Marine Security Operations Bulletin - 2016-001

No: 2016-001

ISSUE:

Shore Leave and Access to Vessels subject to the Marine Transportation Security Regulations for Seafarers and Seafarers’ Welfare and Labour Organizations

PURPOSE:

This Marine Security Operations Bulletin (MSOB) replaces MSOB 2007-002 “SHORE LEAVE AND ACCESS TO SHIPS UNDER THE ISPS CODE, BY REPRESENTATIVES OF SEAFARERS' WELFARE AND LABOUR ORGANIZATIONS.

Subject to the provisions of the Marine Transportation Security Regulations (MTSR) this MSOB serves as a reminder with respect to shore leave for seafarers and access to vessels subject to the MTSR, and to obtain a proper balance between the needs of security and the protection of the rights of seafarers.

DIRECTIVE:

Canada, as part of the international maritime community endorses the spirit and intent of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on the need to afford special protection to seafarers when implementing the provisions of SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code as implemented by the MTSR.

Masters, port administrations and marine facility operators (occasional-use marine facilities, for the purposes of this bulletin, will be referred to as a marine facility, unless otherwise stated) are reminded of the intent of the IMO MSC.1 Circular 1342 (Reminder in Connection With Shore Leave and Access to Ships) and International Labour Organization (ILO) TMCASI/2016 (Resolution on the Facilitation of Access to Shore leave and Transit of Seafarers) in order to obtain a proper balance between the needs of security and the protection of the rights of seafarers.

The MTSR include provisions that aim to provide the necessary balance between security and the rights of seafarers and when access is requested by representatives of seafarers' welfare and labour organizations. Masters, port administrations and marine facility operators are reminded that they have specific regulatory obligations to facilitate shore leave for seafarers and access to vessels in accordance with the MTSR sections 206(1)(c), 303(i), 355(e) and 373(h) respectively.

The Regulations Amending the Marine Transportation Security Regulations (SOR 2014-162) have been registered on 19 June 2014 and came into force on the same day. These amendments were published in the Canada Gazette II on 2 July, 2014 and included amendments to existing provisions, consistent with IMO recommendations to facilitate the coordination of shore leave for seafarers and to facilitate the coordination for access to vessels by seafarers’ welfare and labour organizations representatives.

The MTSR section 2 has further clarified this as follows:

“For greater certainty, nothing in these Regulations derogates from any right otherwise provided to a representative of seafarers’ welfare and labour organizations to access a vessel or a marine facility, unless there is an immediate threat to the safety and security of the vessel or marine facility.”

The MTSR must be interpreted and applied in a manner that is consistent with their purpose, which is to deter, prevent, and detect acts that threaten security in the Canadian marine transportation sector, thereby strengthening the international maritime security framework.

During the initial development, amendment and renewal review and approval process of security assessments and security plans for marine facilities, ports and vessels, Transport Canada Marine Security will take the opportunity to pay particular attention to access control and procedures related to access. This is to ensure that security assessments and security plans appropriately take into account the requirements dealing with the needs of seafarers and seafarers’ welfare and labour organizations.

Industry is encouraged to be proactive to ensure that security assessments and security plans appropriately take into account the requirements dealing with the needs of seafarers and seafarers’ welfare and labour organizations during their periodic self-audit process. Industry is also encouraged to continuously improve coordination beyond what is currently being done in some instances.

Port administrations, operators of marine facilities and vessel are encouraged to closely review those sections of their security assessments and security plans specifically related to access by seafarers and seafarers’ welfare and labour organizations to improve any potential access procedures that may unintentionally create situations where access may be unfairly denied for reasons not directly related to safety or security. Transport Canada strongly encourages port administrations, operators of marine facilities and vessel to conduct these reviews prior to the renewal, amendment and approval process conducted by Transport Canada Marine Security to avoid any potential delays in approval. Port administrations, operators of marine facilities and vessel are also encouraged from a practical perspective to coordinate and plan in advance of a vessel’s arrival the facilitation of shore leave for seafarers and seafarers’ welfare and labour organizations access to vessels.

If access to a vessel is denied to seafarers or seafarers’ welfare and labour organization representatives holding proper identification while in the performance of their duties, that access denial must be authorised by the Master of the vessel. If access is denied to the vessel by the marine facility or port, that access denial must be authorised by the marine facility security officer or port security officer respectively. All parties are strongly encouraged to be proactive and work together in seeking a resolution.

If access has been denied to seafarers or seafarers’ welfare and labour organizations as a direct result of a security incident or security threat (i.e. security reasons), the marine facility, port administration or the vessel security officer is required to contact Transport Canada Marine Security Operations in accordance with the MTSR (sections 212(i), 306(j), 358(c) and 373(e)(vii) as appropriate) by calling the Transport Canada Situation Centre.

If access has been denied to seafarers or seafarers’ welfare and labour organizations for other reasons including safety (not security related) and a resolution cannot be found, seafarers or seafarer’s welfare and labour organizations are to contact Transport Canada Marine Safety by calling the Transport Canada Situation Centre.

The Transport Canada Situation Centre can be reached at:

The Transport Canada Situation Centre
National Reporting Line:
1-888-857-4003 (toll free within Canada/U.S.) or
613-995-9737 (all other areas)

Together we can work collaboratively to ensure Canada continues to have a safe, secure marine transportation system while respecting the rights of seafarers and seafarers’ welfare and labour organizations.

Any comments, suggestions or concerns can be addressed to the Director, Marine Security Operations by e-mail at
Email: dirops.marsec-surmar@tc.gc.ca.

Malick Sidibé
Director
Marine Security Operations

Dated: 17 August 2016

Date modified: