New navigation safety regulations - SSB No.: 23/2020

RDIMS No .: 16889859
Date (Y-M-D) : 2020-11-06

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This bulletin replaces Ship Safety Bulletin No. 09/2019


This bulletin quickly explains the new Navigation Safety Regulations, 2020. These regulations came into force on October, 28th 2020.

Read the new regulations


This bulletin applies to anyone who works in Canada’s marine industry, including vessel owners.

What you need to know

The new regulations change, combine, and modernize the following regulations into 4 parts. All these regulations, except the Steering Appliances and Equipment Regulations, have been repealed (cancelled).

Part 1: Navigation

  • Charts and Nautical Publication Regulations, 1995
  • Navigation Safety Regulations
  • Steering Appliances and Equipment Regulations (partial consolidation)
  • Voyage Data Recorder Regulations 

Part 2: Radiocommunications

  • Ship Station (Radio) Regulations, 1999
  • Ship Station (Radio) Technical Regulations, 1999
  • VHF Radiotelephone Practices and Procedures Regulations

Part 3: Limitations and prohibitions

  • Anchorage Regulations
  • Burlington Canal Regulations
  • St. Clair and Detroit River Navigation Safety Regulations

Part 4: Transitional provision, consequential amendments, repeals, and coming into force

Key changes

For reference purposes, a list of some of the key amendments of the new regulations is provided below. Consult the referenced sections for more details:

  • Incorporation by reference  of the chapter V (Safety of Navigation) of the SOLAS Convention (Section 103 and 104), this includes the requirement for a Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System
  • Electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) requirement onboard new vessels (Section 117)
  • Broader requirements for automatic identification systems (AIS) (Section 118)
  • Digital Selective Calling (DSC) capability for VHF radiotelephones (Section 204)
  • New requirements for some vessels to carry a two-way communication device outside sea area A1 (Section 206)
  • Incorporation by reference of the chapter IV (Radiocommunications) of the SOLAS Convention (Section 207)
  • New requirements for carrying of 406 Mhz emergency beacons (Section 209) for vessels that operate outside sheltered waters
  • New requirement for all vessels owners to make sure that their beacon registration information is up-to-date (Section 228)

Key dates

The new regulations came into force on October, 28th 2020 with the following exceptions as applicable:

  • New builds as of October, 28th 2021 must carry an ECDIS (Section 117)
  • The BNWAS carriage requirement for vessels that are subject to the incorporation by reference of SOLAS Chapter V and engage solely on domestic voyages applies as of January 1st, 2022.
  • Vessels that did not previously carry an AIS under the Navigation Safety Regulations must carry an AIS (Section 118) as of April, 26th 2021. 

Find more information on these exceptions in Part 4 of the regulations.


1. Navigation Safety Regulations 2020
2. Navigation Safety
3. Radiocommunication

Questions concerning this Bulletin should be addressed to:


Transport Canada
Marine Safety and Security
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

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