Creating and inscribing a serial number on manufactured vessels

Every vessel built or imported for sale in Canada must be marked with a Hull Serial Number in accordance with the Small Vessel Regulations (see Part 9).

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Hull Serial Number

The Hull Serial Number provides a uniform method for identifying:

  • any specific vessel
  • the construction standards that apply to that specific vessel
  • vessels subject to a manufacturer's defect recall
  • a lost or stolen vessel

The serial number should be inscribed where it is clearly visible when the vessel is in the water, on the upper starboard quarter of the outside surface of the transom. If the vessel has no transom, the number should be inscribed on the uppermost starboard side at the aft end of the hull.

The serial number must also be marked in a second location on the hull, either beneath a fitting or an item of hardware or on the interior of the vessel (and unexposed).

The Hull Serial Number consists of 12 characters and an optional two-character country code prefix, as shown in the table below:

Country Code (Optional) Manufacturer's Identification Code Manufacturer's Serial Number Commencement of Construction Model Year
CA ABC 2AB41 G0 91

The above serial number would be inscribed on the hull as CA-ABC2AB41G091.


More information on the Hull Serial Number is available in section 1 of the Construction Standards for Small Vessels (TP 1332).

If you are a manufacturer based in Canada, or an importer of vessels manufactured in countries other than the U.S., you must have a Manufacturer’s Identification Code (MIC). The MIC is the first three characters of the Hull Serial Number and it is normally obtained from Transport Canada.


A MIC issued by the United States Coast Guard to a U.S. manufacturer is recognized in Canada by reciprocal agreement.

Getting a Manufacturer’s Identification Code

To get a Manufacturer’s Identification Code, fill out a Request for a Manufacturer Identification Code and send it to:

Transport Canada, Marine Safety (AMSRA)
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N8

A Canadian importer may request to use the MIC assigned to a foreign manufacturer in its country of origin if that code is three characters, as required in Canada. To make your request, you must confirm on the Request for a Manufacturer Identification Code form that you have an agreement with the foreign manufacturer for exclusive use of the manufacturer’s MIC in Canada. Provide details of the manufacturer and the MIC. By making this request, you acknowledge that you will be responsible for all vessels imported to Canada and marked with a Hull Serial Number using this MIC.