RDIMS No .: 17958536
Date (Y-M-D) : 2022-03-01
This bulletin replaces Ship Safety Bulletin No. 25/2020
This bulletin informs seafarers of the terms and conditions regarding the two distinct periods of validity and expiry dates that will now appear on their Marine Medical Certificate (MMC). This bulletin clarifies and applies the policy decision to extend the period of validity of a Marine Medical Certificate (MMC) for seafarers who are masters and crew members of Canadian flagged vessels engaged on a voyage in domestic waters.
This bulletin applies to seafarers working onboard Canadian flagged vessels who must hold an MMC under subsection 200(7) of the Marine Personnel Regulations.
What you need to know
As of March 1, 2022, Transport Canada under section 278 of the Marine Personnel Regulations will issue MMCs with two distinct expiry dates.
These new MMCs will specify a date valid for use on voyages to which the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention applies. This date is indicated as the “STCW expiry date”, which may be valid for up to 2 years from the date of the marine medical examination.
These new MMCs will also specify a date valid for use on a voyage made within Canadian domestic waters. This date will be indicated on the document as the “domestic voyage expiry date,” which may be valid for up to 5 years from the date of the marine medical examination (see Annex).
Please note that a MMC with any geographical limitations, subject to the seafarer’s unique health circumstances, will receive no more than 2 years of validity from the date of the marine medical examination.
The new implementation will not apply to lost certificates that were issued before March 1, 2022. Any replacement certificate will reflect the expiry date at the time the original certificate was issued.
Canadian seafarers are reminded that it is their own responsibility to ensure that they hold a valid medical certificate for the vessel’s intended voyage. Masters of Canadian vessels are reminded that they must not employ on board a seafarer who does not hold an MMC valid for the vessel’s intended voyage.
Canadian seafarers are advised to verify the expiry date specified on the face of their MMC to ensure they have a valid certificate and, if required, schedule a marine medical examination.
A MMC with a validity period greater than 2 years shall not be issued when, for reasons of unique health circumstances, the MMC also bears a limitation to any voyage other than an unlimited voyage.
Canadian seafarers are reminded that the domestic expiry date on an MMC is only valid on board Canadian-flagged vessels engaged on the following voyages:
- A sheltered waters voyage;
- An inland voyage;
- A near coastal voyage, Class 2 that is carried out exclusively within 25 nautical miles from shore in Canada: or
- A near coastal voyage, Class 1 that is carried out exclusively in the
- Gulf of St-Lawrence and in the Cabot Strait, west of a line that is 25 nautical miles seaward of a straight line joining Cape Canso at 45°18'22'' N, 60°56'17'' W and Cape Pine at 46°36'49'' N, 53°32'30'' W,
- Queen Charlotte Sound and Hecate Strait, east of a line that is 25 nautical miles seaward of a straight line joining Winifred Island at 50°39'40'' N, 128°22'00'' W, and Kunghit Island at 51°56' 37'' N, 131° 01’ 52'' W, or
- waters that are contiguous to the south west coast of Vancouver Island that are located north of a line joining 48°21'30" N, 125°24'00'' W to 48°07'12" N, 126°02'08" W to 49°42' 00" N, 128°04'43".
Please note that a voyage to Saint Pierre and Miquelon is an international voyage requiring a MMC valid for up to 2 years from the date of the marine medical examination.
Very Important - The validity of a MMC of more than 2 years does not:
- apply to seafarers that work on vessels that make an international voyageFootnote 1 other than an inland voyage; or
- affect the validity period of a provisional medical certificate issued by a marine medical examiner, or authorized health care professional, which can be no more than 6 months.
Map 1 - Domestic voyage limits on the Atlantic coast
Map 2 – Domestic voyage limits on the Pacific coast
The domestic expiry date and extended validity period do not apply to seafarers who hold a valid pilot license or pilotage certificate. Medical reports issued under the General Pilotage Regulations (Section 5), are still valid for a maximum of 2 years beginning on the day of its issuance.
STCW Certificate of Competency
Seafarers who hold a Standard for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code (STCW) Certificate of Competency and work on a vessel that makes international voyages will still need to hold a valid marine medical certificate that meets the requirements of section A-I/9 of the STCW. These medical certificates remain valid for a maximum of 2 years from the date of the marine medical examination.
1. Marine medical certificate
2. Domestic marine medical certificate
3. Domestic waters
Questions concerning this Bulletin should be addressed to:
Marine Safety and Security
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street, 11th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8
Contact us at: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone: 1-855-859-3123 (Toll Free).