Compliance Notices - FAQ

What is a Compliance Notice?

Am I required to have a Compliance Notice on my vessel?

What does a Compliance Notice look like and how do I know if my vessel has one?

My vessel can be fitted with a motor and does not have a Compliance Notice. What should I do?

Does a USCG capacity or conformity label or a CE builder’s plate acceptable in Canada?

Can I be fined for not having a Compliance Notice on my vessel?

What is a Compliance Notice?

A Compliance Notice is a statement from the manufacturer or importer that a vessel is built according to the construction requirements of the Small Vessel Regulations.

Am I required to have a Compliance Notice on my vessel?

If your vessel can be fitted with a motor, it needs to display a Compliance Notice. There are a few exceptions indicated in the Part 8 of the Small Vessel Regulations. You will also find information on the Compliance Notices page.

What does a Compliance Notice look like and how do I know if my vessel has one?

A Compliance Notice can take various forms. Compliance Notices issued before May 2010 always measures approximately between 8-10cm long by 5-6cm wide. Compliance Notices, which were issued by the Canadian Coast Guard until 2004 and are now issued by Transport Canada, may be either a glued-on label or a riveted metal plate.

By law, the Compliance Notice must be permanently affixed to the pleasure craft in a conspicuous position plainly visible from the helm. Therefore, if your vessel can be fitted with a motor, the Notice should be easily seen.

Some samples of Compliance Notices issued before May 2010 are shown below.

Compliance Notice Sample

Compliance Notice Sample

Compliance Notice Sample

Compliance Notice Sample

Compliance Notice Sample

Samples of Compliance Notices issued since May 2010 are shown on the Compliance Notices page.

My vessel can be fitted with a motor and does not have a Compliance Notice. What should I do?

In some specific cases, a Compliance Notice may not be required, such as when the vessel was built or imported for personal use (e.g. not under contract or for resale). More information on when a Compliance Notice is not required can be found on the Compliance Notices page.

If the vessel was built after April 29, 2010, you should ask the manufacturer or importer to provide you with a Compliance Notice. The manufacturer or importer is required by the Small Vessel Regulations to provide the owner with a Compliance Notice.

If the vessel was built before April 29, 2010, the manufacturer or importer is not required to provide Compliance Notices retroactively.

Is a USCG capacity or conformity label or a CE builder’s plate acceptable in Canada?

Although it is not prohibited to have other types of compliance notices affixed to the vessel, this does not replace the requirement to have a Canadian Compliance Notice attached.

There is also one case when having a CE builder’s plate maybe mandatory, in addition to the Canadian Compliance Notice. Personal watercraft built according to the standard ISO 13590 Small Craft - Personal Watercraft - Construction and System Installation Requirements, after April 29, 2010 must have both the ISO 13590 builder’s plate as well as the Canadian Compliance Notice.

Can I be fined for not having a Compliance Notice on my vessel?

Attaching a Compliance Notice is the responsibility of the manufacturer or importer. An owner cannot be fined if there was no Compliance Notice attached to the vessel by the manufacturer or importer.

There are fines, however, if anyone removes or alters a Compliance Notice or attaches to a vessel a compliance notice that contains untrue information.