Revised Temporary Measures Regarding Marine Personnel Certificates, Discharge Books, Marine Medical Certificates & Marine Counter Services (oral examinations can now be administered virtually) - SSB No.: 21/2020

RDIMS No .: 16834302
Date (Y-M-D) : 2020-10-08

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This bulletin has been replaced by Ship Safety Bulletin No. 04/2021

This Ship Safety Bulletin supersedes and repeals SSB #13/2020 issued on May 13, 2020 and SSB #20/2020 issued on August 14, 2020.


This bulletin provides revised temporary measures pertaining to marine personnel certificates, discharge books, marine medical certificates and general marine counter services implemented during the COVID-19 period in Canada, which now includes the virtual delivery of oral examinations.


This bulletin applies to:

  • Seafarers; and
  • Authorized Representatives.

What you need to know

1. Marine Personnel Certificates

Extension of Certificates

Any certificate of competency, certificate of proficiency, examiner certificate or training certificate expiring between October 2019 and March 2021, is granted an extension until March 31, 2021.

There is no requirement to submit an application to obtain this extension. It is recommended that you retain a copy of this bulletin with your certificate.

Please note that this extension does not apply to certificate upgrades.

Renewal of Certificates

Although certificates are being extended until March 31, 2021, we encourage any seafarer seeking to renew their certificate of competency to do so.

You simply need to follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Scan the relevant pages of your discharge book and signed testimonials, if applicable; and
  2. Send the scanned information by email to your local Transport Canada Marine Examination Centre.

2. Medical Certificates

Medical Certificates to work domestically:

For seafarers who require a medical certificate to work domestically, please note this Bulletin is further extending, by six months beyond its date of expiry, any marine medical certificate or provisional marine medical certificate that expires before September 30, 2020 (replacing the previous date of September 1, 2020 noted in SSB 13/2020). Be advised that this is the last extension that will be granted. There is no requirement to submit an application to obtain this extension.

Please be advised that the extended validity of a marine medical certificate does not extend the validity of a certificate of competency.

Medical Certificates to work internationally:

Transport Canada Marine Safety wishes to remind all seafarers subject to subsection 200(7) of the Marine Personnel Regulations, that they must have a valid medical certificate to work overseas. To that end, if your marine medical certificate expires after September 1, 2020, we recommend you see a Transport Canada designated Marine Medical Examiner at your earliest opportunity. Do not wait until the last minute. The list of designated Marine Medical Examiners can be found at the following link:

Also, we ask that you remind your Marine Medical Examiner to send your information to Transport Canada as soon as possible.

3. Discharge Books

Transport Canada is pleased to announce that Marine Examination Centres will resume the practice of issuing discharge books. Please contact your local Transport Canada Marine Examination Centre to make an appointment.

If you are unable to obtain a discharge book:

The Master of the vessel, the Chief Engineer, or the vessel’s Authorized Representative can record, sign and stamp seafarers' sea service using either nautical or engineering testimonial forms which are relevant to the position held. Both forms are readily available through the Transport Canada forms catalogue (Forms 82-0546 and 82-0666 respectively).

4. Marine Counter Services

To ensure the health and safety of employees and clients, and minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19, ‘walk-in’ service at Transport Canada Centres has been suspended.

However, we have expanded our ability to deliver services digitally, and have made some permanent changes to how we deliver our marine counter services, including:

  • Delivery of in-person services (e.g. written exams, issuance of discharge books) will be delivered ‘by appointment only.’ Appointments must be scheduled in advance to ensure physical distancing at Transport Canada Centres can be maintained. To schedule an appointment, contact your local Transport Canada Centre by telephone.
  • Clients are asked to make payments via telephone when making or confirming their appointment; credit cards will be the preferred method of payment.
  • The opportunity to take oral exams virtually (via Microsoft Teams) will now be available (refer to #5), while certificates of competency and certificates of proficiency may also be completed through digital means (refer to #1).
  • Coming in fall 2020, submission of electronic/digital (e.g. scanned) documentation will be available via Canada Post’s secure file transfer system (epost Connect), ensuring protection of clients’ personal information.

As always, Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security remains committed to providing services over the phone at the numbers listed below.

Our intention is to continue to improve these interim solutions to further expand our ability to deliver services that are more consistent across our regions. We also aim to offer you a greater ability to access the support and services you need, when and how you like, leveraging a variety of digital solutions.

5. Oral Examinations

In an effort to offer better services to our clients, oral examinations can now be administered using virtual tools. This will allow candidates to demonstrate their marine competencies in a secure environment, without having to physically travel to a Transport Canada office to conduct their oral examination. This does not apply to written examinations.

Please call your local office to discuss and make an appointment:

Atlantic Region:

New Brunswick

  • Bathurst: 506 548-7491
  • Saint John: 506-636-4748

Newfoundland & Labrador:

  • Corner Brook: 709-637-4390
  • Lewisporte: 709-535-2503
  • St. John’s: 709-772-3430 or 709-727-8734

Nova Scotia:

  • Dartmouth: 902-461-3860
  • Port Hawkesbury: 902-625-0803
  • Sydney: 902-564-7002
  • Yarmouth: 902-742-6860

Prince Edward Island:

  • Charlottetown: 902-566-7987 or 902-566-7986

Ontario Region:

  • Sarnia: 519-383-1826
  • Toronto.: 416-952-1018
  • Kingston: 613-545-8676
  • St. Catharine’s: 905-688-4360
  • Thunder Bay: 807-766-2600

Québec Region:

  • Îles-de-la-Madeleine: 418-986-6275
  • Montréal: 1-855-842-7042 or 514-283-0574
  • Québec: 1-888-649-6292 or 418-648-3238
  • Rimouski: 1-800-427-4417 or 418-722-3040
  • Sept-Îles: 418-968-4991

Prairie & Northern Region:

  • All offices: 1-888-463-0521

Pacific Region:

  • Vancouver: 604-666-0834
  • Prince Rupert: 250-627-3045
  • Victoria: 250-363-0394
  • Nanaimo: 250-754-0244


1. Marine Personnel Certificates
2. Medical Certificates
3. Discharge Books
4. Marine Counter Services
5. Oral Examinations

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).