Rules of Procedure for the Marine Technical Review Board for the Processing of Applications for Exemptions or Replacements


Section 26 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (the Act) establishes the Marine Technical Review Board (the Board) to make decisions on applications for an exemption from, or the replacement of, any requirement under the regulations in respect of a Canadian vessel or in respect of the issuance of a Canadian maritime document to a person, other than one with respect to fees.

The following rules of procedure are made by the Board pursuant to subsection 28(10) of the Act. The Act stipulates the structure, duties, powers, responsibilities and qualifications of the Board and provides the interpretation of any terms used herein. The Act and the Board’s authority and powers mentioned in the Act always prevail over these Rules, whether or not there is a conflict between these Rules and the Act.


Board Appointments

1. The following persons shall be appointed to the Board:

1.1 Chair
The Minister shall appoint the Chair of the Board.

1.2 Vice-Chairs
The Chair shall appoint a National Vice-Chair and five Regional Vice‑Chairs.


Panel Appointments

1. Pursuant to subsection 27(1), when an application is made the Chair must strike a Panel of a least three persons that shall include the Chair and may include the following:

1.1 the National Vice-Chair,

1.2 the five Regional Vice-Chairs,

1.3 Marine Safety Inspectors in Headquarters with expertise in the matter under review,

1.4 Marine Safety Inspectors in each Region with expertise in the matter under review, and

1.5 as required, any persons with expertise in the matter under review.



1. A secretariat shall be established within the staff of the Chair to provide administrative support to the Board/Panel.


Application for a Board Decision

1. An application shall be made to the Board in writing in either official language and shall be accompanied by sufficient information and documentation to permit the Panel to reach a decision.


Preparation and processing of Draft Record of Board Decision

1. The Chair or a Vice-Chair shall designate a Panel member to prepare a Draft Record of Board Decision.

2. The Draft Record shall contain all relevant details of the application and include a recommendation either

2.1 to grant the application subject to any conditions and for the period that the Panel considers appropriate, or

2.2 to deny the application with reasons for the denial.

3. The Draft Record shall be processed in accordance with the procedures established in Tier II – Procedure.  Instructions on the Preparation of Board Decisions. 


Review of Draft Record of Board Decision

1. Panel members shall review the Draft Record at a meeting or conference call, or electronically.

2. Pursuant to subsection 27(5) of the Act, matters before a panel shall be decided by a majority of the members of the Panel, the Chair having a second vote in the case of a tie.


Preparation of Final Record of Board Decision

1. The final Record of Board Decision shall

1.1 be prepared by the secretariat in both official languages;

1.2 reflect the Draft Record of Board Decision in format and content;

1.3 include the names of the Panel Members who participated in the review;

1.4 be signed by the Chair of the Board; and

1.5 bear an identification number provided by the Board Decision Database System, an effective date, and an expiry date.


Reconsideration of Board Decision

1. In accordance with subsection 28(8) of the Act, if the Chair has reason to believe that a Board Decision to grant an application was based on false or misleading information or that the information provided with the application has changed, the Chair may strike a panel in accordance with Rule 2 to reconsider the Board Decision.

2. Upon reconsideration, the Panel may confirm, cancel or vary the original Board Decision, and an endorsement to this effect, shall be attached to the original Board Decision and shall be considered as part of that Board Decision.


Notification of Board Decision

1. The Chair is to notify the applicant of the decision to grant or deny the application.

2. The National Vice-Chair shall ensure where the Board grants an exemption or a replacement to a provision of the Regulations made under the Act, that in the case of a vessel on international voyages, if the exemption or replacement is also to a provision of a Convention to which Canada is a signatory, the International Maritime Organization is notified in accordance with the relevant Convention.

3. The appropriate Regional Vice-Chair shall ensure where the Board grants an exemption or a replacement to a provision of the Regulations made under the Act, that in the case of a vessel that is in the Delegation of Statutory Inspection Program, the relevant Classification Society is notified, accordingly.


Publication and Recording of Board Decisions

1. The Secretariat shall record all Board Decisions.

2. If the Board decision is to grant the application, the Chair must publish the decision in the manner that the Chair considers appropriate.

3. At the end of each fiscal year, the National Vice-Chair shall submit a report to the Chair if there is a preponderance of Board Decisions dealing with a particular subject, a particular type of vessel, or coming from a particular Region.


Chair’s Report to the Minister

1. At the end of each fiscal year, the Chair shall submit a report to the Minister detailing for that year on a national and regional basis the number of

1.1 Board Decisions reviewed,

1.2 applications granted,

1.3 applications denied,

1.4 Board Decisions cancelled.


Amendments to the Rules of Procedure

1. The Board, with the approval of the Minister, may make amendments to these Rules.

2. The Chair may make and amend Policy, Procedures, and Work Instructions relating to the Board or Board Decisions.