Marine Security Operations Bulletin - 2005–002


Subject to the provisions of the Marine Transportation Security Regulations – Sections 236 and 325, this directive provides guidance to government officials when accessing vessels and marine facilities in the course of their duties.


Canada's new marine security regime is designed to ensure that Canada's transportation system remains one of the safest and most secure systems in the world. Access control measures required by vessel and facility security plans are not intended to, and shall not be used in any way to impede the access of government officials on government business or prevent them from carrying out their duties. Rather, access control measures are intended to enhance marine security by preventing unauthorized access to vessels, marine facilities and their restricted areas.

Under the Marine Transportation Security Regulations, which came into force on July 1, 2004, vessels and marine facilities are required to have security plans. These plans set out, among other things, how access to the vessel or facility will be controlled and monitored.

While each security plan will be unique to the vessel or facility it is designed to protect, certain elements of the plan are mandatory. Vessels and marine facilities staff are required to verify the identity of the persons seeking access to the vessel or facility although a variety of access control measures may be used in the normal course of government business. These access control measures generally include: presentation of Government of Canada photo identification; recording the name and / or badge number of the government official; and / or signing a visitor's logbook. Vessels must be able to view the Government of Canada photo identification and to record information this could be in the form of either a name or a badge number.

Although government officials are required to show their Government of Canada identity card, they are not required to surrender that card or undergo baggage or government vehicle searches once they have demonstrated their identity and in the course of their duties. In addition, law enforcement personnel accessing a vessel or marine facility will not be required to surrender their firearms.

These measures are for routine procedures only and are not intended to hamper government officials who are required to take urgent action, especially under various law enforcement provisions. In such situations, different approaches may be used so as not delay or to inhibit the access of government officials or emergency response services to vessels and marine facilities. One acceptable approach would be where one member of a group of government officials, in an urgent situation, provides a list of officials' names or badge numbers on behalf of the group. In the event of a group sign in, only those officials present may enter the facility. Should a secondary group attend afterwards, that secondary team must follow the same sign in procedures as the first group. This will allow for proper documentation procedures while ensuring accurate head counts. With respect to “in an urgent situation”. Government officials must ensure that this provision is not used to circumvent normal or regular operations.

Any comments, suggestions or concerns can be addressed to the Director, Marine Security Operations by e–mail at

Original signed



Marc Mes
Director Marine Security Operations



February 18, 2005