Declaring that vessels comply with construction requirements

If you build or import for sale and use in Canada a pleasure craft of less than 24 metres or a non-pleasure craft of 15 gross tonnage or less that is propelled or designed to be propelled by an engine, you must declare that the vessel model meets all relevant construction requirements. These requirements are set out in the:

To demonstrate compliance, manufacturers or importers must:

  • submit a declaration of conformity for each vessel model
  • attach a compliance notice to each vessel
  • send an annual production report to Transport Canada

Note that the policy on Acceptance of Alternative Construction Requirements for Small Vessels allows the alternate use, under certain conditions as described in the policy, of American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) standards that are deemed equivalent to the requirements of the Construction Standards for Small Vessels.

Vessels that are certified under the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) certification program and built in accordance with the Acceptance of Alternative Construction Requirements for Small Vessels policy, may prepare a Declaration of Conformity as an addendum to the NMMA Inspection Report, as explained in the Memorandum of Understanding Between Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security And National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Declaration of conformity

Submit a declaration of conformity stating which construction requirements apply, and how your vessel meets them.

After submitting the declaration:

  • keep your supporting records for 7 years and, if asked, show them to authorized inspectors
  • give the buyer or reseller a copy of the required page(s) of the declaration at the vessel's first sale

Compliance notice

The manufacturer or importer must attach a compliance notice to each vessel. The compliance notice is the manufacturer's or importer's commitment that the vessel was built according to the requirements in the Small Vessel Regulations.  

The manufacturer or importer must do the following for each vessel:

  • produce a compliance notice that complies with Part 8 of the regulation and Section 2 of the standard
  • permanently attach the Compliance Notice to the inside of each vessel in a location that is plainly visible from the operating position

Annual production report

For serially produced models, instead of sending a declaration of conformity for each vessel, the manufacturer must complete an annual production report and send it to Transport Canada. The form must be submitted each year before March 31.

Submit an annual production report online.


The requirement to produce a declaration of conformity and to attach a compliance notice doesn't apply to the following:

  • vessels built or imported for personal use
  • open vessels of traditional construction using wood or other traditional materials or, in the case of a canoe, using glass-reinforced plastic

If such vessels are mass-produced or can be fitted with an inboard or a stern-drive engine, they must comply with the construction requirements.

Contact us

Small Vessel Manufacturers and Importers Compliance Program
Small and Fishing Vessels, Design and Equipment Standards (AMSDS)
Transport Canada, Marine Safety and Security
330 Sparks Street, 11th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N5