Inspection of non-Canadian commercial vessels

Non-Canadian commercial vessels that enter Canadian waters could be subject to Port State Control inspection.

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Port State Control

Port State Control (PSC) is a ship inspection program whereby foreign vessels entering a sovereign state's waters are boarded and inspected to ensure compliance with various major international maritime conventions.

PSC programs are regional in nature. Several countries sharing common waters group together under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU is designed to ensure that vessels trading in the region are not substandard.

Follow-up inspection of a foreign vessel

Learn how to request a follow-up inspection for foreign vessels to rescind a detention order or mark a deficiency, noted under the Port State Control program, as rectified.

Port State Control Annual reports

Port State Control inspects foreign vessels when they enter Canadian waters to make sure they comply with various international maritime conventions. The program's goal is to find and inspect sub-standard vessels and help eliminate the threat that they pose to life, property and the marine environment.

The Marine Safety Port State Control annual report (TP 13595) records and analyzes the results of Canada's port state control inspections. The reports include tables and figures of statistic and analysis showing results of Port State control inspections conducted in Canada.

The regional Paris MoU and Tokyo MoU reports, including results from Port state control inspections in Canada, are published annually and are available online through their publication sections:

Canada's international memberships

Canada has signed two MOUs: the Paris MOU and the Tokyo MOU.

  • Canada became an associate member of the Paris MOU in 1988 and was accepted as a full member in 1994 (the first non-European member)
  • Canada was a driving force in the creation of the Tokyo MOU and has been a member since its inception in 1993

Canada attends, and occasionally hosts, the Joint Ministerial Conference of the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding on Port State Control.

Inspection and ship detention list

Ship inspections are carried out at all major Canadian ports by Marine Safety inspectors. An inspection database and a list of detained ships are maintained, and the same information is provided to the two MOU databases.

Contact Marine Safety for information on Canada's Port State Control system


Transport Canada
Marine Safety (AMSEA)
330 Sparks Street, 10th Floor
Tower C, Place de Ville
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N5

Telephone: 1-855-859-3123 (Toll Free) or  613-991-3135 (Local)
Teletypewriter/TDD: 1-888-675-6863
Fax: 613-990-1879

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