New safety guidelines for pleasure craft in polar waters - SSB No.: 17/2022

RDIMS No .: 17766326
Date (Y-M-D) : 2022-07-07

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 applies to:

  • all large pleasure craft (including pleasure yachts) that operate in polar waters, and
  • all Canadian pleasure craft that operate in polar waters


This bulletin is to let you know that the International Maritime Organization recently approved new Guidelines for safety measures for pleasure yachts of 300 gross tonnage and above not engaged in trade operating in polar waters (MSC.1/Circ.1642).

Transport Canada consider that these guidelines should be applied when operating a pleasure yacht of 300 gross tonnage and above in polar waters.


The International Maritime Organization has developed these guidelines to supplement existing IMO instruments and industry or national standards to protect people and vessels operating in polar waters. The guidelines will also help to limit the impact of these vessels on nearby communities and the environment.

What you need to know

Although these guidelines were written for specific vessels, Transport Canada believes that all pleasure craft with overnight accommodations and undertaking multi-day voyages should read, understand and use these guidelines when operating in polar waters.

Before voyaging in the polar waters, consider any extra training, emergency plans or operational procedures you should prepare for your vessel’s operation and crew.


1. International Maritime Organisation
2. Maritime Safety Committee
3. Guidelines for pleasure yachts
4. Polar waters

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).