TCMSS Certification of Existing Vessels When Inspections are Carried Out Through Recognized Organizations

Transport Publication - TP 13585 E

TP 13585 E (Online Manual)
Marine Safety Management System – Policy

PDF Version

1 Flowchart


2 Purpose

2.1 The purpose of this procedure is to specify how the AR of an existing vessel enrolled in the Delegated Statutory Inspection Program but not “in class” with a Recognized Organization can receive certification services by the Minister after one of the Recognized Organizations performs a regulatory verification inspection.

3 Authority

3.1 Section 16 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 provides the authority to the Minister of Transport to specify the form and manner in which an application for a Canadian maritime document must be made.

3.2 Paragraph 16(2)(c) of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 provides the authority to the Minister of Transport to require that the vessels or its machinery or equipment undergo any inspections that the Minister of Transport considers necessary to establish that the requirements for the issuance of the document have been met.

3.3 This policy comes under the overall administrative authority of the Director General, Marine Safety & Security, and the Marine Safety & Security Executive (MSSE) committee has approved this policy for general application.

4 Background

4.1 As part of Federal Budget 2012, Transport Canada is implementing an alternative service delivery (ASD) plan that is intended to expand the transfer of certification services, currently performed by TC, to classification societies that are authorized to act on behalf of the Minister of Transport (i.e. Recognized Organizations). Under the plan, vessels of 24 metres and above will be directed to one of Canada’s Recognized Organizations (ROs) to obtain their Canadian maritime documents and to undergo any inspections necessary to establish that the requirements for the issuance of the CMD have been met.

4.2 The policy for the ASD plan is set out in Tier I – Policy – Certification of Vessels of 24 Metres in Length and Above (TP 13585) (RDIMS 8388535). In this policy, Transport Canada recognizes that not all existing vessels may be able to be accepted ‘in class’ with a Recognized Organization (RO) due to their internal regulations. This procedure explains the process by which the ARs of vessels (which have previously been certified by Transport Canada) can obtain inspection services from a recognized organization.

4.3 This procedure applies in relation to vessels 24 metres in length and above who have requested services from one of the ROs but where enrolling in class with the ROs is not feasible and where the RO in question is unable to issue statutory certificates to a vessel that is not ‘in class’ with that RO. In these cases, the RO can offer a regulatory verification inspection to the AR. Under this procedure, the AR and RO have a contractual relationship to provide inspection services without issuance of statutory certificates.

5 Scope

5.1 This procedure applies to Transport Canada Marine Safety & Security (TCMSS) employees that are involved in issuing certificates to vessels which have received regulatory verification inspections.

5.2 This procedure also applies to Recognized Organizations which have an agreement with the Minister of Transport to issue CMDs to vessels in DSIP where the RO in question is unable to issue statutory certificates to a vessel that is not ‘in class’ with that RO. In such cases, the RO would enter into an agreement with an AR to provide inspection services to a vessel under this regulatory verification process.

6 Responsibility

6.1 The Executive Director, Domestic Vessel Regulatory Oversigh is accountable for the development, implementation, maintenance, and continuous improvement of the procedure.

For further information, please contact:


Manager National Marine Safety Program
– Flag State, Compliance & Enforcement
330 Sparks St., Ottawa, ON, K1A 0N8
Phone: 613-991-3142


7 Procedure

7.1 Once the Policy on Certification of Vessels 24 metres and Above applies to a vessel, the AR is responsible for contacting an RO and TCMSS to begin the handover process (as per DSIP procedure, RDIMS #4791259). The handover inspection will be initiated at the dry docking (as per Certification Policy, RDIMS #8388535) and, where necessary, completed at the periodic (i.e., annual) inspection.

7.2 After the handover inspection is completed, TCMSS provides the AR with a letter that outlines the AR’s obligations under the CSA 2001 as well as clarifies the reporting requirements while enrolled in DSIP. All subsequent delegated inspections, including continuous survey items and any required plan approvals, are to be performed by the RO. Issuance of CMDs subsequent to the inspection will take place according to the following process.

7.3 The RO carries out a regulatory verification inspection according to the regulatory regime that applies to the vessel. Where TC does not have requirements, the applicable IACS Guidelines are to be applied. Upon completion of the inspection, the RO prepares a report and submits it to TCMSS with a recommendation about whether or not the CMDs should be issued. This may include a recommendation to issue a short-term certificate pending rectification of deficiencies.

7.4 TCMSS receives the report from the RO. The RO’s report to TCMSS will be in the form prescribed by TCMSS in accordance with the CSA 2001 section 16.This report should be received by TCMSS at least twenty business days (one month) before the expiry of the CMDs. The report will be accompanied by draft CMDs that have been prepared by the RO.

7.5 TCMSS reviews the inspection report. If the report is satisfactory, CMDs for the vessel are prepared for signature. Once signed, the CMDs are forwarded to the vessel’s AR. If the inspection takes place within the three month window prior to renewal, the CMDs will be re-issued on the anniversary date, not the date of the inspection.

7.6 If the inspection report indicates that the condition of the vessel and its equipment is not satisfactory, TCMSS will take appropriate compliance and enforcement actions.

7.7 TCMSS may carry out compliance inspections at any time throughout the period for which the CMD is valid.

7.8 TCMSS’ service standard is 20 business days between receiving an inspection report and sending the CMDs to the AR, when the inspection report is satisfactory. In order to ensure that the CMDs are renewed before the expiry date, the AR of an existing Canadian vessel requests an inspection from its RO no more than three months before the expiry of the existing CMDs.

7.9 Data will be maintained in the RO database to which TCMSS has access. TCMSS will maintain the relevant sections of SIRS.

8 Related Documents

8.1 Tier I – Policy – Certification inspections conducted by Transport Canada (RDIMS 8388535)

8.2 Tier I – Policy – Delegated Statutory Inspection Program (RDIMS 4791297).

8.3 Tier II – Procedure – Determining when the Minister of Transport will Certify Vessels 24 Metres in Length and Above (RDIMS 8845087).

8.4 Tier II – Procedure – Delegated Statutory Inspection Program Enrolment Procedure (RDIMS 47912459).

8.5 Tier II – Procedure – Delegated Statutory Inspection Program Monitoring Procedure (RDIMS 5073673).

8.6 Tier III – Work Instructions – Review of Applications for Certification by Transport of Vessels of 24 Metres in Length and Above (RDIMS 9069041)

9 Definitions

9.1 Certification services include services related to Canadian maritime documents and other approvals and certificates; approval of plans associated with the modification of a vessel; conduct and witnessing of tests; and, conducting any inspections necessary to establish that all the requirements have been met for the issuance of the CMD, including periodic (periodical) inspections, and intermediate inspections. (Services under 36.1(1) of the CSA, 2001).

9.2 Canadian maritime document (CMD) has the same meaning as in S. 2 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

9.3 Authorized Representative (AR) is the person meeting the requirements of Section 14 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

9.4 Recognized Organization (RO) is a classification society that has entered into an agreement with the Minister of Transport to perform services under 36.1(1) of the CSA, 2001 on his or her behalf, such as issuing Canadian maritime documents or type approval of equipment.

9.5 Length is calculated in accordance with the formula in the Vessel Registration and Tonnage Regulations and the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969

9.6 24 metres in length is considered to be approximately equivalent to 150 Gross Tons.

9.7 Regulatory verification is a process whereby an RO can offer inspection services to a vessel without subsequently issuing the statutory documents (CMDs). This applies when the legal structure of the RO does not permit it to issue statutory certification to vessels not in class.

9.8 “In class” refers to vessels which have been certified as meeting the rules of a classification society.

9.9 Vessel means all vessels that require CMDs under the CSA 2001, including those barges that require CMDs.

9.10 A new vessel is a vessel that was registered in Canada on or after January 1st, 2014. This includes vessels that had a valid CMD on December 31st, 2013 that were subsequently removed from the Canadian registry and then registered again in Canada on or after January 1st, 2014.

9.11 An existing vessel is a vessel that had a valid CMD prior to December 31st, 2013 and that was not subsequently removed from the Canadian registry. Existing vessels also includes new vessels under planned construction or other vessels undergoing major modifications that have submitted their vessel plans to Transport Canada for approval before the coming into force of this Policy (i.e., the applicable dry dock date for that existing vessel).

10 Date of Application

10.1 This procedure will come into force on January 1st, 2014.

11 Date for Review

11.1 This procedure is to be reviewed after 12 months of its coming into force and every 5 years thereafter.

12 RDIMS Reference

12.1 The English version of this document is saved in RDIMS under reference number 8845093.

12.2 La version française du présent document est dans le SGDDI et porte le numéro de référence 8944285.

12.3 This is the first approved and finalized revision of the English version of this document.

13 Keywords

  • Vessel certificates
  • Inspection
  • Certification
  • Authorized Representative
  • Canadian maritime documents
  • Recognized Organization
  • Classification societies
  • 24 metres
  • 150 GT
  • Alternative Service Delivery (ASD) plan