

    “ ship that carries oil in a quantity in excess of 453 may navigate... outside the... [the Zone / Date System]... unless... the master of the ship receives an acknowledgment of the [Ice Regime Routing] message sent... from the Canadian Coast Guard [ NORDREG ] before entering...”

    In other words... if a ship is to apply the Ice Regime System outside of the existing Zone / Date System, there will be a requirement to not only submit an Ice Regime Routing Message, but also the vessel must wait for NORDREG to acknowledge the routing message. NORDREG does not grant permission, rather they check that the request appears reasonable, and if not, request additional information or clarification.
  2. Item ‘g)’ in the Ice Regime Routing Message, the intended route may be described either as a series of Way Points or in a descriptive text format - whichever is easier. As an example the text could be: ranges & bearings, latitudes & longitudes, A/C to 322°T, steam for 23’, 8’ North of Bylot Is. , intend to stay to the East of a -6 regime, etc. While submitting the Ice Regime Routing Message, several items could in fact be covered with a facsimiled copy of an ice chart with courses plotted and the Ice Numerals written in the appropriate regimes.
  3. To assist mariners with the Ice Regime Routing Message a fill-in-the-boxes template has been provided on page 27 in the AIRSS Standards (last page). It is designed to be photocopied, filled in and then facsimiled.
  4. If there is any information that may have an impact on the Standards it should be submitted in the After Action Report, to authenticate any proposed future changes.
  5. Part of the User Assistance Package is a software package developed called the Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System Software that may be of assistance in applying the Ice Regime System. The software itself, has been designed to encourage logging all the ice regimes encountered, icebreaker escort periods and even offers both a pre-designed Ice Regime Routing Message and an After Action Report. If the software is used correctly, the reports (printed or on diskette) will meet all of Transport Canada’s regulatory reporting requirements.
  6. The Ice Observation Log on the following page may also assist with recording ice information and could form part of the submission for the After Action Report.
  7. After the transitional period (several seasons) is terminated, and if the Ice Regime System is fully implemented, the After Action Reports would be required “only by exception1”, which means if the voyage was uneventful and only positive Ice Numerals were encountered this report may not be required.

4.5 Pollution Prevention Officers

Pollution Prevention Officers ( PPO ’s) are authorized by law to exercise specific powers described in the AWPPA of 1972. The Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System does not change this laws’ application. Under Section 15(4) of the AWPPA , a PPO has the authority to direct a ship clear of any area at any time.

Powers in relation to ships:

15. (4) A pollution prevention officer may

  1. board any ship that is within a shipping safety control zone and conduct such inspections thereof as will enable the officer to determine whether the ship complies with standards prescribed by any regulations made under section 12 that are applicable to it within that shipping safety control zone;
  2. order any ship that is in or near a shipping safety control zone to proceed outside the zone in such manner as the officer may direct, to remain outside the zone or to anchor in a place selected by the officer, if
    1. the officer suspects, on reasonable grounds, that the ship fails to comply with standards prescribed by any regulations made under section 12 that are or would be applicable to it within that shipping safety control zone,
    2. the ship is within the shipping safety control zone or is about to enter the zone in contravention of a regulation made under paragraph 12(1)(b) or (c), or
    3. the officer is satisfied, by reason of weather, visibility, ice or sea conditions , the condition of the ship or its equipment or the nature or condition of its cargo, that such an order is justified in the interests of safety; and
  3. where the officer is informed that a substantial quantity of waste has been deposited in the arctic waters or has entered the arctic waters or where, on reasonable grounds, the officer is satisfied that a grave and imminent danger of substantial deposit of waste in the arctic waters exists,
    1. order all ships within a specified area of the arctic waters to report their positions to the officer, and
    2. order any ship to take part in the clean-up of the waste or in any action to control or contain the waste.

PPO ’s will take into account the ice regime information provided by ships’ Masters and from other sources that monitor marine traffic and ice conditions. This will be used to help ensure that no vessels are operating at risk of structural damage which could lead to pollution.

Unless the PPO has a valid and justifiable reason in the interest of safety to doubt that the vessel’s operations risk harming the environment, the powers of control over it will not be invoked.


Ship’s Name: Arctic Voyage 199_ Ice Strengthening
(Type / CAC / Arctic Class / etc. )

Voyage From:_____________ To:_________________ Page_____ of____

Date Time
Lat. Long. Ship's Head Ship's Speed Total
9• or
6 or
3 or 5
Vis Comm. Obs.
    " ' N " ' W "T                          
    " ' N " ' W "T                          
    " ' N " ' W "T                          
    " ' N " ' W "T                          
    " ' N " ' W "T                          
    " ' N " ' W "T                          
    " ' N " ' W "T                          
  1. A “D” following a concentration indicates that the ice is ‘Decayed’. (Increase the Ice Multiplier by +1)
  2. A “R” following a concentration of 6/10th’s or greater indicates that the ice cover is heavily (over 3/10th’s) ‘Ridged’. (Decrease the Ice Multiplier by -1)
  3. Ice Numerals ( IN ) can be calculated and included in the ‘comments’ section.
  4. Visibility is reported in Nautical Miles.
  5. While under escort, observers should report the ice concentrations of the icebreaker’s track and indicate the quantity of ‘Brash Ice’ in with the ‘Open Water’. To assist with the research process, surrounding ice conditions outside of the icebreaker’s track should be recorded.
  6. Unusual ice conditions should be photographed, and referred to by: time, date and location for later analysis



1 V.M. Santos-Pedro, CMAC Meeting, Montréal ,April 96.



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