A Guide to Completing the Navigation Protection Program’s Application for Approval

Disclaimer: This guide is for informational purposes and is intended to be used as a tool for completing the Navigation Protection Program’s Application for Approval. This guide clarifies the most complicated fields of the application form. It is meant to be used side by side while filling out the application form.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is the short version of the complete “Guide to the Navigation Protection Program’s Application and Review Requirements”. It includes the step-by-step instructions for completing the Navigation Protection Program's Application Form. This guide does not replace professional assistance (where needed) in preparing the mandatory material.

The longer version provides a general overview of the application requirements and the review process, as well as a list of additional resources and contact information.

If you are not already well informed about the Canadian Navigable Waters Act (CNWA) and the role and requirements of Transport Canada’s (TC) Navigation Protection Program (NPP), you are encouraged to consult the longer version.

If there is a difference in interpretation between this guide and the CNWA, the CNWA and its regulations take precedence.

Completing the NPP Application Form

This guide goes through the application form step-by-step. Images taken from the actual form are included at the head of each section, followed by directions for completion.

Provide as much of the requested information as possible. Missing information may delay your review or result in a rejected application.

You can find the full text of the CNWA, along with the schedule, the Major Works Order and other regulations on the Government of Canada Justice Laws Website.

You can find more information about the NPP, including links to other publications, the Minor Works Order, resources and contact information for the regional offices on the NPP website.

Submit your application for approval using the online form.

Cover page – For your information

Prior to completing the form, applicants must determine if an application is required. This can be determined by examining:

  • Whether your work is located on a navigable water listed in the schedule of the CNWA. An application is required for works on scheduled waters. Applicants for works on a navigable water not listed in the schedule can either use the form to apply for approval or you can deposit and publish information about the project on the public registry for public review.
  • The Project Review Tool, located on the NPP External Submission Site, to determine if an application is required.

The Supporting Documentation Requirements section provides a checklist of documents to submit to the NPP along with the application. This checklist helps you and NPP staff ensure that all necessary requirements have been included in your application for approval.

Please note, the CNWA prohibits making false or misleading statements. Any false or misleading statement may result in the refusal to authorize or issue approval, or the suspension or cancellation of an approval. This applies to all components of your submission: the form, attachments and any supporting documentation.

More detailed information on scheduled waters, the Minor Works Order, the Major Works Order, and the Supporting Documentation Requirements can be found in the Guide to the Navigation Protection Program’s Application and Review Requirements.

Form fields


Top of page:

TC file number

The box at the top of page 1 asks for your TC file number (if known). If this is your first request for TC to review this project you will not have a file number. You may enter “n/a” (not applicable) or leave this field blank.

Sometimes a project may have more than one submission, for example, if the first application submitted was missing information or as a result of multiple repair or alteration activities on the same work. If this is the case, please enter your previous TC file number.

If you have a previous TC file number, but are unable to find it, please enter “unknown”.

The Application Title field will identify your project in the “Common Project Search” registry (CPS). This field is mandatory.

Are you the riparian property owner?

The riparian property owner is the legal owner of the property immediately adjacent to the shoreline (i.e., the owner whose property immediately faces your work). This is sometimes referred to as the “upland” property. When completing the application for approval form you need to check yes or no accordingly.

When applying for an approval to build or place a work on a navigable waterway, you must think about the impact that your work may have on other waterway users, including property owners, as they have the right to access the water. This right is a private right of property and is distinguished from the public right to navigation. Riparian property owners can usually exercise their right of access to the water up to 30 metres from shore. Tides may affect this distance.

For projects where environmental review or Indigenous consultation may be required, more detailed information about current and past ownership of lands (e.g., private, provincial or federal Crown land, municipal), both at the project site and adjacent areas, may be submitted with your application or required at a later date.

General Information


Official and/or local name(s) of waterway

*This is a mandatory field

You must include the name of the body of water where the work is located. Be sure to note both the official name and any local names, if applicable. Some waterways may be better known by a local name for some legacy works on non-scheduled waters. For a list of the official name of all waterways, please visit The Atlas of Canada.

Yes/No check boxes

The Yes/No questions on this section of the form assist the NPP in determining which process (es) applies to your work. If you are still unsure of the correct answer after reviewing the information provided here, contact your regional office.

Is the waterway listed on the schedule to the CNWA?

The list of scheduled waters is discussed in the Guide to the Navigation Protection Program’s Application and Review Requirements. It is also available on the NPP website, along with additional information on scheduled and non-scheduled waterways. The NPP can also provide additional guidance on determining if your work is located on a scheduled water if you are still unsure. If your work is located on a scheduled water, an application is required before you start the construction/alteration/placement/rebuild/removal or decommission. If your work is on a navigable water that is not listed on the schedule, but you would like your work to be sanctioned under the CNWA, you will need to complete the application form.

Are you representing an Indigenous group? Is the work near or on First Nations reserve or land claim?

If you are uncertain as to the correct answer to either of these questions, please select “unknown” and an NPP Officer may contact you for further information.

Does this project involve throwing or depositing materials in water? Does this project involve dewatering of a body of water?

The CNWA prohibits any person from throwing or depositing materials into any navigable water.

Definitions and terms

Throwing and depositing, includes

  1. The dumping of floating materials (e.g., sawdust, edgings, bark, etc.) into any navigable water, or a waterway that flows into a navigable water, if the material is liable to interfere with navigation.
  2. The dumping of sinking materials (e.g., stone, gravel, cinders, etc.) that is liable to sink to the bottom into any navigable water, or a waterway that flows into a navigable water, if the waterway has less than 36 meters of water at all times.

Dewatering, includes

  1. The permanent removal of water, where water levels are impacted to a point that eliminates the public right to navigate the waterway, be that for all vessels or for a particular class of vessel.

When prohibited activities are associated with a project, an Order in Council process is required (see the Guide to the Navigation Protection Program’s Application and Review Requirements or the "Apply for an exemption under the CNWA" page for an explanation of this process).

Owner Contact Information


Individual or company name, mailing address and phone number

*These are mandatory fields

You must include the full name of the owner, his or her complete address, and at least one of the owner’s telephone numbers. If the owner is:

  • An individual, include your name and contact information.
  • A corporation, include the name of the corporation in addition to the name and position of a contact person.
  • A public work, include the name of the organization responsible for the work (e.g., government or agency) and the name and position of the contact person.

Owner’s agent

If you hired an agent (i.e., architectural, engineering or building contractor) to submit an application on your behalf, include the agent’s contact information in addition to the mandatory contact information. You can also include the information of a mandatary in this section. A mandatary is a person who, when given authorization, has the power to execute business for another.

Work Site Information

*These are mandatory fields


NPP Officers must be able to identify the exact location of the proposed or existing work. This section requires you to provide enough information to meet this requirement.

Enter the nearest municipality and province/territory in the spaces provided. Under site location, provide location details. Depending on your area, this could be a legal site description, street address (in a town or city), lot/concession/township (Eastern Canada), township/range (Western Canada), etc. For rural or remote areas with no fixed place name, the nearest town or urban centre can also be listed.

Use the type of description that is appropriate for your area. If there is a 911 address, include it as well. If the proposed work is in an area that has not yet been surveyed, indicate the nearest community and provide the distance from the nearest kilometre post, community or other recognizable landmark, if possible.

You must also include the geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) of the work site in the space provided. You can use a topographical map, navigation chart, GPS, or an online tool (e.g. Google Maps, Bing Maps, MapQuest) to get this information.

Body of water - Additional information

If you know the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) navigation chart number and/or the National Topographic System (NTS) topographic map number(s) for the work site, please include the number in the space provided.

Space is also provided for additional location details. While it is optional to provide this information, it may help to expedite your review if you provide as much detail as possible. Examples of the types of information that may be useful for the NPP review are provided on the form and/or the external submission site.

Body of Water Use Information



If known, include information on types of vessels on the body of water by checking the appropriate boxes and include the maximum vessel length, width and draft (depth) in the spaces provided.

Use the other check boxes in this section to provide information about body of water use, to the best of your knowledge. Other known uses should be included in the area provided.

Include any types of boating activity on the water not already specified by using the check boxes. Examples may include ferry crossings, freight moving, boat tours, fishing and guiding, and use of pleasure craft. Be sure to include use by small craft such as canoes and kayaks and use by Indigenous groups, if applicable.

Project Information

*These are mandatory fields (except “Anticipated Impacts”)



The Project Information section provides areas for required project information related to the work, including your expected start and end dates. First, identify the type of work(s) you want approved (e.g., bridge, dam, dock, tunnel, marina, etc.) and use the check boxes to indicate all related activities pertaining to the work. Note that a project may include multiple works as well as both permanent and temporary elements.

Filling in the “Brief Project Description” and “Method of Construction” sections of the form may be enough for most projects for which an application must be submitted. Examples of the type of information to provide are included in the form and in the appropriate field on the external submission site.

A more detailed project description may be required for larger or more complex projects. If you are attaching a separate project description with your application, please enter in the space provided in similar wording. For example, identify the pages in your document that contain the specific information such as: “see pages 6 to 11 of the attached document”.

Methods of construction is a mandatory field. If it is discussed in an attached project description, please indicate this on the form by entering “see attached”.

Please note that simply attaching lengthy documentation which contains the information required on the application form is not acceptable. If you are using pre-existing documentation, you must excerpt the relevant information and clearly identify which mandatory requirement it fulfills.

The “Expected Start Date” and “Expected Completion Date” should be entered in day, month, year format.

“Anticipated Impacts” is not a mandatory field, but any known information about potential impacts, such as those noted on the form/site, may help to expedite the NPP review. If anticipated impacts are discussed in an attached project description, please indicate this on the form by entering “see attached”.

Environmental Review Information


This section of the application form is not mandatory. However, when an environmental review is required, having this information available assists the NPP in aligning their work with that of the other programs and agencies that become involved.

The Guide to the Navigation Protection Program’s Application and Review Requirements contains additional information to help you determine the appropriate responses to these questions.

Owner Authorization

*These are mandatory fields


The owner signature is your certification that the information you have provided on the form/site, and in the supporting documents, is complete, true and accurate to the best of your knowledge. The owner must sign the application or if there is an agent working on the owner’s behalf, the owner must provide the NPP with a written confirmation that the agent has full signing authority.

Since this application must be submitted online, a certification is generated and you must confirm that the information provided on the external submission site is accurate.

Bottom of form

The bottom lines of this section of the form (shaded dark grey) are for NPP office use. Please leave these lines blank.

Submitting your Application

Submit your completed form and all other information requirements to the NPP’s External Submission Site.

Please contact the office in your region with any questions or concerns.