Marine Transportation Security Regulations

The Marine Transportation Security Regulations (MTSR) came into force on July 1, 2004 and provide a framework to detect security threats and take measures to prevent security incidents that could affect marine vessels and their facilities.

The MTSR:

  • Sets out operator and personnel roles and responsibilities for developing security plans and putting them into action;
  • Provides a way to conduct security assessments, to establish adequate security protocols, and to properly document and report;
  • Provides Transport Canada with a means of overseeing compliance of the marine transportation security system; and,
  • Addresses Canada’s obligations to implement the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code and align our regulatory approach with that of our major trading partners.

The Regulations take a risk-based approach to enhancing the security of the Canadian marine transportation system by ensuring that marine facility and vessel security plans address risks identified within their security assessments. The risk approach may be different, depending on issues such as the size of the facility, volume or type of traffic or geographic location. 

The MTSR apply to any vessel in Canada, and to any Canadian vessels operating outside of Canada on a voyage between a port in one country and a port in another country, that meet the following criteria:

  • Is more than 100 tons gross tonnage, other than a towing vessel;
  • Carries more than 12 passengers; or
  • Is a towing vessel towing a barge astern or alongside or pushing ahead, if the barge is carrying certain dangerous cargoes.

The MTSR also applies to:

  • Canadian and foreign flagged vessels (Part 2);
  • Marine facilities and port authorities (Part 3); and,
  • Marine facilities that receive vessels described in Part 2.

The MTSR does not apply to pleasure craft, fishing and government vessels, domestic ferries or vessels without a crew that are in dry dock, dismantled or laid-up.

For more information on the MTSR, please visit the Department of Justice website.

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