Marine Safety and Security: Transport Canada (TC) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG)

Regulatory area to be addressed

United States Coast Guard / Transport Canada

Marine Safety and Security: Transport Canada (TC) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) will work together to coordinate as appropriate their marine safety, environmental stewardship, and security regulatory systems, focusing on both regulations and implementation procedures for vessels in the Great Lakes and coastal waters. Initial consideration will be given to regulations, implementing procedures or practices that pertain to training and certification of seafarers, inspection of foreign vessels, ballast water inspection, and minimum crew complement for coastal shipping on the East and West coasts, and the Great Lakes.

The agencies will continue to collaborate to identify mutually acceptable mechanisms (or practices) that recognize any existing overlap in each agency’s enforcement and inspection regimes, with the goal of minimizing the number of duplicative inspections conducted on vessels operating on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway while maintaining the same level of safety, security, and environmental protection.


United States


U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

Transport Canada - Marine Safety and Security 

Planned initiatives and sub-deliverables


Publish the USCG and TC Regulatory Partnership Statement

Completed - April 2015

Publish the USCG and TC Phase II Regulatory Cooperation Council Work Plans

Completed - April 2015

Consistent with the Regulatory Partnership Statement, Canada and the United States will establish a Marine Safety Operations technical working group to advance work plan priorities.

Established and ongoing

Establishment of a Marine Safety Operations technical working group. This group will meet in conjunction with the existing Marine Security Working Group.

Semi-annually or later as issues require

As part of stakeholder consultations, Canada will invite USCG representatives to the Canadian Marine Advisory Council (CMAC) meeting to consult bi-annually.

Established and ongoing


Port State Control (PSC) Inspections:

Planned initiatives and sub-deliverables Date
Explore opportunities to develop TC/USCG standardized processes on sharing Port State Control information to support relevant RCC initiatives, and report on findings for implementation. July 2016 –
December 2018
  • Identify what information needs to be shared in order to carry out RCC initiatives.
June 2017
  • Assess legal constraints on sharing this information.
December 2017
  • Identify hardware, software, and procedural requirements for sharing information.
June 2018
  • Draft standardized processes to formalize agreement to share designated information and route for signature.
December 2018

Crewing Issues:

The 2010 Manila amendments to the Seafarers’ Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code entered into force Januar 2012 and revised the international training and certification requirements, but not manning requirements. Consequently, current MOU respecting Mutual Recognition of Domestic Mariner Qualifications may be outdated in regard to terminology and require revision to take into consideration the STCW Manila amendments and Canadian Regulations. Namely the Marine Personnel Regulations and the 2013 revision of the United States credentialing regulations.

Planned initiatives and sub-deliverables Date
  • Update the 2002 MOU respecting Mutual Recognition of Domestic Mariner Qualifications
September 2016 –
October 2017
  • Initial Canada-US MOU discussions and work plan development.
September 2016
  • Final joint review
March 2017
  • Sign-off of MOU
July 2017
  • MOU implementation
October 2017

Emerging Issue:

The USCG and TC held a meeting with Stakeholders on May 4, 2016. During this meeting the stakeholders brought up many issues, of which most were outside the scope of the RCC and will be dealt with individually by the USCG or TC, as appropriate. One issue necessitated further discussion and will be analyzed and potentially included in a subsequent edit of this work plan.

Planned initiatives and sub-deliverables Date
  • Post casualty reporting – currently vessels are required to report to US and CA, which can be burdensome. Explore options for reducing/ eliminating unnecessary redundancy.
September 2016 – December 2016


Port State Control (PSC) Inspections:

Joint PSC inspections were carried out in Montreal as part of the RCC initial Joint Action Plan. The PSC Pilot Project carried out under the RCC Initial Joint Action Plan indicated that Joint PSC inspections are feasible and can be accommodated by vessel crews. Based on lessons learned through the pilot project, routinely conducting joint examination in Montreal is resource intensive for USCG and would not provide a significant advantage over mutual recognition initiatives included in the GL & SLS RCC report recommendations. Based on the earlier work, there may be a benefit to conducting occasional joint PSC exams at industry’s request.

Planned initiatives and sub-deliverables Date
Review the issue of granting partial USCG PSC exam credit for vessels that have recently completed an Enhanced Seaway Inspection (ESI). March 2015 –
March 2016
  • Update MOA Addendum II – Foreign Vessel Safety Environmental and Material Requirements Prior to Great Lakes/Seaway Entry
March 2016 – August 2016
  • Develop D9 instruction for guidance on granting partial USCG PSC exam credit
August 2016 – January 2017
  • USCG/TC/SLS review & comment
January 2017 – April 2017
  • Implementation as appropriate
April 2017
Review the issue of granting a partial ESI credit for vessels that have recently completed a Transport Canada - Paris Memorandum Of Understanding - Port State Control and USCG-Port State Control exam. March 2015 – March 2016
Explore the possibility of developing and implementing procedures to conduct joint USCG/TC PSC Inspections at Industry request. March 2015 – March 2017
  • Validate findings of the 2012 PSC inspection pilot project. If applicable, develop and implement appropriate tools (policy and procedures).
May 2015 – March 2017
  • Develop policy based on findings as appropriate
March 2017 – December 2017
  • Develop associated procedures as needed
January 2018 – March 2018
  • Implementation as appropriate
March 2018

Flag State Implementation:

June 2015 – March 2017

Planned initiatives and sub-deliverables Date
Development of Work Plan May 2015
USCG and TC to work on instructions and processes to harmonize laker inspections. March 2017
Identify training needs, from above stages, for TC and USCG inspections, and implement where needed. March 2017

Joint Initial Verification Program:

March 2015 – February 2016

Update 2004 International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) MOU to reflect current Joint Initial Verification Program (JIVP) practices.

Planned initiatives and sub-deliverables Date
Develop updated draft OPORDER July 2016
Legal review of OPORDER by USCG and TC November 2016
Final review of revised OPORDER by USCG and TC February 2017
Finalize and sign OPORDER February 2017
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