Bulletin No.: 01/2003

PDF Version

RDIMS No.: 277458
Date (Y-M-D): 2003-01-07

Subject: Memorandum of Understanding Between United States Coast Guard and Transport Canada Marine Safety Respecting Mutual Recognition of Domestic Mariner Qualifications


This bulletin clarifies the effect of the subject memorandum of understanding for Canadian ships engaged in cross border trading with the United States of America.

This MOU will facilitate mutual marine trading patterns between each nation without compromise to maritime safety.


Both nations are signatory to the International Maritime Organization ( IMO ) convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for seafarers 1978 as amended.  Each nation has been found by IMO to have given full and complete effect to the STCW convention.

Both nations have agreed that their domestic regulations provide an equivalent level of safety with regard to the qualifications of officers and crew, that is:

In Canada, the Crewing Regulations and Marine Certification Regulations, and

In the United States Title 46, code of Federal Regulations, subchapter B.

Both nations have vessels that trade between or through each nation's territorial waters. Section B-I/3.2 of the STCW code allows parties that share near coastal waters to enter into bilateral agreements for the benefit of ships of their registry engaged in such voyages. Therefore, both nations have agreed to a memorandum of understanding, which can be summarized as follows:


"Consistent with Regulation I/3 of the convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping, 1978, as amended and Section B-I/3.2 of the STCW Code, it is our stated policy that vessels trading between the United States and Canada will abide by legislation for domestic (home trade) voyages, of the nation in which they are registered while engaged in cross border trade between the United States and Canada."

Note: the full text of the MOU will be made available at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/mpsp-pilotage-menu-1468.htm

Policy Clarification

The MOU allows Canadian mariners the following exceptions to the STCW Convention when trading between Canada and the United States of America:

  1. Canadian flag vessels trading may maintain the hours of rest provision stated in the present Crewing Regulations instead of those specified in the STCW Convention.
  2. Certain certificates remain valid without an STCW 95 endorsement, if accompanied by a valid continued proficiency certificate, as specified in the Crewing Regulations and Ship Safety Bulletin 10-2001.



The following document is available for downloading or viewing:



Memorandum of Understanding Between United States Coast Guard and Transport Canada Marine Safety Respecting Mutual Recognition of Domestic Mariner Qualifications (17 KB) 

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Keywords:                                  Questions concerning this bulletin should be addressed to:

1. Memorandum of Understanding
2. Domestic Mariner Qualifications
3. Domestic (home trade) voyages
4. STCW Convention
Donald Roussel
Transport Canada
Marine Safety
Tower C, Place de Ville
11th Floor, 330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

To add or change your address, contact us at: marinesafety@tc.gc.ca

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