Interim Policy accepting SOLAS Immersion Suits until the Completion of the Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations - SSB No.: 05/2014

PDF Version

RDIMS No .: 9483968
Date ( Y-M-D ): 2014-10-08

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This policy applies to all Canadian vessels that must carry approved marine immersion suits.


This Ship Safety Bulletin introduces Marine Safety and Security’s new interim policy, which allows the use of SOLAS immersion suits until the Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations are complete and in force.


In the past, Transport Canada only allowed immersion suits approved to CAN/CGSB 65.16, Marine Immersion Suits on Canadian vessels, as set out in the Life Saving Equipment Regulations. Vessel owners could ask Transport Canada’s Marine Technical Review Board (MTRB) for permission to use SOLAS immersion suits on a case-by-case basis.

Transport Canada is currently updating the Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations, to include the use of SOLAS immersion suits.

This policy gives vessel owners the option of using SOLAS immersion suits (meeting certain conditions) without needing to apply to the MTRB, until the new regulations come into force.

Important Conditions

Transport Canada only accepts SOLAS immersion suits that:

  • are insulated immersion suits made of material with inherent insulation (this means that a person would not need to wear a separate undergarment for thermal protection); and
  • have buoyancy and are designed to meet the immersion suit requirements without the need of a separate lifejacket.
    • This information may not be on the label. It should, however, be included on the accompanying certificate. 
    • When choosing an immersion suit, make sure that it has inherent insulation and that its label or certificate clearly indicates that you can use the suit without needing a separate lifejacket.


Labelling on SOLAS immersion suits acceptable under this policy must clearly indicate:

  • the suit is approved by Transport Canada; or
  • the suit is approved on behalf of Transport Canada by one of its Recognized Organizations:
    • American Bureau of Shipping
    • Bureau Veritas
    • Det Norske Veritas
    • Germanischer Lloyd
    • Lloyd’s Register; or
  • the suit is certified by one of the two Product Certification Bodies TC recognizes:
    • Underwriter Laboratories of Canada (ULC)
    • Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL).

The label must also clearly:

  • state that the suit complies with the IMO LSA Code (wording such as IMO LSA Code Res. MSC.48 (66) is also acceptable);
  • show the name of the manufacturer and sizing information; and
  • give information we can trace, such as date of manufacture or lot number, model designation and approval, file or certificate number.

Additional Requirements

  • The immersion suit must have a Type Approval Certificate from one of the Recognized Organizations or a Certificate of Compliance from an approved Product Certification Body. Note: Transport Canada does not accept EC Type Approval certificates.
  • All of the required instructions and markings, including storage containers and suit bags, must be in both French and English. Note: Transport Canada will accept independent signage in lieu of the instructions and markings, if it is:
    • in both French and English;
    • highly visible;
    • water and weather proof; and
    • posted at each muster station or where the immersion suit is stored.


This policy:

  • offers the Canadian public more safe options when choosing an immersion suit; and
  • eliminates the time-consuming process of applying and reviewing requests for case-by-case use of SOLAS immersion suits.

Learn more

We encourage you to consult the policy Acceptance of SOLAS Immersion Suits until the Proposed Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations are Completed at

Please direct your questions to Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security Headquarters or call us toll free at 1-855-859-3123.

The following document is available for downloading or viewing:
Interim Policy accepting SOLAS Immersion Suits until the Completion of the Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations (227 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. SOLAS Immersion Suits
  2. Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations
Julie Gascon
Transport Canada
Marine Safety and Security
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street, 11h Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

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