Coming into force of the Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations - SSB No.: 27/2023

RDIMS No .: 19785960
Date (Y-M-D) : 2023-12-21

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This bulletin gives general information about the Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations and related standards. The Regulations and standards came into force on December 20, 2023.


Part 1Requirements – applies to:

  • Canadian Safety Convention passenger vessels
  • Canadian non-Convention passenger vessels that are 24 m or longer
  • Canadian cargo vessels that are 24 m or longer
  • foreign vessels in Canadian waters (section 117 only)

Part 2Crew Accommodation Spaces and Recreational Facilities – applies to Canadian vessels of all sizes.

Part 3Additional Requirements – applies to Canadian vessels that are 24 m or longer. Part 3 outlines requirements for elevators and towing. It also outlines fire protection requirements for Canadian vessels without mechanical means of propulsion.

Part 4 includes the transitional provision, consequential and related amendments, repeals, and the coming into force provision.

The Regulations contain grandfathering provisions which allow vessels constructed before December 20, 2023, to keep following the requirements that were in place when they were constructed except for:

  • vessels or parts of vessels that are modified after December 20, 2023
  • vessels registered in Canada after December 20, 2023
  • certain requirements related to life saving, intact stability, and damage stability

These Regulations do not apply to fishing vessels or pleasure craft.


The Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations combine the requirements for design, construction, stability, systems, and equipment, mainly for vessels that are 24 m or longer. They simplify the regulatory framework to make sure Canadian requirements are clear and consistent with international requirements, modern standards, and industry best practices.

The Regulations also combine construction requirements for crew accommodation spaces, which were previously spread over multiple regulations.

The Regulations outline fire protection requirements for vessels without mechanical means of propulsion. They bring back requirements from previous regulations that were not included in the Vessel Fire Safety Regulations.

What you need to know

The following regulations have been fully repealed (cancelled):

  • Crew Accommodation Regulations
  • Ships’ Elevator Regulations
  • Steering Appliances and Equipment Regulations
  • Towboat Crew Accommodation Regulations

Crew accommodation construction requirements are also repealed from the Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (MOHSR), made under the Canada Labour Code.

The following regulations no longer apply to vessels which fall under the Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations:

  • Hull Construction Regulations
  • Marine Machinery Regulations
  • Life Saving Equipment Regulations

The Canadian Modifications for the Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations (TP 15415) outlines changes to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention and title 3 of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. These changes include relaxed, alternative, or additional safety requirements for vessels only operating domestically and closer to shore, for example.

Key provisions in the Regulations

  • Includes the chapters of the SOLAS Convention related to design, construction, stability, systems and equipment
  • Sea inlet design and construction requirements for domestic vessels and foreign vessels that navigate in frazil ice or slush ice conditions in the internal waters of Canada
  • Includes title 3 of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 and related construction and equipment requirements for crew accommodation spaces and recreational facilities
    • This complements previous requirements in the Crew Accommodations Regulations and Towboat Crew Accommodations Regulations
  • Additional requirements for elevators and towing
  • Additional requirements for fire protection on vessels without mechanical means of propulsion
  • Sets administrative monetary penalties (fines) for violating the Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations


2. Construction
3. Equipment
4. Accomodations

Questions concerning this Bulletin should be addressed to:


Transport Canada
Marine Safety and Security
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street, 11th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

Contact us at: Email: or Telephone: 1-855-859-3123 (Toll Free).