Marine crew deemed essential - SSB No.: 06/2020

RDIMS No .: 16379658
Date (Y-M-D) : 2020-03-19

We issue Ship Safety Bulletins for the marine community. Visit our Website at to view existing bulletins and to sign up to receive e-mail notices of new ones.

This bulletin has been replaced by Ship Safety Bulletin No. 09/2020


To provide you with a copy of the signed Exemption from the “Prohibition from Entry Into Canada Order”.


Pursuant to subparagraph 3(1)(ii) of the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada), the exemption allows crew members (foreign seafarers) within the meaning of section 2 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, other than a pleasure craft within the meaning of that section, who have to travel to Canada to work on a ship to board an international flight destined to Canada. Please note that Transport Canada Aviation Security has disseminated this information to all aviation airline carriers.


Crew changes are regular occurrences in the maritime sector. Once seafarers finish their required sea service, they fly home to their families and a relief crew must replace them. These exchanges are critical to the flow of marine trade.

The marine transportation sector provides a vital service to all Canadians in ensuring that goods (food, medicine, and other essential products) arrive safely in our ports. The marine sector is important to the well-being of the Canadian economy and is vital for the integrity of the overall supply chain.


The airline passenger (seafarer) joining a vessel in Canada as a crew member will have in his/her possession a seafarer identity document issued in accordance with the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention, 2003 (ILO Convention No 185) supplemented by a passport; or other seafarer documentation, including proof of employment by a vessel operating out of a Canadian port; and a visa, if required.


1. Coronavirus
2. Essential services
3. Crew exemptions

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).