Annex B - Waterway & Routing Safety

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A. Purpose

To delineate the working relationship between Transport Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans with respect to the overall safety of navigation of ships in waters under Canadian jurisdiction and Canadian ships in any waters.

B. Definitions

Ship Routing System Any system of one or more routes or routing measures which systems may include traffic separation schemes, two-way routes, recommended tracks, areas to be avoided, controlled and/or prohibited areas, inshore traffic zones, roundabouts, precautionary areas and deep water routes. 

Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) A service implemented by a Competent Authority, designed to improve the safety and efficiency of vessel traffic and to protect the environment. The service should have the capability to interact with the traffic and to respond to traffic situations developing in the VTS area.

C. Offices of Primary Interest

For the purpose of this annex, inquiries may be addressed to, and issues of concern may be raised with either of these offices:

  • Transport Canada: Director General, Marine Safety
  • Fisheries & Oceans: Director General, Marine Navigation Services

D. Legal Background

  1. International Conventions
    1. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS 74) Chapters IV and V.
    2. The Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREG 72).
  2. The Canada Shipping Act
    1. Part V:
      • Inspections/Detentions
      • Navigating Appliances & Equipment
      • Steering Appliances & Equipment
      • Radio Equipment
    2. Part VII:
      • Lighthouses, buoys and beacons
    3. Part IX:
      • Collision Regulations
      • Ship Routing
      • Charts & Nautical Publications
      • Watchkeeping Nautical Procedures & Practices
      • Navigational Limitations and Restrictions
      • Vessel Traffic Services.
  3. The Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act
    • Navigation in Shipping Safety Control Zones (various regulations and initiatives)
  4. The Department of Transport Act

    • Management of Canals

E. Regulations

  1. Transport Canada

    1. Collision Regulations
    2. Navigating Appliances and Equipment Regulations
    3. Steering Appliances and Equipment Regulations
    4. Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations 1995
    5. Ship Station Radio Regulations
    6. Ship Station Technical Regulations
    7. VHF Practices and Procedures Regulations
    8. Anchorage Regulations
    9. Burlington Canal Regulations
    10. Canal Regulations
    11. St. Clair & Detroit River Navigation Safety Regulations 
    12. Arctic Shipping Pollution Prevention Regulations 
    13. Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Regulations 
    14. Shipping Safety Control Zones Order
    15. Various Standards and Codes incorporated by reference into many of the above regulations
  2. Fisheries and Oceans

    1. Aids to Navigation Protection Regulations
    2. Private Buoy Regulations
    3. Eastern Canada Vessel Traffic Services Zone Regulations
    4. Vessel Traffic Services Zones Regulations

F. Responsibilities and Authorities

  1. Joint: The implementation of programmes to ensure the compatibility of operational systems with Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans programmes such as ships' routing, Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) and marine communications.
  2. Transport Canada
    1. The initiation, development, implementation, maintenance, monitoring and enforcement of regulations, standards and codes respecting the safe navigational conduct, equipping, and manning of ships.
    2. The development, design, regulation, maintenance, and enforcement of systems for the routing of ships.
    3. The development of onboard ship operation systems respecting safe communications and nautical procedures and practices.
    4. The establishment and implementation of approval procedures for navigational, nautical and radio equipment and for equipment required by the Collision Regulations in conjunction with standards organisations, test laboratories, and other national and international government agencies.
    5. Representation, as lead Canadian agency, of Canadian policies and positions in the discussions and decisions of Committees and SubCommittees of the International Maritime Organization on matters concerning safety of navigation and radio communications including matters addressing ships' routing. The Canadian position pertaining to ships' routing in and around Canadian waters must have the concurrence of Fisheries & Oceans.
    6. The co-ordination of regulatory, procedural and approval systems with international conventions and guidelines.
    7. Participation in technical groups developing national and international standards and guidelines respecting the safe navigation and operation of ships and their radio communications.
  3. Fisheries and Oceans
    1. Provision of systems of fixed/floating aids to navigation.
    2. The development, implementation, regulation, maintenance, and enforcement of Vessel Traffic Services and ship reporting systems.
    3. Provision of shore-based infrastructure for marine terrestrial and satellite navigational systems.
    4. Co-ordination and provision of published safety information for mariners and for the marine industry in general (e.g., Notices to Mariners).
    5. Provision of shore-based marine radio communications services.
    6. Participation in technical groups developing national and international standards for the delivery of marine navigation and radio communications systems.

G. Procedures and Consultation

  1. The Departments will consult with one another on the development of regulations, standards and guidelines respecting ship routing systems, Vessel Traffic Services and ship reporting systems; on the status of existing ship routing and ship reporting arrangements, the need for changes and the need for new initiatives.
  2. The Departments will consult with one another on the status of proposed regulatory, operational, and technical initiatives and developments with respect to ship-borne navigational and communications systems and their complementary shore-based infrastructures.
  3. The Departments will consult with one another, when appropriate, on the dissemination of navigational safety information through such channels as Notices to Mariners, Notices to Shipping, and Ship Safety Bulletins.
  4. Transport Canada will consult with Fisheries and Oceans, other government agencies, the marine and fishing industries and other interested parties, both regionally and nationally, in its customary procedures for the modification or revocation of existing routing systems and in any proposals for the planning, design and establishment of new systems.
  5. Transport Canada in co-ordination with the marine industry, will be responsible for the development and maintenance of the "Joint Industry-Coast Guard Guidelines for the Control of Oil Tankers and Bulk Chemical Carriers in Ice Control Zones of Eastern Canada" (JIGS Guidelines). Consultation and advice will be sought from Fishe ries and Oceans, other government agencies, and any other interested parties prior to any revisions or amendments to the Guidelines.
  6. Fisheries and Oceans will provide advice to the Canadian delegations to the appropriate International Maritime Organizatio n Sub-Committees on matters concerning vessel traffic services, ship reporting systems, and shore-based navigational and radio communications systems. Guidance may be provided on performance standards for technical ship-borne electronic navigation equipment and radio equipment.
  7. Fisheries and Oceans will be responsible for the development and maintenance of the document entitled "Ice Navigation in Canadian Waters". Transport Canada will be consulted when any revisions or amendments are to be made to the document.

H. Signing Authorities

M. Turner
Commissioner, 
Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries & Oceans
R. Jackson
Assistant Deputy Minister,
Safety & Security
Transport Canada

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