Compliance, exemptions and appeals under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001

From Transport Canada

The Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and related regulations set out the requirements for safety and environmental protection for Canadian vessels and their operators. Learn about your rights and responsibilities under Canada’s shipping laws, including how to request exemptions and equivalencies or appeal a decision to detain a vessel.

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Compliance and enforcement

Compliance and enforcement of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and related regulations is set out in the marine safety compliance and enforcement policy.

A person, vessel or corporation subject to an administrative penalty under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 can request a review of the facts at the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada.

Requesting an exemption or equivalency

If you are unable to comply with a regulation, you can request an:

  • exemption from non-safety requirements
  • equivalency to safety requirements
    • an equivalency will allow you to replace a regulatory requirement with an alternative that would result in the same or greater level of safety

An application must be for an individual Canadian vessel or for Canadian maritime documents issued to an individual seafarer.

To request an exemption or equivalency:

  1. Prepare a letter to the Marine Technical Review Board outlining your request for one of the following:
    • evaluation of alternative arrangements for equivalency to a safety requirement for a Canadian vessel
    • exemption from a non-safety requirement for a Canadian vessel
    • exemption from a non-safety requirement for a Canadian seafarer’s certificate of competency
  2. Ensure that this letter contains:
    • your name
    • your contact details
    • the subject of the request (the vessel or seafarer requiring the exemption or equivalency)
    • the applicable regulatory provision
    • the reason you are not able to comply with the requirement
    • your proposed alternative if seeking an equivalency
    • the reasons why safety and the marine environment will not be jeopardized by the proposed equivalency or a justification of the proposed exemption
  3. Send your letter by mail, fax or email using the Board's contact information

A Transport Canada marine safety inspector will contact you (or your RO) once your letter has been received to discuss the proposed exemption or equivalency. Questions related to your application can be addressed to the marine safety regional office closest to you.

Appealing a detention order

To request a review of a detention order:

  1. Prepare a letter to the Marine Technical Review Board that includes:
    • your name
    • your contact details
    • the name of the vessel that was detained
    • the name of the authorized representative of the vessel
    • the details surrounding the issuance of the detention order, and the reasons for the review
  2. Send your letter by mail, fax or email using the Board’s contact information

Contact the Marine Technical Review Board

Address:
Marine Technical Review Board (MTRB) Secretariat (AMSD)
Marine Safety, Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street, 11th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0N8

Email: MTRB-BETMM@tc.gc.ca
Fax: 613-991-5670

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