Bulletin No.: 11/2007

RDIMS No.: 3684584
Date (Y-M-D): 2007-11-01


Subject: Marine Emergency Duties Training for Personnel on Small Commercial Vessels

This Bulletin replaces Ship Safety Bulletin No. 01/2007.


This bulletin explains Transport Canada’s ( TC ) policy regarding required training in Marine Emergency Duties ( MED ) with respect to basic safety and on-board familiarization and safety training for masters and crew members working on small vessels as stipulated in section 205 of the Marine Personnel Regulations ( MPR ).  Through this Bulletin, TC is maintaining an enforcement deadline of April 1, 2008 for masters and crew members who have not taken the mandatory MED basic safety training related to their duties on board small vessels.


In 1997, TC amended the Crewing Regulations to make MED courses mandatory for fish harvesters by July 30, 2000.  In recognition of the scope of implementation, TC initially extended this date to July 30, 2002.  As a result of concerns expressed by fish harvesters and training institutions in meeting this deadline, on November 6, 2002, TC further extended the deadline to require all fish harvesters to register for their course before July 30, 2003, with all training to be completed by April 1, 2007.

It is recognized that the fishing industry has put considerable effort in trying to get fish harvesters trained in the past number of years.

To allow those remaining to receive the mandatory training, the industry has asked TC to consider granting an extension on the basis that those who have not received the training would be allowed to work on ships if they are registered for the mandatory training at an approved institution by April 1, 2008.

The MED training is designed to enhance the basic safety awareness of a ship’s complement.  These courses train seafarers in the principles of basic safety at sea such as emergency response to first aid, fire and abandon ship situations. MED training has been required on large commercial vessels since the late 1970’s.

On July 1st 2007 Canada Shipping Act, 2001 came into force and various levels of basic safety training and their applications are now specified in the MPR , section 205.

Any person assigned a function on a vessel shall receive the on-board familiarization and safety training set out in TP 4957 - Marine Emergency Duties Training Courses, before starting to fulfill any duty on the vessel.  In addition, every member of the complement,  who is required to be on board in order for the vessel to meet the safe manning requirements, shall have appropriate MED training with respect to basic safety. 

TC Policy

Through this bulletin, TC is adopting the following policy:

  • TC maintains provision of  a grace period and will not take enforcement action on vessels of not more than 150 gross tonnage if a member of the complement  can show a proof of registration on a MED course that takes place prior to April 1, 2008.
  • In cases where the master cannot provide evidence that members of the complement have either taken the course or are enrolled in a MED course, the attending TC Marine Safety inspector will issue a Marine Safety Notice (SI-07) (Form No. 85-0016), making the master responsible to ensure corrective action.
  • The authorized representative and the master of a vessel are responsible for complying with all applicable safety standards and regulations when operating the vessel.
  • For the purposes of MPR , subsection 205(3), a training certificate from previously conducted approved MED A4 is valid:
    1. in lieu of the Pleasure Craft Operator Card; and 
    2. on vessels of not more than 15 gross tonnage operating not more than 2 miles from shore in sheltered waters, other than passenger carrying vessels and fishing vessels.
  • The minimum complement of a vessel will be indicated on its safe manning document. In case of vessels that do not require a safe manning document, for the purpose of subsection 205(3) of the MPR , all members of the complement are deemed to be  required to be on board in order for the vessel to meet the safe manning requirements (pursuant to MPR 207(3)(i)).



The following document is available for downloading or viewing:



Marine Emergency Duties Training for Personnel on Small Commercial Vessels (32 KB) 

To access the Portable Document Format ( PDF ) version you must have a PDF reader installed. If you do not already have such a reader, there are numerous PDF readers available for free download or for purchase on the Internet:

Questions concerning this bulletin should be addressed to:
1. Marine Personnel Regulations
2. Crewing Regulations
3. Basic Safety Training
4. MED
5. Small commercial vessels
6. Small fishing vessels
Capt. Jules St-Laurent
Transport Canada
Marine Safety
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street, 8th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8