Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001)

On July 1, 2007, the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001) replaced the Canada Shipping Act (CSA) as the principal legislation governing safety in marine transportation and recreational boating, as well as protection of the marine environment. It applies to Canadian vessels operating in all waters and to all vessels operating in Canadian waters (from canoes and kayaks to cruise ships and tankers). The CSA 2001 promotes the sustainable growth of the marine shipping industry without compromising safety.

The CSA was one of Canada’s oldest pieces of legislation, and was based on the British Merchant Shipping Act of 1894. It had been amended many times over the years and had become difficult to use and in need of reform. The CSA 2001 represents a greatly updated and streamlined version of the old CSA, making it more user-friendly and much easier to reference and understand.

The reform of the Canada Shipping Act was initiated in 1997 and evolved on two tracks. The first track resulted in Bill C-15, which received Royal Assent in June 2001 and revised provisions dealing with ship ownership, registration, and mortgages. It also added a preamble to clarify the Act’s objectives and interpretation. The second track resulted in Bill C-14, which received Royal Assent on November 1, 2001 as the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

Following Royal Assent of the CSA 2001, a regulatory reform initiative was launched to develop the supporting regulations required to bring the new Act into force. The process involved extensive and thorough consultations with a wide range of marine stakeholders.

To view current and archived consultation documents, please follow this link.

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