Guidelines for Passenger Vessels Operating in the Canadian Arctic - TP 13670
From Transport Canada
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This standard are guidelines intended to assist passenger vessel operators with planning and executing a successful voyage in Canada’s Arctic.
On this page
- Table 1 – List of abbreviations
- Required steps
- Best management practices
- Community engagement and cultural sensitivity
- Length of community visits
- Community services agreements
- Community provisions and resupply
- Oil and gas re-supply operations
- Services in the communities
- Economic considerations
- Archeological and heritage sites
- Training, education and awareness
- Vessel operations
- Ice operations and the protection of ice habitat
- Use of heavy fuel oil
- Additional best-management practices
- Regulatory roles and responsibilities by federal government
- Appendix 1 – Relevant acts and regulations
- Appendix 2 – Contact list
- Appendix 3 – Permits and authorizations by jurisdiction
- Appendix 4 – Shipping safety control zones
- Appendix 5 - Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations – Schedule 1 (zone/date table)
- Appendix 6 - Arctic Shipping Safety And Pollution Prevention Regulations – Schedule 2 (Construction Standards For Types A, B, C, D And E Vessels)
- Appendix 7 – Time zones maps
- Appendix 8 – PHAC – Elements of the cruise ship inspection program
- Appendix 9 – Land claims agreements in the Canadian Arctic
- Appendix 10 – Land claims agreement map
- Appendix 11 – Maps of protected areas along the Arctic coastline
- Appendix 12 – Codes of conduct
- Appendix 13 – Nunavut territorial parks firearm permit background document
- Appendix 14 – Additional guidance documents
These guidelines have been developed jointly by the following groups:
- Transport Canada
- Canadian Coast Guard
- Department of Fisheries and Oceans
- Canada Border Services Agency
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Department of National Defense
- Environment and Climate Change Canada
- Parks Canada
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Government of Nunavut
- Government of Northwest Territories
- Northern Land Claims Organizations
- Cruise Lines International Association
- Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators
- World Wildlife Fund Canada
- Academia; and
- Residents of Canada's Arctic communities
These guidelines are published by Transport Canada, Marine Safety and Security, Prairie and Northern Region in collaboration with the above-noted groups involved with passenger vessel operations in the Canadian Arctic. Users of this document should note that information contained herein can change frequently. Accordingly, government departments, agencies and local authorities should be contacted as early as possible when planning an Arctic voyage to confirm current requirements. It is Transport Canada's intention to review and update this guidance document on an annual basis.
As this publication is not a legal document, the reader is therefore encouraged to refer to and become familiar with specific acts and regulations. Moreover, this document is not to be interpreted as exhaustive nor does it absolve the vessel operator or Designated Vessel Representative (DVR) of the responsibility of being familiar with all applicable requirements.
Information in this document is written for personal and public non-commercial use. Transport Canada allows the reproduction in whole or in part, with the appropriate credit, provided no changes have been made to the content. Written permission from Transport Canada is necessary to reproduce multiple copies of this material, in whole or in part, for the purposes of commercial redistribution. Please contact TCcopyright-droitdauteurTC@tc.gc.ca for more information.
Climate change and the related decrease in the extent and thickness of ice in the Canadian Arctic has contributed to an increase in vessel traffic and a growing interest in the region as a ‘last-frontier’ travel destination for cruise ship and adventure vessel operators. Operators and Designated Vessel Representatives (DVR) of these vessels should take into account and plan for the unique challenges and opportunities such a voyage involves. Operating within an Arctic environment requires, inter alia, careful planning, preparation, training, specialized equipment, government approvals and permits, and well thought out emergency plans.
In Canada, no single regulatory organization is responsible for all aspects of Arctic passenger vessel operation. Instead, shipping in the Canadian Arctic falls under a ‘joint-management model’ whereby a variety of federal, provincial, and territorial government departments and agencies, along with indigenous and local communities and regulatory boards all play separate and important roles. Accordingly, this can make it challenging for operators and DVRs to know who should be contacted and when, what regulations apply to a given voyage, if and from whom specific approvals are needed, what reporting requirements are to be followed, what resources, publications and local knowledge operators and DVRs should be familiar with, the length of time needed to make sure all of these requirements are met before departing for the Canadian Arctic and whether any costs are involved.
These guidelines are intended to assist passenger vessel operators and DVR’s with planning and achieving a successful voyage, in addition to promoting good relations with residents of Canada’s Arctic. Specifically, these guidelines will assist the operator or DVR with making contact with all relevant authorities so that all relevant publications and certificates are on board the vessel, operators have studied the charts and read the publications prior to entering Canadian Arctic waters, the voyage complies with all applicable acts and regulations, the voyage adheres to land claim agreement provisions along the planned route and that permission from land claim authorities and private property owners is sought and, where appropriate, access to these areas is granted.
These guidelines provide passenger vessel operators and DVRs with information on the various government departments and agencies that are to be contacted for approvals and advice while operating within the Canadian Arctic. It is necessary for vessel operators and DVR’s to be thoroughly familiar with all relevant acts and regulations, including those concerning vessel safety, pollution prevention, and maritime security.
The reference section of this document lists the departments, agencies and other groups involved in passenger vessel operations in the Canadian Arctic. The reader is directed to the appropriate agency by reference numbers in the text (e.g. Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security is contact 18 on the list in Appendix 2 and is shown as "" in the text).
Arctic – Refers to the Canadian Arctic only unless otherwise indicated. Note, however, that multiple definitions of the Canadian Arctic exist. For example, Canada's Arctic waters are defined in the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act (AWPPA). However, for the purposes of this document, no specific or prescriptive definition is used.
Designated Vessel Representative (DVR) – A person ashore responsible for vessel operations and maintenance.
Non-Pleasure Craft (e.g. commercial) – A vessel used for commercial purposes. If money or some form of remuneration is provided for the use of the vessel, even if it is not directly from the people onboard, the vessel is a non-pleasure craft and the people are passengers.
Operator – A qualified person onboard the vessel responsible for its daily operations.
Pleasure Craft (e.g. non-commercial) – A vessel used for recreational purposes. If the vessel is solely being used for pleasure and no money or other form of remuneration occurs, the people on board are guests, and the vessel is a pleasure craft.
Table 1 – List of abbreviations
Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System
Inuvialuit Final Agreement
Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations
Joint Rescue Coordination Centers
Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act
Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement
Canada Border Services Agency
Marine Communications and Traffic Services
Canada Shipping Act, 2001
Marine Transportation Security Regulations
CAF / CF
Canadian Armed Forces / Canadian Forces
Northern Canada Vessel Traffic Services Zone Regulations
Canadian Coast Guard
Canadian Hydrographic Service
Nunatsiavut Government Lands Division
Canadian Ice Service
Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement
Community Lands and Resources Committee
Nunavik Marine Region Planning Commission
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Canadian Wildlife Service
Nunavut Impact Review Board
Coasting Trade Act
Nunavut Land Claims Agreement
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Notices to Mariners
Notices to Shipping
Designated Vessel Representative
Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act
Economic Development Officer
Nunavut Planning Commission
Eeyou Marine Region
Office of Border and Travel Health
Eeyou Marine Region Impact Review Board
Eeyou Marine Region Land Claims Agreement
Public Health Agency of Canada
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Environmental Impact Review Board
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Environmental Impact Screening Committee
Regional Inuit Organizations
Search and Rescue
Global Affairs Canada
Sailing Plan Report
Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security
Hunter and Trapper Organizations
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
International Ship and Port Facility Security Code
World Wildlife Fund
International Ship Security Certificate
This section is divided into three parts:
Each section will provide detailed information on the required steps a passenger vessel operator (hereafter simply ‘operator') and/or Designated Vessel Representative (DVR) must take before starting a voyage in the Canadian Arctic.
Federal government requirements
To assist with the process of planning passenger vessel operations in the Canadian Arctic, it is recommended that the DVR and/or operator contact all relevant government departments and agencies as early as possible.
12-18 months prior to voyage
Transport Canada, Prairie and Northern Region, Marine Safety and Security 
This regional office is familiar with Canada’s Arctic shipping regime and is responsible for ensuring operational compliance with applicable acts and regulations. The DVR or operator should provide this office with a general vessel itinerary or voyage plan, including the particulars of the vessel (e.g. ice class) to help determine whether the voyage falls within the allowable entry limits of Canada’s Shipping Safety Control Zones. The DVR or operator must be able to show that the vessel complies with all applicable regulations so that Transport Canada may verify compliance if requested. To assist with this, the following information should be forwarded to the Manager, Marine Safety & Security, Transport Canada, Prairie and Northern Region:
- Vessel Name;
- Type of Vessel;
- Vessel IMO Number and Call Sign;
- Port and Country of Registry;
- Vessel Tonnage;
- Vessel Draft(s) and Icebelt Extent;
- Classification Society Name;
- Ice Classification;
- Proposed itinerary including points of embarkation and disembarkation of passengers and dates;
- Number of passengers and crew;
- Owner, Agent and/or DVR (name, address, telephone and fax numbers, email, etc.)
In addition, copies of the following international and Canadian certificates and documents must be provided, as applicable:
- Passenger Ship Safety Certificate;
- Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate;
- Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate;
- Cargo Ship Radio Safety Certificate;
- International Load Line Certificate or International Load Line Exemption Certificate;
- International or Canadian Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate;
- International Pollution Prevention Certificate For The Carriage Of Noxious Liquid Substances In Bulk;
- International Sewage Pollution Prevention Certificate;
- International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate And The NOx Technical Code;
- International Certificate Of Fitness For The Carriage Of Dangerous Chemicals In Bulk and The Certificate Of Fitness For The Carriage Of Dangerous Chemicals In Bulk;
- International Certificate Of Fitness For The Carriage Of Liquefied Gases In Bulk;
- International Ship Security Certificate;
- Document Of Compliance And Safety Management Certificate (ISM Code);
- Polar Ship Certificate;
- Inspection Certificate For A Passenger Vessel To Which The Safety Convention Does Not Apply And That Exceeds 15 Gross Tonnage Or Carries More Than 12 Passengers;
- Inspection Certificate For A Vessel Exceeding 150 Gross Tonnage Plying As A Non-Passenger Vessel;
- Inspection Certificate For A Vessel Exceeding 15 Gross Tonnage But Not Exceeding 150 Gross Tonnage Plying As A Non-Passenger Vessel;
- Certificate Of Indemnity/Insurance Against Pollution Clean-Up;
- Most Recent Report Of Port State Control Inspection;
- Minimum Safe Manning Document;
- Certificate of Competence and Appropriate Endorsement for the Crew including New Endorsements for Polar Navigation.
Transport Canada Marine Security should be notified well in advance to ensure that any security matters relating to the Marine Transportation Security Act are addressed appropriately.
Canadian Coast Guard, Central and Arctic Region [3,4]
The Canadian Coast Guard (Ice Operations Center) should also be provided with a voyage plan or itinerary early in the planning process. Having this information to use in combination with other known upcoming vessel activity in the Canadian Arctic assists with the planning and deployment of available icebreaking resources for the upcoming season.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) [10,1]
Because passenger ships entering the Canadian Arctic have onboard a variety of nationalities, customs and immigration requirements need to be addressed accordingly. Any advance questions regarding visas and work permits must therefore be directed to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Questions regarding importing goods should be directed towards the CBSA. The CBSA will conduct both customs and immigration clearances upon the vessel’s arrival in Canada. A Coasting Trade Licence will also need to be issued for foreign flagged vessels carrying passengers from one port to another in Canada. This process is overseen by the Canadian Transportation Agency, though with the support of both the CBSA and Transport Canada.
Global Affairs Canada 
Operators and DVRs are encouraged to provide details of their planned itineraries to Global Affairs Canada.
10 months prior to voyage
Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) 
All vessels in Canadian waters (including the Canadian Arctic) must carry and use up-to-date nautical charts and related publications pursuant to the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations. As the CHS distributes its nautical charts and publications to over 700 distributors across Canada and around the world, the operator or DVR is encouraged to refer to the CHS website for a list of dealers that carry these charts and publications and refer to the Canadian Coast Guard web page for chart and publication updates. All Notices to Mariners (NOTMAR) and all Notices to Shipping (NOTSHIP) related to the voyage must be applied and be onboard.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) - Territory Divisions [14, 15, 16]
Local RCMP detachments should be contacted and provided with a passenger vessels’ planned itinerary. If firearms are being carried on board the vessel, then both the RCMP and the CBSA need to be informed of this as permits will be required.
Health Canada requires that those onboard the vessel be in compliance with all relevant health and safety regulations. An itinerary must be therefore be provided. Note that Health Canada may inspect the vessel at any time during the voyage to verify compliance with the appropriate regulations.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) 
If any part of the voyage involves hunting or fishing activities, DFO must be contacted to obtain the necessary licenses and permits for each person participating in the activity. The operator or DVR will also have to apply for CITES permits for each passenger wanting to export fish and game out of Canada. CITES permits may also be required if passengers purchase handicrafts or art made from animal products, such as fur, hide and ivory tusks.
6-8 months prior to voyage
Parks Canada 
If the itinerary includes visits to National Marine Conservation Areas, National Historic Sites, and National Parks, Parks Canada must be contacted for permits, entry fees and awareness of any necessary conditions.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) 
Transiting through or visiting Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, National Wildlife Areas and Marine Protected Areas will require authorizations from ECCC and CWS.
Transport Canada Civil Aviation, Prairie and Northern Region 
For information on current licensing, permit requirements, and regulations that apply if helicopters or unmanned aerial vehicles to be used at any point during the voyage, Transport Canada must also be contacted.
3 months prior to voyage
Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Ice Services (CIS) 
While CIS provides regular updates to ice charts to assist with tactical operations, they should also be contacted well in advance of the voyage so that historical charts can be reviewed to assist with voyage planning.
At least 10 business days prior to arrival
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) 
Passenger vessel requiring CBSA clearance in the Northwest Territories or Nunavut must make cost-recovery arrangements in advance of arrival. The pre-arrival notice (PAN) (Form BSF136, Cruise Ship Pre-Arrival Notice) must be submitted to the CBSA office responsible for the port where the ship is expected to provide clearance.
At least 96 hours before entering Canadian waters
Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centre (MCTS) 
Transport Canada Marine Safety & Security requires vessels to complete a Pre-Arrival Information Report (PAIR) form and transmit it to MCTS Iqaluit at least 96 hours prior to entering Canadian waters.
24-36 hours prior to arrival
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) 
All cases of gastrointestinal illness (GI) must be reported 24 to 36 hours prior to arrival in a Canadian port from a foreign port. This includes reports of zero cases. If there are any additional cases after that 24-hour report, a four-hour update must be made. When the four-hour update is made, it must include all cases and not just the additional cases. In addition, a special report must be made when gastrointestinal illness reaches two percent in passengers or crew. Proof must be maintained on the ship that the report was successfully received by the PHAC.
Vessels of 300 GT or more, vessels carrying as cargo a pollutant or dangerous good, or vessels engaged in certain towing operations must all make contact with MCTS Iqaluit in accordance with NORDREG (including providing a sailing plan) prior to entering Canada’s NORDREG zone (North of 60N and out to the extent of Canada’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ)) so that the Canadian Coast Guard and Transport Canada can grant clearance to the vessel to enter the zone. These vessels must also provide daily position reports, or deviation reports in case of a change to the sailing plan, in addition to filing reports when stopped or at anchor.
Federal permits and authorizations
Please see Appendix 3 for a more complete list of the aforementioned Federal permitting, licensing, authorizations and inspection requirements. Per the disclaimer that introduces this document, please be advised that the information in this appendix was compiled from different stakeholders, including cruise operators who are subject to these requirements. Requirements can change frequently, and many of these permits and authorizations have conditions attached. It is therefore the responsibility of the operator to be aware of and follow all relevant conditions.
Territorial government requirements
Territorial governments are responsible for overseeing a variety of elements related to passenger vessel operation in the Canadian Arctic including, inter alia, wildlife management and the management of cultural resources (e.g. archeology, paleontology, etc.). During the voyage planning stage, the DVR or vessel operator must contact territorial governments and local authorities regarding applicable licenses, permits, environmental issues, and other concerns. Certain Canadian Arctic communities also require an operator or DVR to obtain permits and a letter of authorization before the visit. In some cases, these letters may be required when applying for other permits and authorizations. As this varies from community-to-community, please begin this well in advance of your voyage start date.
Your first point of contact should be CruiseNunavut@gov.nu.ca for any questions about Nunavut's overall permitting requirements for passenger vessel operations, including directions and assistance with the process.
Due to technological limitations, the telephone is often the most effective way to contact communities. In Nunavut, there are no “community-specific” permits. However, each community along an intended voyage should be contacted directly to find out if there are specific authorizations required.
24 months prior to voyage
Contact each community you are interested in visiting. Proof of consultation is required for parts of the Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC) and the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) review process. The local Economic Development Officer (EDO)  is a good first point of contact.
16 months prior to voyage
Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC) 
Note: At the time of this document's publication, the Nunavut Land Use Plan, while nearing completion, had not yet been implemented. The areas covered by regional land use plans, with distinct conformity requirements for marine-based activities are North Baffin and Keewatin (Kivalliq).
Operators or DVRs must contact the Nunavut Planning Commission before initiating any other permitting processes in Nunavut if visiting Nunavut for the first time, significantly altering a previously-approved project, an existing NIRB-approval time period has elapsed or if the project will involve an application to determine conformity with the existing land use plan, where one exists. Be mindful that the more detailed the project description is, the simpler the review process, and positive conformity determination results are sent to the NIRB for screening.
More information on this process can be found in:
- The Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act; and
- The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA), Article 11 (Land Use Plan) and Article 12 (Development Impact).
Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) 
Contingent upon a positive determination of conformity from NPC (see above), the NIRB then assesses the potential biophysical/socio-economic impacts of proposals and makes recommendations and decisions about which projects may proceed. Further:
- NIRB will circulate the project for public comment;
- Review period officially lasts 45 days, although extensions are common;
- NIRB approval of a project can last for multiple years;
- Approved projects are issued a Screening Decision Report that may have terms and conditions attached.
12 months prior to voyage
Access permit for Inuit-owned land
There are three Regional Inuit Organizations (RIO):
Once a project has been screened and approved by NPC/NIRB, the appropriate RIO(s) must be contacted and given the same application package. This may require additional translation of certain sections and will require approval from the relevant Community Lands and Resources Committee (CLARC). Processing can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks (Qikiqtani Inuit Association) to 5-6 months (Kivalliq Inuit Association).
Follow-up/continued planning with communities:
- Ensure communities are still aware of your desire to visit;
- Determine desired products and services and negotiate payment;
- Obtain a letter of support from hamlet offices and/or the Hunter-Trapper Organization (HTO)  of the communities you plan on visiting.
6 months prior to voyage
Outfitter licence [Dept. of Economic Development & Transportation (EDT)] 
First form required by the Government of Nunavut for passenger vessels wishing to visit the territory.
Certificate of compliance as an extra–territorial corporation (Dept. of Justice – Nunavut Legal Registries) 
All entities carrying out business in Nunavut are required to be registered in the Corporate Registry. As a company based outside of Nunavut, registration as an extra-territorial corporation ensures compliance with the Business Corporations Act. Registration must only be carried out once.
Business Corporations Act
(PDF, 756 KB)
Workers Coverage or Exemption – (Workers Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC)) 
Passenger vessels are generally exempt from coverage by the WSCC. Coverage is only required if the vessel is flagged in Nunavut, the vessel's owners are based in Nunavut or if workers will be onshore for extended periods of time. Contact WSCC to receive a 'WSCC Cruise Ship Determination' letter.
Consent to public disclosure of tourism information – (EDT) 
Requirement to be listed in the Government of Nunavut's publicly available database of tourism operators, outfitters, and establishments. Information is circulated to community contacts to allow residents and local committees to prepare for upcoming tourism season.
Pre-trip economic benefit reports – (EDT) 
Pre-trip form should estimate the expected ship expenditures for each planned community visit.
Archaeology and paleontological site visitation permit (Class 1) (Dept. of Culture and Heritage) 
A Class 1 permit is a ‘non-intervention permit' that strictly prohibits any disturbance of a site - essentially a ‘look but do not touch' permit. Application is forwarded to the Inuit Heritage Trust (IHT) , who reviews, translates, and forwards the applications to communities along the planned itinerary. The assessment is returned to the IHT, who forwards the application to the Department of Culture and Heritage for final approval. Allow for a minimum of 90 days for application to be processed.
3-4 months prior to voyage
Territorial parks use permit (Dept. of Environment – Parks & Special Places Division) 
Required for groups of 10 or more people intending to access any Nunavut Park. It requires a brief project description. May require community support from the local hamlet office, Hunters and Trappers Organization (HTO) or Community Lands and Resources Committee (CLARC) and may require comprehensive liability insurance – minimum coverage $2 million.
Firearms park use permit (PUP) (Dept. of Environment - Parks & Special Places Division) 
An application for a PUP must be submitted by each individual requesting approval to carry a firearm in a territorial park. Applications must include legible photocopies of the applicant's licence to possess firearms, legal registration of the firearm(s) and proof of completion of a firearms safety course. A PUP only authorizes the use of a firearm for the emergency protection of park users from dangerous wildlife (see Appendix 13 – Nunavut Territorial Parks Firearm Permit Factsheet).
Wildlife Observation Licence (Dept. of Environment – Wildlife Division) 
Required if the intent is to film, photograph or otherwise observe wildlife anywhere in Nunavut, an activity description is required.
1 month prior to voyage
Fishing Licence (Dept. of Environment – Wildlife Division) 
Provide a complete list of individuals who will require a fishing licence for processing. Individual fishing licences are required for passengers and/or staff members.
Post-Trip Economic Benefit reports – (EDT) 
List the actual level of expenditures in each community visited. Review and complete any reporting requirements listed on any of the permits or licences received. It is to be submitted 30 days after the voyage ends.
Northwest Territories (NWT) and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR)
9-12 months prior to voyage
Contact each community you are interested in visiting. For new operators, a best practice is to develop a working relationship by visiting each community during the planning phase. Proof of consultation will be required as part of the Environmental Impact Screening Committee process (EISC) . The regional Economic Development Officer (EDO) is a good first point of contact.
6-8 months prior to voyage
Complete the EISC process as found in the EISC Guidelines. Assessment and consultative process of environmental impacts related to any commercial development/activities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.
Environmental Impact Screening Guidelines
(PDF, 684 KB)
4 months prior to voyage
Tourism operator's licence [NWT Department of Tourism, Industry and Investment (TII)] 
Licence to conduct commercial, guided tourism activities in the Northwest Territories per the Tourism Act. The complete application package will undergo a consultation process. Contact the Tourism Officer, Beaufort Delta Regional ITI Office (by telephone at 867-777-7196).
Archaeological and heritage site permits (Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre for NWT) 
Permit to conduct commercial activities in Northwest Territories archaeological sites per the Archaeological Sites Regulations. The complete application package will undergo a consultation process. The authority to contact will depend on the location (area) and scope of the project.
3 months prior to voyage
Land use application (Inuvialuit lands administration) 
Permit to conduct commercial activities on private Inuvialuit lands. The complete application package will undergo a consultation process. Contact Inuvialuit Lands Administration by telephone at 867-977-7100.
2 months prior to voyage
Entrance requirements into territorial parks and wildlife sanctuaries (NWT Northern Parks & Sites Establishment) 
Permit to conduct commercial activities in the Northwest Territories per the Parks Act. The complete application package will undergo a consultation process. Contact the parks manager, Beaufort Delta Regional TII Office (by telephone at 867-777-7196).
Business licence for community access [GNWT Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA)] 
A licence is required for each community being accessed, as per the Business Act. The complete application package will undergo a consultation process. All cruise ship communities in the NWT issue their own Business Licences. Please contact the appropriate Hamlet office.
Review and complete any reporting requirements listed on all permits or licenses received.
Please contact the Yukon Government directly to determine what permits and authorizations may be needed for a passenger ship visit.
General Inquiries Line - 867-667-5811 or 867-667-5812
Email - email@example.com
Land claim agreements
Operators and DVRs must be aware that most waterways in the Canadian Arctic are subject to comprehensive Land Claims Agreements. These agreements include regulatory processes. Several of these agreements between the Government of Canada and Inuit or First Nations have established independent co-management boards for land use planning, environmental screening, land/water licensing and fish and wildlife management.
These processes may need to be satisfied before the government can grant or issue licences, permits or approvals required for passenger vessel operations. These permits and other approvals are not valid until verified and reviewed by the Nunavut Impact Review Board (Nunavut) and the Environmental Impact Screening Committee (Northwest Territories). Operators and DVRs must build enough time for these processes in their overall permitting timelines.
It is therefore highly recommended that operators or DVRs contact Land Claim Administrators very early in the planning process to determine what steps need to be followed. Most Canadian Arctic communities welcome visitors, provided they are contacted well-in-advance and have a chance to prepare for visitors.
Permissions and licences to access Inuit owned lands, administered by Regional Inuit associations are required in Nunavut. Before any deposit of waste in local landfills can occur, permission must be granted by the local hamlet and the Territorial Governments.
A current list of Land Claims Agreements in the Canadian Arctic can be found in Appendix 9. For the purposes of this document, the focus is limited to those agreements that encompass Canada's Arctic coastlines. If an operator or DVR is planning activities in-land, they should refer to the map found in Appendix 10 to find out if any other Land Claim Agreements may apply.
Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA)
The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement was signed in 1993 and covers about 45 per cent of the Canadian Arctic (refer to Appendix 10 - The NLCA is the rust-coloured area shown on the map). For vessels planning to visit Nunavut, applications must be filed with the Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC) .
The NPC will determine whether the proposed cruise conforms to any applicable land use plans (note: marine areas are included in land use plans) and whether the proposal requires screening (impact assessment) by the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB). Should screening be required, the NPC will forward the project proposal and associated determinations to the NIRB at the conclusion of its process.
The NPC and NIRB each have up to 45 days to administer their respective processes, not including any additional time taken to address information deficiencies. In most cases, vessels planning to access cultural, heritage or other conservation areas are considered ‘projects' under the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act (NuPPAA) and will require submission of applications to both the NPC and the NIRB). Government departments and agencies will be prohibited from issuing required permits, licences and approvals until the NPC and NIRB processes have successfully concluded.
Where required, the NPC and NIRB processes must be completed before all federal and territorial permits issued for activities within the Nunavut Settlement Area will be valid. The NIRB’s screening process involves a public consultation period and requires submission of supporting information in English and Inuktitut/Innuinnaqtun.
For more details on the NPC and NIRB processes, please see the NuPPAA. The NPC process can take up to 45 days, and the NIRB process can take an additional 45 days to complete. These timelines are based on the NPC and NIRB receiving complete application packages from operators. Complete application packages can be very lengthy, so allow enough time to work through the application and provide all information required. Missing information and documents will cause delays and extend the timelines above.
Nunavut Land Claims Agreement
(PDF, 1.1 MB)
Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA)
In 1984, the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA) was the first comprehensive land claim agreement signed north of the 60th parallel and covers approximately 20 per cent of the Canadian Arctic (refer to Appendix 10 - The IFA is the bright blue-coloured area shown on the map).
Under the IFA, six (6) co-management regimes were established as stewards of the land and environment. For DVRs and operators planning to transit Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) waters, or visit ISR sites of interest, or visit ISR communities, the Environmental Impact Screening Committee (EISC) is the gate-keeper under the IFA and must be contacted. The file must be opened, and the EISC process must be satisfied before any licences or permits will be issued by the regulatory bodies.
Inuvialuit Final Agreement
(PDF, 1.8 MB)
Environmental Impact Screening Committee (EISC)
The EISC mandate falls under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA), Section 11(36), which states, “…no license or approval shall be issued that would have the effect of permitting any proposed development to proceed unless the provisions of IFA, Section 11(36) have been complied with.”
Part of this compliance requires authorities to give notice of applications for licences, permits, or other authorizations, to the EISC. All applications for proposed development (including cruise ship operations) must be reviewed by the EISC to determine if they are subject to an environmental impact screening. As part of the broader environmental impact screening and review process, the EISC is required to fulfill its roles and responsibilities in a reasonable and efficient manner, in accordance with the requirements of the IFA. The IFA requires the environmental impact screening process to consider two points:
- If a proposed development could have a significant negative environmental impact; and
- If any development, likely to cause a negative environmental impact, could have a significant negative impact on present or future wildlife harvesting.
Operators must open a file on the EISC registry at least 150 days before the start of their voyage. It is highly recommended that the operator or DVR contact the EISC coordinator prior to opening the file, as the coordinator is in the best position to help manage a file. Operators must submit their itinerary and plans to the Joint Secretariat at least 120 days before the start of their voyage. These details will be sent to the EISC for review. If the committee deems the project to have potential, significant environmental impacts, it will send the project to the Environmental Impact Review Board (EIRB) for further assessment and review.
Part of the EIRB process includes inviting the public to take part in an environmental review process of the proposed project. This can happen a number of ways, including holding public hearings. If public hearings are held, they usually occur in the community most affected by the proposed project. After gathering information, the EIRB prepares a final report with its recommendations to be submitted to the federal authority. The federal authority will choose to accept, alter, or reject these recommendations. No permit or licence shall be issued without final approval. Vessels that are not carrying fare-paying passengers (i.e., Pleasure Craft) are exempt from the screening process above.
Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement (NILCA)
The Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement covers the southern portion of Hudson Strait, including Ungava Bay, Manse Island and wraps around the eastern coastline of Hudson Bay into James Bay near the community Chisasibi, Quebec. (Refer to Appendix 10 - The NILCA is the bright pink-coloured area shown on the map.)
This Land Claims Agreement established the Nunavik Marine Region Planning Commission (NMRPC), which its mandate is to develop policies and priorities for the Nunavik Marine Region (NMR). Whenever possible, the NMRPC adopts and uses the same by-laws and rules as the NPC. If you are planning a voyage in this area, please contact the NMRPC for details on permits, authorizations and processes. Some of the islands in Hudson Strait are also jointly managed by Nunavut and Nunavik. The NIRB and NMRIRB have an MOU in place which allows for coordination of projects which occur near the respective borders of each jurisdiction or in both areas. If screening by both the NMRIRB and NIRB is required, some level of coordination will be sought.
Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement
(PDF, 4.3 MB)
Eeyou Marine Region Land Claims Agreement (EMRLCA)
The Eeyou Marine Region Land Claims Agreement covers the offshore area of Eeyou Istchee (refer to Appendix 10 - The NILCA is the area outlined in brown shown on the map). This area, known as the Eeyou Marine Region (EMR), is an area that has traditionally been occupied and used by the Cree.
This agreement established the Eeyou Marine Region Impact Review Board (EMRIRB) , which is mandated to protect and promote the existing and future well-being of the residents in the EMR and to protect the ecosystem of the EMR. When planning a voyage in this area, please contact the EMRIRB, as soon as possible, to discuss your plans. Your planned activities may need to go through a review and consultation process, which can take several weeks to complete.
Eeyou Marine Region Land Claims Agreement
(PDF, 7.56 MB)
Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement (LILCA)
The Nunatsiavut Government Lands Division  is responsible for managing use and access to Labrador Inuit Lands. Labrador Inuit Lands are defined within the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement (refer to Appendix 10 - The LILCA is the orange area shown on the map).
The agreement defines who may access Labrador Inuit Lands, for what purposes, and under what conditions. The Lands Division is in the process of creating a lands administration system to ensure compliance with the agreement, and to safeguard against the inappropriate use of the land and resources. Operators or DVRs are encouraged to contact the Lands Division for more details.
Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement
(PDF, 888 KB)
Yukon Land Claims Agreements
There are currently 11 individual Land Claims Agreements in the Yukon. The Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA) covers the Yukon's North Slope, which stretches from Alaska through to the Northwest Territories and includes the northernmost part of the Yukon mainland, as well as the adjacent Beaufort Sea and it's near and far-shore islands.
The Environmental Impact Screening Committee (EISC)  reviews projects that will occur in the Yukon's North Slope. Refer to the Inuvialuit Agreement section for more details. The Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board (YESAB) may have to review a project or activity before the regulators can issue permits and authorizations. Please contact YESAB directly to determine if your planned voyage must complete this review process.
Best management practices
The following section contains information that operators and DVRs of passenger vessels are voluntarily encouraged to adhere to during voyage planning and operations in the Canadian Arctic. These best management practices were identified during consultations with representatives of Canadian Arctic communities and other stakeholders, and are in addition to the mandatory regulatory requirements discussed in the previous sections.
In addition, the Government of Nunavut has developed a separate Code of Conduct for vessel operators and visitors. While this document is written specific to Nunavut operations, much of the information provided is nevertheless applicable to other areas of the Canadian Arctic. Please refer to Appendix 12 for more information on this document.
Community engagement and cultural sensitivity
The arrival of a vessel (passenger or otherwise) is a big occasion for residents in Canadian Arctic communities. However, surprise arrivals can be like guests appearing unannounced on one's doorstep. Therefore, please contact the communities you plan to visit in advance so they can prepare accordingly. For example:
- Depending on what activities are planned, a community may need to bring in extra food and supplies by sealift or air.
- Ample time is also needed to plan activities and cultural presentations, and to train community volunteers.
Community members often welcome visitors and enjoy the opportunity to share their hospitality, culture and knowledge of the Arctic. Life in many communities still involves traditional activities; hunting, fishing and eating 'country foods'. It is therefore important that visitors be respectful and culturally sensitive of these activities and the people who live them daily.
Length of community visits
When planning a visit to a community, it is important to consider the number of planned activities and presentations, the mobility of passengers, and the travel time between locations within a community to determine the appropriate amount of time needed for each visit. Allowing too little time will cause visitors to feel rushed and not fully enjoy their experience in the community, while disembarking too many visitors in a short period of time may also overwhelm the community and service providers.
Prior to any planned visit operators and DVRs are encouraged to contact the community six months in advance to inquire about a community's capabilities and capacity to receive visitors, and to inquire about the availability and location of marine infrastructure to allow for the safe landing of visitors, the community's preference for the number of visitors to disembark at a given time, and the frequency and length of time for each visits and the appropriate balance between a vessel's operational needs, opportunities for passengers (e.g. the visitor experience), and the community's preferences.
Community services agreements
Planning a community visit takes time and involves costs for the community, the DVR and the operator. During the planning stage, a ‘Community Services Agreement' should be written so that all parties know and understand mutual expectations. At a minimum, these agreements should identify:
- The time and date of visit;
- The number of passengers expected to disembark;
- The types of services to be provided by the community (e.g., transportation, internet, meals, benches, maps, etc.);
- Details on the type of entertainment or cultural activities planned;
- A breakdown of costs for each activity;
- Payment arrangements and
- Any terms on how or when the agreement can be altered or cancelled.
However, even with thorough advanced planning, changes are sometimes necessary or inevitable. A good working relationship and frequent communication between the DVR and the community is, therefore, key to preventing and resolving any potential issues that may occur. Should a community visit need to be altered or cancelled (e.g. due to ice or weather conditions), the operator should let the community contact know as soon as possible.
Operators should be aware that infrastructure in most Arctic communities is very limited. In many locations, this has a direct impact on the number of passengers that can be taken ashore at any given time. Working with local authorities early on in the planning process will help alleviate any potential problems.
Anchoring sites for vessels close by to communities are often very limited. Having less to do with available water depth, these sites are usually limited due to the prevailing traditional or subsistence harvesting areas used by community members. Operators should, therefore, work with the community in advance to find an appropriate anchorage location for their vessel that allows for safe anchorage and avoids conflict with community activities. This information can be incorporated into the Community Services Agreement and will also benefit the community's security operations required under Canadian legislation.
Community provisions and resupply
Communities in the Canadian Arctic rely on a seasonal marine sealift and year-round air cargo services to have food, fuel and all other supplies delivered. These resupply activities involve significant pre-planning, are often extremely expensive, and are regularly subject to load limits and pre-determined delivery schedules.
If a passenger vessel requires fuel or other provisions, the DVR or operator should contact the community in advance to see if the community can accommodate the request. If it is not possible, the DVR or operator should make arrangements to have any needed supplies delivered to a set location with a distribution company specializing in logistics for the Canadian Arctic.
Oil and gas re-supply operations
Communities in the Canadian Arctic rely on oil and gas delivered by tankers. During the fuel transfer process, fuel lines float near the surface of the water. Extreme caution is therefore required when navigating in the area when a tanker is transferring fuel. Pollution incidents are known to exist where passenger ships or their tenders have hit and damaged fuel lines.
Shipping companies that handle fuel resupply services to Canadian Arctic communities post their sailing schedules in advance of resupply operations. These schedules can assist operators and DVRs with knowing where and when these resupply activities are occurring so that passenger vessels can find appropriate anchorage locations and ensure the safe disembarkation of passengers.
Services in the communities
In many Canadian Arctic communities, transportation options are often limited. Once in the community, walking is the most common way to get around. Access to taxis and passenger vans may be available but must be prearranged. There may also be additional costs for the use of these vehicles. The DVR or operator should discuss and arrange for transportation within the community during the planning stage six months in advance.
It is also a good idea for the operator to discuss the limited transportation options with passengers before visiting a community. Operators should let passengers know they may be expected to walk for long distances on loose gravel, rocky or steep terrain as part of the planned activities in a community.
While Canadian Arctic communities have access to the Internet, it often has very limited bandwidth. Some communities also have a monthly limit on the amount of Wi-Fi access available. Going over this limit is costly, and can prevent community members from accessing the internet for work, school and entertainment. Operators should advise passengers and crew to only use Wi-Fi service onboard the vessel if available. Passengers should therefore not expect access to Wi-Fi and should avoid it while visiting communities.
Medical services are provided through the local health centres by community nurses. These services are limited. Serious medical emergencies are sent to larger communities with hospitals by air ambulance. Operators and DVRs should advise passengers and crew to get adequate medical insurance that will cover the cost of a medevac flight if needed. As part of their six-month advance planning with a community, DVRs and operators should ask what medical services are available and plan accordingly, including having dedicated medical services available onboard the vessel.
In smaller Canadian Arctic communities banks and currency exchanges do not exist. Operators should, therefore, advise passengers of this limitation and encourage foreign currency to be exchanged before coming into communities
Automated Teller Machines (ATM)
While ATMs can be found in Canadian Arctic communities, operators and DVRs should let passengers know that community members rely on ATMs to access cash. This is especially true in smaller hamlets, where there may only be one machine available. These machines have limited funds. Passengers should be encouraged to withdraw cash in larger centres and avoid using the community ATMs when possible.
Credit cards can be a convenient alternative to carrying cash when travelling. However, there have been some issues when travellers have tried to use foreign credit cards in communities to make purchases. Some credit cards are not able to be processed using the systems typically found in stores in the Canadian Arctic. Operators or DVRs should advise passengers to confirm their credit cards are compatible and will work in Canada before starting their trip.
Operators or DVRs should also consider if alternate payment arrangements can be used should a passenger wish to purchase handicrafts from local artists in the community. Paying an artist directly by credit card may not be an option, but it may be possible using existing resources in the community. Operators or DVRs should discuss options with the community Economic Development Officer during the planning stage to explore these possibilities.
Many communities have established fees for landing passenger vessels to help cover costs for services being accessed within the community. These fees may be calculated as a flat fee or be based on the number of people coming ashore. The Operator or DVR should contact each community it plans to visit to determine if fees for services with be charged, how fees will be calculated, details of services provided and how and when this fee is to be paid.
These fees are payable to the community, whether or not some or all of the services were used. If fees apply, it should be included in the Community Service Agreement.
Other economic benefits
The economic benefits of a passenger ship visit to a Canadian Arctic community are not limited to the amount of money an event or visit generates. In many situations, the economic benefits are indirect but just as valuable. Included below are some potential ideas DVRs and operators may want to include as part of their voyage planning to enhance the passenger experience:
- Consider hiring local guides from within the communities;
- Add “country foods” (e.g., Arctic char or caribou) as a meal option;
- Use local historians to develop programming for on-ship entertainment or as guest lecturers; etc.
The discussion about potential economic benefits for a community should happen during the planning phase, at least six months before the visit. Any items identified, upon agreement by both the operator/DVR and the community, should be included in the ‘Community Service Agreement.'
Archeological and heritage sites
There are many archeological and heritage sites scattered across the Canadian Arctic. These sites are the result of centuries of habitation and exploration. These sites are protected by law and must not be disturbed. Expedition leaders, guides and heritage site lecturers are responsible for ensuring steps are taken to protect these sites. Artifacts from sites must not be removed, altered or destroyed. Care should be taken, as foot traffic may damage the soil and vegetation.
DVRs and operators should advise passengers that disturbing, destroying or altering archeological or heritage sites may result in charges and fines. DVRs and operators should underscore that access to these sites are “as a privilege” at all times. Using local guides who are aware of the importance of these sites to their communities and know how they should be visited and protected under law is highly recommended. In Nunavut, the Inuit Heritage Trust  can assist with finding Inuit guides.
The Canadian Arctic is home to various species of mammals, birds and fish of which many can prove dangerous if care is not properly taken. Plan trips expecting to come in contact with local wildlife, including arctic fox, wolves and ermine. Most are afraid of humans and do not usually pose a threat. However seals and walruses can also pose a threat and are extremely capable hunters in the water and on land, so be alert.
The most well-known threat is the polar bear. Polar bears spend most of their time on pack ice hunting for seals and show no fear towards humans. They may approach out of hunger, aggression or curiosity. A 24-hour deck watch is a good idea, as polar bears can swim up to and climb aboard smaller vessels and tenders. Gangways should be completely dismantled at night when the vessel is at rest. Stairs should also be in a raised position during the day.
Operators should do a wildlife safety briefing with the passengers and crew at the beginning of the voyage. This briefing should include the different types of wildlife in the area, explanation of the dangers wildlife can pose and safety procedures to follow if wildlife is encountered.
All observations of wildlife must be done from a safe distance, be in compliance with all wildlife management laws and according to all requirements identified in Land Claims Agreements. All interactions with wildlife are discouraged for safety reasons, effects on the wildlife, and impacts on traditional harvesting activities.
In addition, the Marine Environment Handbook, a Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) publication, includes guidelines on how to operate when near wildlife. Subject to safe navigation, operators should:
- Reduce noise disturbances;
- Reduce power and slowing the rate of transit;
- Discontinue the use of noise-producing ancillary systems (e.g., bubbler systems);
- Suspend operations briefly when the vessel comes across wildlife on the ice surface, to allow wildlife to leave without fleeing;
- Transit along ice edges as quickly and directly as possible;
- Avoid visible concentrations of animal dens when possible;
- Work with the communities along the intended vessel routes to gather real-time information to avoid the possibility of disrupting fishing / hunting activities or trapping people on the ice; and;
- Select routes to minimize potential interaction between the ship and valuable components of the ecosystem.
Operators should also be aware that under the Marine Mammal Regulations (MMR), Section 7, “No person shall disturb a marine mammal except when fishing for marine mammals under the authority of these Regulations.” A disturbance includes any intentional or negligent act resulting in disruption of their normal behaviour. Individuals who contravene these regulations may be found guilty of an offence under the Fisheries Act. More information on safety around wildlife can be found in Appendix 14.
Training, education and awareness
Operating a vessel of any kind in the Canadian Arctic can be challenging. The vast distances between communities, ever-changing ice conditions, and limited infrastructure are just some of the factors to be considered when planning a voyage. For the Master and Officers on the bridge, experience navigating in ice conditions and advance preparation are key. It is important that the Master and Officers be prepared by taking basic and advanced ice navigation training as required, reviewing all the nautical charts for their planned route, reading the sailing directions for the areas along the way and having a working knowledge of the publications and resources that must be carried onboard. (See the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations for more details.)
In addition, it is highly recommended that the Master, Officers and Ice Navigator spend some time running through ice-navigation scenarios in a Vessel Simulator that is capable of effectively demonstrating ice, weather conditions, and other navigational risks before the voyage. Working through a series of situations in the simulator, that includes engaging with experienced instructors, is an excellent way to refine skills and practice in a safe environment.
Discharges of grey water
Vessel operators are encouraged to abide by best practices when discharging grey water (e.g. washings from sinks and tubs). An ideal best practice would be to ensure a complete prohibition on the discharge of untreated grey water under any circumstance when operating within waters subject to Canadian jurisdiction (including the Canadian Arctic).
Vessel operators should consider the potential impact vessel noise has on wildlife and use and maintain the vessel to reduce vessel noise. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority ECHO Program provides some steps that can be taken to do this. They are:
- Regular propeller polishing and repair;
- Regular hull cleaning;
- Hull coating (e.g. decoupling coating, coatings that reduce fouling);
- Propeller design modified to reduce cavitation and improve wake flow (e.g. high skew, air injection);
- Alternate propulsion (e.g. water or jet pump);
- Use of quieter engines (e.g. diesel-electric drive);
- Reduce on-board engine and machinery noise (location, mounting and insulation of components); and
- Changes to hull form.
Additionally, vessel operators should undertake the following best practices during navigation to reduce underwater noise:
- Speed Reduction: for ships equipped with fixed pitch propellers, reducing ship speed can be a very effective operational measure for reducing underwater noise, especially when it becomes lower than the cavitation inception speed and;
- Rerouting: to avoid sensitive marine areas including well-known habitats or migratory pathways when in transit will help to reduce adverse impacts on marine life and behavioural responses.
Ice operations and the protection of ice habitat
Follow a pre-existing ship track through sea ice as best as possible. Conduct land fast ice monitoring for the duration of any recurring shipping operation, which should include:
- The number of ship transits that can use the same track and the area of land fast ice disrupted annually by ship traffic.
- Avoid operations through sea ice during ice formation (until ice is >20 cm thick), which could decrease the likelihood of introducing cracks into the new ice sheet;
- Should large pieces of land fast ice prematurely break away as a result of ice breaking, ship routes (during spring only) should be modified to follow a zig-zag pattern;
- Re-route or halt operations in sea ice to avoid important species areas during sensitive times of the year, such as caribou crossing areas, walrus and seal pupping areas, and polar bear denning locations;
- Support scientific research on the impacts of operations in sea ice (such as the number of marine mammals attracted to ship tracks) by providing access to ships for sampling by governmental and research groups;
- When marine mammals appear to be trapped or disturbed by vessel movements, implement appropriate measures to mitigate disturbance, including stoppage of movement until wildlife has moved away from the immediate area.
If operations in sea ice interfere with access to hunting grounds, vessel owners should:
- Mark the vessel tracks to make them visible to travellers;
- Install ice bridging, such as pontoon bridges, and;
- Keep the public informed on icebreaking activities by providing a minimum of 24-hour notice prior to icebreaking.
Use of heavy fuel oil
Under the recommendatory Part II-B section of the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) which came into effect January 1, 2017, ships are encouraged to apply regulation 43 of MARPOL Annex I when operating in Arctic waters. This regulation prohibits the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by ships in the Arctic area.
International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters
(PDF, 1.2 MB)
Additional best-management practices
Over the last decade, steps have been taken by the cruise industry to develop and use best management practices to address many elements of their operations. Best management practices have been developed on a wide variety of topics, including:
- Environmental Stewardship;
- Crew Training;
- Community Relations and;
- Wildlife Interactions.
Specifically, significant guidelines, resources and tools on best management practices have been developed. Operators and DVRs are encouraged to contact the following two organizations, both of whom have been heavily involved in the development of best management practices for passenger vessels and expedition vessels operating in the Arctic Region, respectively:
- Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is an international association that supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment and that is dedicated to promoting the cruise travel experience.
- The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) is an international association for expedition cruise ship operators operating in the Arctic. AECO is dedicated to promoting responsible, environmentally friendly and safe tourism in the Arctic and strives to set the highest possible operating standards.
Regulatory roles and responsibilities by federal government
The Canada Shipping Act, 2001 is the principal piece of legislation governing the safety of marine transportation and recreational boating and the protection of the marine environment in Canada, including in the Arctic. Under this Act Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard cooperate closely, though with each having their own specific areas of responsibility.
Transport Canada's Arctic shipping responsibilities include, though are not limited to marine safety, vessel pollution prevention and maritime security. More specifically, to help fulfill these overall responsibilities, Transport Canada oversees Arctic-specific regulations focused on:
- Vessel reporting;
- Vessel design;
- Equipment carriage;
- Vessel-ice interaction;
- Crew training;
- On-board procedures and operations; and
- Protection of the marine environment.
Marine Safety and Pollution Prevention
Key features of the ASSPPR include:
- Incorporating the content of International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (the Polar Code) developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The primary objective of the Polar Code is to address the unique hazards confronted by certain vessels operating in the Arctic and Antarctic (the Polar Regions) through the introduction of a variety of safety and pollution prevention measures.
- The inclusion of three methodologies to assess a vessel's operational capabilities and limitations in ice: the Zone/Date System (ZDS), the Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System (AIRSS), and the Polar Operational Limit Assessment Risk Indexing System (POLARIS).
- Requirements for certain vessels to have onboard a qualified ice navigator if operating outside the dates contained within the Zone/Date System.
- Requirements for certain vessels that intend to operate in areas with low air temperature to be assigned a cold-service temperature or winterization notation, and having on board inflatable life rafts, marine evacuation systems, life boats and rescue boats that can operate at low temperatures.
- A complete prohibition on the discharge of waste generated onboard the vessel except where authorized. Examples of authorizations include discharges for the purpose of saving a life or the loss of vessel, minimal discharge resulting from the operation of underwater machinery, the discharge of treated sewage and certain food wastes (both subject to minimum distance from land and ice requirements).
Polar Operational Limit Assessment Risk Indexing System
(PDF, 366 KB)
In addition, Transport Canada Marine Safety will review a vessel's planned itinerary, route and documentation to confirm the vessel meets these and other regulatory requirements. This information should be submitted to the Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security Office in Winnipeg  at least six (6) months in advance.
Further, if a Port State Control (PSC) inspection has not been carried out within six months of arriving in Canada, or if significant defects have been reported, a PSC inspection may be arranged at the vessel's first Canadian port of call. All Marine Safety Inspectors, Canadian Coast Guard Commanding Officers and Chief Engineers on icebreakers are designated Pollution Prevention Officers. In the event of an oil or another type of spill, they are empowered to conduct an on-site investigation.
Ice operation methodologies
Under the Zone/Date System, Canadian Arctic waters are divided into sixteen distinct Shipping Safety Control Zones which identify earliest and latest entry dates for each zone corresponding to specific categories of vessels based on historical ice conditions, with Zone 1 assigned the most severe ice conditions, and Zone 16 the least.
A vessel may operate outside of these predetermined zones and dates if the vessel uses either AIRSS or POLARIS and adheres to their respective operating criteria. Both AIRSS and POLARIS are designed to be a more dynamic and ‘real-time' operating regime, compared to the more tactical Zone/Date System which is better suited for voyage planning purposes. Operators should refer to the Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System (AIRSS) Standard (TP 12259) for additional information on how to use both AIRSS and POLARIS.
Applying the Zone/Date System requires familiarity with Schedules 1 and 2 of the Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations (ASSPPR) and the contents of the Shipping Safety Control Zone Order. Excerpts of this information can be found within the Appendices to this document, specifically: To understand how to apply the Zone/Date System, the following information is required:
- Appendix 4 – Shipping Safety Control Zone Map
- Appendix 5 – ASSPPR Schedule 1
- Appendix 6 – ASSPPR Schedule 2
Ice navigator requirements
In accordance with the ASSPPR, vessels between 300-500 GT that choose to operate outside of the Zone/Date System must have onboard a qualified Ice Navigator. Moreover, masters, chief mates and officers in charge of a navigational watch onboard vessels 500 GT and above operating in the Canadian Arctic must meet either the basic or advanced training requirements set out by the STCW Convention and Code. According to the ASSPPR, an Ice Navigator must:
- Have all of the qualifications under the CSA, 2001 to act as a master or person in charge of the deck watch, and either
- Have served on a vessel in the capacity of master or person in charge of the deck watch for at least 50 days, of which 30 days must have been served in international Arctic waters while the vessel was in ice conditions that required the vessel to be assisted by an ice-breaker or that required manoeuvers to avoid concentrations of ice that might have endangered the vessels, or
- Hold a certificate in advanced training for ships operating in polar waters in accordance with regulation V/4 of the STCW Convention.
Vessels should be equipped with powerful searchlights positioned above, and with the ability to be operated from the bridge. Although most Arctic cruising takes place when ice conditions are light, with little or no darkness, ice encountered in twilight or darkness poses a considerable risk. When this happens, searchlights are useful when moving the ship to a safer position. Night navigation in ice concentrations is not recommended. It is usually safer to stop the vessel in the ice and await first light.
Ballast water exchange
As part of an ongoing attempt to keep foreign species out of Canada's marine ecosystem, the Canadian government has established the Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations. These regulations state that:
(1) Ballast water that is taken on board a vessel outside waters under Canadian jurisdiction must not be released in waters under Canadian jurisdiction unless an exchange is conducted, before the vessel enters those waters, in an area at least 200 nautical miles from shore where the water depth is at least 2 000 m.
If the requirements of subsection (1) cannot be met because doing so is infeasible or would compromise the stability or safety of the vessel or the safety of persons on board the vessel, an exchange may be conducted in the following areas in waters under Canadian jurisdiction:
- in respect of a voyage to a port, offshore terminal or anchorage area in Hudson Bay, an area in Hudson Strait east of 70° west longitude where the water depth is at least 300 m
- in respect of a voyage to a port, offshore terminal or anchorage area in the High Arctic, an area in Lancaster Sound east of 80° west longitude where the water depth is at least 300 m.
(2) This section applies in respect of a vessel that exchanges ballast water and does not, during the course of its voyage, navigate more than 200 nautical miles from shore where the water depth is at least 2 000 m. Ballast water that is taken on board a vessel outside waters under Canadian jurisdiction must not be released in waters under Canadian jurisdiction unless an exchange is conducted, before the vessel enters those waters, in an area at least 50 nautical miles from shore where the water depth is at least 500 m.
If the requirements specified above cannot be met because doing so is infeasible or would compromise the stability or safety of the vessel or the safety of persons on board the vessel, an exchange may be conducted in the following areas in waters under Canadian jurisdiction:
- In respect of a voyage to a port, offshore terminal or anchorage area in Hudson Bay, an area in Hudson Strait east of 70° west longitude where the water depth is at least 300m
- In respect of a voyage to a port, offshore terminal or anchorage area in the High Arctic, an area in Lancaster Sound east of 80° west longitude where the water depth is at least 300 m.
The Marine Transportation Security Regulations (MTSR) apply to all SOLAS and non-SOLAS vessels, whether Canadian or foreign registered. The regulations include provisions of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention, the International Convention on Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) and its Code.
The MTSR requires all vessels to provide a pre-arrival report to the Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) Centre at least 96 hours before entering Canadian waters, while on an international voyage. The ship must have a valid International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC), and the certificate number must be provided at the time of reporting.
The vessel operator must ensure they follow their vessel's security plan and the MTSR while in Canadian waters. Whenever passengers and crew are taken ashore, it is the operator's responsibility to conduct the required security screening of all people and goods, prior to gaining access to the vessel.
There are numerous locations throughout the Canadian Arctic that have been certified as Occasional-Use Marine Facilities. Once a vessel arrives in Canada, an Inspector with Transport Canada Marine Security may conduct a formal security inspection. Currently, there are no fees for these inspections.
Helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles
Some vessels are equipped to carry a helicopter for ice reconnaissance, passenger sightseeing and emergency medical evacuation. The helicopter, operator, and the pilot must be licensed to fly in Canadian airspace. Proper insurance must also be obtained.
As a general rule, only Canadian-registered aircraft may be used to transport passengers within Canadian airspace. It may be possible, in special circumstances, to use foreign-registered aircraft for ice reconnaissance not involving landings. Vessel operators must contact Transport Canada Civil Aviation in advance to get approvals to use aircraft registered in a country other than Canada.
The helicopter operator must provide drummed fuel as part of the charter. These drums must be stowed in releasable racks on the stern of the vessel. When refuelling on board, portable cans should be used to transfer fuel from the stored drums to the helicopter pad. A firefighting party must be in attendance at all times during on board helicopter operations. It is also recommended that a suitably manned and equipped launch boat be standing by in case of an emergency over water.
Operators should also be aware of the potential impact of flying over protected areas, parks and environmentally sensitive areas. As a general rule, aircraft should maintain a minimum altitude of 500 metres over wildlife, including marine mammals.
The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has gained in popularity recently, and they are being used for photography, scientific research and ice reconnaissance. If you plan on using UAVs, please contact Transport Canada, Civil Aviation  for information on the current requirements. Additional information can also be found in Appendix 14.
Canadian Coast Guard
The Canadian Coast Guard's Arctic shipping responsibilities include, though are not limited to:
- Icebreaker escort;
- Search and rescue (in conjunction with the Canadian Armed Forces);
- Vessel traffic management, position reporting, and other communications;
- Pollution incident response;
The Northern Canada Ship Traffic Services Zone Regulations formally establish the Northern Canada Ship Traffic Services (NORDREG) Zone, which includes the shipping safety control zones prescribed by the Shipping Safety Control Zones Order (e.g. Canadian Arctic waters), plus the waters of Ungava Bay, Hudson Bay and Kugmallit Bay that are not in a shipping safety control zone, the waters of James Bay, the waters of the Koksoak River from Ungava Bay to Kuujjuaq, the waters of Feuilles Bay from Ungava Bay to Tasiujaq, the waters of Chesterfield Inlet that are not within a shipping safety control zone, the waters of Baker Lake, and the waters of the Moose River from James Bay to Moosonee.
The Regulations implement the requirements for ships to report information prior to entering, while operating within, and upon exiting Canada's northern waters, and are intended to enhance Canada's ability to facilitate the safety of ships, crew and passengers while safeguarding the unique and fragile Arctic marine environment.
All vessels of 300 gross tonnage or more (including those involved in towing operations and those carrying pollutants or dangerous goods) are required to report to NORDREG. All others are encouraged to do so for safety reasons. Vessels reporting to NORDREG must submit specific reports immediately prior to entering the NORDREG zone, and periodically throughout their transit. These reports are broken down into:
- Sailing Plan Reports (SP);
- Position Reports (PR);
- Final Reports (FR); and
- Deviation Reports (DR).
Each of these reports has detailed requirements that can be found in the Northern Canada Vessel Traffic Services Zone Regulations. All completed reports must be sent to the Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) Centre identified by NORDREG. Detailed contact information can be found in the annual edition of Radio Aids to Marine Navigation. NORDREG is designed to ensure that the most effective services are available to accommodate current and future levels of marine traffic. There are no fees to use NORDREG.
The Canadian Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) Centres provide:
- Distress and safety call monitoring,
- Coordinate responses,
- Broadcast maritime safety information (weather and navigational warnings),
- Screen vessels entering Canadian waters,
- Deliver information and advice to regulate marine traffic movement, and
- Take appropriate action to ensure the safe and efficient movement of vessels in Canadian waters.
MCTS Iqaluit provides constant monitoring of:
- International maritime distress and urgency radio frequencies; and
- International Safety Digital Selective Calling high frequencies (HF/DSC) as part of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).
MCTS Iqaluit is operational from June through to December.
The Canadian Coast Guard's icebreaking services (within and outside of the Arctic) help ensure that marine traffic can move safely through or around ice-covered waters. When a vessel requests icebreaker assistance, the Canadian Coast Guard must consider the capability of the vessel to navigate safely along its intended route. This policy pertains to commercial ships, ferries, fishing vessels and pleasure craft.
There are a limited number of Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers available, and activities are coordinated by Ice Operations Centres in Atlantic and Central & Arctic Regions to ensure the best utilization of icebreakers and minimize the impacts of ice on marine shipping. Requests for icebreaker assistance are assessed against established Canadian Coast Guard priorities:
- All distress and emergency situations take precedence;
- Service requests from ferry services provided in accordance with the Terms of Confederation/Union will be given priority; other ferry services will receive priority as deemed appropriate by the CCG;
- Ships with vulnerable cargoes (pollutants, dangerous goods, perishables) and vessels transporting cargo which is vital to the survival of communities;
- Marine traffic and fishing vessels; and
- Fishing harbour breakouts.
When requesting icebreaker assistance, it is important to clarify whether it is for a routine escort or whether if it is a distress or emergency situation. Contact the nearest MCTS Centre to make your request.
Search and Rescue
The Canadian Forces (CF) have overall responsibility for coordination of Search and Rescue (SAR) activities in Canada. This is done in coordination with the Canadian Coast Guard through Joint Rescue Coordination Centres (JRCC) in Victoria, British Columbia, Trenton, Ontario and Halifax . These centres are staffed 24 hours a day by Canadian Forces and Canadian Coast Guard personnel.
The Commander of the Canadian Armed Forces Northern Area should be advised of a vessel's schedule, and itinerary as this information would assist in Canadian Forces in coordinating a Search and Rescue response if the need arose. In addition, most communities in the North have an established Canadian Ranger Patrol Units, which can provide local Search and Rescue assistance. If SAR assistance is needed, a Master should contact an MCTS centre and provide details on the nature of the emergency, the vessel location, and the type of assistance being requested. When a SAR call is received, MCTS will contact the JRCC and start the Search and Rescue operation.
Additional information on Canadian Search and Rescue services can be found in the following publications, available from the Canadian Hydrographic Service :
- Sailing Directions ARC 400 - Section 1-20;
- Canadian Annual Edition of Notices to Mariners - Section D.
Pollution incidents/oil spills
Through its Environmental Response Program, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) oversees the proper cleanup of ship-sourced spills of oil and other pollutants into Canadian waters. This includes:
- Monitoring cleanup efforts by polluters; and
- Managing cleanup efforts when polluters are unknown, or unwilling or unable to respond to a marine pollution incident.
Canadian law holds polluters responsible for costs associated with cleaning up spills, including CCG's costs for monitoring and/or managing a response effort.
Any incident involving the spillage of oil or petroleum lubricating products into the marine environment must be reported immediately to NORDREG. The ship's operator should report the incident to the 24-hour Spill Report Centre at the following numbers:
- Nunavut and Northwest Territories: 1-867-920-8130
- Yukon: 1-867-667-7444
- Manitoba: 1-204-944-4888
Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has developed an integrated oceans strategy for Canada (Canada's Oceans Strategy). This strategy is built on the principles of sustainable development, integrated management, and the precautionary approach, and the objectives are to:
- Understand and protect the marine environment;
- Support sustainable economic opportunities; and
- Advance Canadian and global ocean-related interests, both broadly and proactively.
The strategy identifies areas of interest for special protection including areas specified by the Oceans Act, Marine Conservation Areas and Marine Wildlife Sanctuaries. Operators should contact DFO in Winnipeg  with details of their planned activities for further information on specific requirements.
Canadian Hydrographic Services
The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) is responsible for the charting of Canadian waters. While much of southern Canada is well charted, significant works remain in those areas north of 60° north. Indeed, soundings in many areas are based on reconnaissance surveys only and are not up to current international standards. Mariners are therefore cautioned to keep an echo sounder running continuously and always to use the largest scale chart available. All dangers found must be reported to the CHS. (See the Annual Notice to Mariners for more details)
A chart catalogue with a full selection of Arctic charts is available from CHS Ottawa or on the CHS website. The catalogue also provides a list of Canadian chart agents world-wide. For a Northwest Passage voyage, approximately 150 charts are required. See also the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations for information on official charts.
Canada Border Services Agency
Coasting trade licence
It is the responsibility of the vessel operator or DVR to determine if the planned voyage is considered to be a coasting voyage with a requirement for a Coasting Trade License. Refer to the Coasting Trade Act to make this determination. Inquiries should be sent to CBSA, Carrier and Cargo Policy.
If a Coasting Trade License is required, the following steps must happen:
- Notify Transport Canada Marine Safety (TCMS) so a vessel inspection can be done.
- If the inspection is satisfactory, a Letter of Compliance will be issued.
- Based on the Letter of Compliance, CBSA will issue a temporary vessel importation document.
- TCMS will complete a survey according to the Coasting Trade Act.
- If the survey finds the vessel complies with all the applicable international maritime conventions, the Marine Inspector will issue a Coasting Trade Survey form.
- A CBSA Officer can then issue the Coasting Trade License.
Important note: The survey is usually carried out at the first Canadian port of call or at a mutually agreed location. All expenses related to this survey are the operator's responsibility. Charges (including overtime) are based on:
- The Board of Steamship Inspection Scale of Fees Regulations, and
- The Government of Canada, Treasury Board Guidelines for incurred costs for travel, accommodation and meals.
Customs and immigration clearance
Detailed information regarding CBSA procedures for clearing cruise ships arriving in Canada may be found in the CBSA Cruise Ship Handbook. The handbook includes specific sections addressing Arctic clearance arrangements and all applicable forms and permits. It may be obtained from the Cruise Lines International Association, the Shipping Federation of Canada, or by directly contacting the CBSA.
Cruise ships, including passengers and crew, are fully cleared by the CBSA at their First Port of Arrival (FPOA). The ship can subsequently navigate freely in Canada and transit foreign and international waters between ports of call in Canada without having to report to the CBSA.
The cruise operator is responsible for arranging customs clearance for the vessel, crew and the passengers. There are no official marine ports of entry north of 60°N. As a consequence, locations for inward and outward clearance must be mutually agreed between the CBSA and the operator. Inquiries should be addressed to the appropriate office depending on the location of the proposed entry port.
CBSA Offices may be contacted through:
Border Services Officers are normally deployed from southern Canada, and the cruise operator will be responsible for the cost of their transportation to and from, and accommodation at the agreed marine port of entry.
The CBSA requires that the vessel schedule and itinerary be submitted well in advance. There are a number of forms, lists and certificates that must be provided for both inward and outward clearance, and it is the responsibility of the cruise ship operator to have these documents prepared in advance.
When a vessel arrives at a Canadian port, the master of the ship shall place alcohol, tobacco and other goods for sale on board the ship under lock or seal, and shall be kept there while the ship is in the port, except where otherwise authorized by an officer.
If firearms are carried on board for the protection of passengers on shore excursions from wildlife, those firearms must be reported to the Border Services Officer. Hunting game is not permitted in the Canadian Arctic during a vessel's voyage. Only crewmembers experienced with animals and firearms should be in control of the firearms, and they should accompany each group when ashore and when in auxiliary boats. Firearms should also be reported to the RCMP to confirm they are legal to carry on board.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
The RCMP have Divisional Headquarters in Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit that are responsible for law enforcement in their respective Territories. The RCMP is present in most Arctic communities by officers, usually with one or two members per detachment.
One of the main responsibilities of the RCMP is the welfare of the residents of the area. All detachments are connected by radio to Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit. These detachments can be very helpful to operators provided they are aware of the vessel's schedule and itinerary. Operators or DVRs should send the proposed voyage details and information on all firearms to the respective RCMP Divisions well in advance, particularly for a Northwest Passage voyage. The Territorial contacts for the RCMP are:
- Yukon - the RCMP Federal Enforcement Section
- Northwest Territories - RCMP Criminal Operations Division; and
- Nunavut - Operational Support Division
Department of National Defence
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories is the Headquarters for the Canadian Forces Northern Area. They play a role in protecting Canadian sovereignty and conducting Search and Rescue Operations in the Canadian Arctic. Most Arctic communities have Canadian Ranger Patrol Units (military reservists) that can assist with Search and Rescue operations. Visitors to Canada are not permitted to enter any Canadian Forces bases, infrastructure or other defence establishments.
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Canadian ice service
Canada has developed a sophisticated marine ice information service which is recognized internationally. This service provides:
- Science-based climate information useful for planning;
- A general forecast covering the period July to October, issued at the end of May, for planning marine operations;
Where there is known or expected marine activity;
- Daily text bulletins describing the general ice conditions as well as warnings of hazardous ice conditions;
- Analyses of satellite, airborne reconnaissance, reports from icebreakers and commercial shipping communications, are combined to provide mariners with the best information available in map format;
- Detailed charts of ice conditions of the Canadian Arctic in map or electronic formats; These ice analysis charts are issued daily;
- Projections of expected conditions over the next 30 days, issued twice a month;
More information may be obtained from Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Ice Service. Ice and weather information is also broadcast by the Canadian Coast Guard radio stations in the North. Times and frequencies for these broadcasts can be found in the annual publication of the Radio Aids to Marine Navigation, or from NORDREG.
Meteorological Service of Canada
Marine weather services
The Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) is mandated to provide weather forecasts and warnings of potentially hazardous weather to the Canadian public, as well as to mariners navigating Canadian and international waters.
MSC provides a comprehensive marine weather forecast and warning service encompassing northern and Arctic waters within Canadian jurisdiction, as well as adjacent international waters. The MSC is also responsible for distributing marine weather forecasts and warnings for northern and Arctic waters that come under the jurisdiction of partnering nations such as the USA and Denmark. To facilitate the safety of marine navigation during the Arctic shipping season, the MSC provides the following meteorological services to mariners navigating northern and Arctic waters:
- Twice-daily forecasts of wind, weather, visibility, and wave-heights;
- Warnings of extreme marine weather-related events, such as gales or freezing spray, so mariners will know about weather conditions that may pose a hazard to marine navigation;
- 24/7 availability of MSC forecasters for consultation on any weather-related topic for which mariners may require additional information, such as longer range marine weather outlooks.
In cooperation with the Canadian Coast Guard, all marine weather forecasts and warnings issued by the MSC are distributed in accordance with the guidelines applicable to marine communications pursuant to the safety of navigation in northern and Arctic waters.
Detailed information specific to the MSC's marine meteorological services to northern and Arctic waters, as well as related information outlining the various marine communications mediums utilized to disseminate marine forecasts and warnings to ships at sea, may be found in the Canadian Coast Guard publication Radio Aids to Marine Navigation - Part 5, Environment & Climate Change Canada's Marine & Ice Warning & Forecast Programs.
Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS)
Visiting wildlife and bird sanctuaries
Excursions visiting Migratory Bird Sanctuaries or National Wildlife Areas in the Canadian Arctic need a Permit from the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS). A permit is also required for any ship-based scientific parties that plan to kill or collect migratory birds or eggs.
The CWS also publishes Guidelines for Seabird Colony Viewing by Cruise Ships. It is recommended that all organizers intending to stop at Arctic seabird colonies have their staff read and follow these guidelines.
Permit applications, copies of the guidelines, and other information on Arctic wildlife are available from CWS offices in Yellowknife and Iqaluit.
Exporting plants, animals or animal parts
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an agreement to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Some species of wildlife can be legally traded, but many require permits to cross international borders.
In Canada, CITES is administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada and is implemented under the:
- Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA); and
- the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations (WAPTR)
A CITES permit may be required if you are taking a CITES-listed plant or animal, or their parts or derivatives, out of the country. For example:
- Wildlife specimens,
- Exotic pets,
- Hunting trophies.
There are non-commercial exemptions for souvenirs, and personal and household goods, but restrictions apply. Please refer to the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations, or the Environment and Climate Change Canada website for more information.
It is the responsibility of the individual who has obtained the wildlife product (whether by purchase, fishing or hunting) to get the required permits. An operator or DVR has no obligation to obtain these permits but should anticipate the requirement and make appropriate arrangements on behalf of their passengers to assist with the process.
Many countries, including the United States of America, impose strict limitations on the importation of animal parts. Passengers should be aware of the laws in their home countries about the importation of animal parts and plants.
- Operators or DVRs inform their passengers about the requirements and/or restrictions imposed by their home countries (including countries they may travel through), prior to landing in locations where these products may be purchased or obtained.
- Operators or DVRs should also let communities know if passengers are unable to purchase certain crafts (e.g. seal products), to allow local artisans time to create appropriate crafts for visitors.
- In addition, the Territorial Governments have permit requirements for the exporting fish and game. Sport fishing and hunting permits are also required. For more information, please contact the Territorial Governments.
Parks Canada Agency
This Federal agency is responsible for the management and maintenance of all National Parks and National Historic Sites. Any tourist activity within any of these locations should be coordinated with the Parks Canada Agency . Permits and entrance fees are also required. A list of permits and fees can be found in Appendix 3.
Operators or DVRs are encouraged to contact Parks Canada several months in advance to get the required approvals.
Public Health Agency Canada
Office of border and travel health
All international cruise ships must comply with the:
- Department of Health Act (DHA);
- Food and Drug Act (FDA), Section 4 & 7;
- Potable Water on Board Trains, Vessels, Aircraft and Buses Regulations (2016);
- Quarantine Act; and
- International Health Regulations (2005).
- The Public Health Agency of Canada – Office of Border & Travel Health - Travelling Public Program harmonized its cruise ship public health inspection program with the United States – Centre of Disease Control and Prevention – Vessel Sanitation Program (US CDC VSP) for consistent inspection regime/guidelines, etc. For example, a cruise ship operating between the US and Canada will be inspected by both agencies to the same public health standard/guidance.
Depending on the size of the cruise ship, one to four Environmental Health Officers will be tasked to inspect a cruise ship to determine if it complies with the public health standards as set out in the PHAC – Cruise Ship Inspection Program Guidance Manual (also harmonized with the United States – Vessel Sanitation Program). See Appendix 8 & 14 for more information on the Cruise ship Inspection Program, Center for Disease Control.
Each international cruise ship will be assessed for the public health risk onboard based on historical inspection data (including data for the US – VSP), previous critical violations, etc. Based on this risk assessment, either a full public health inspection will be targeted for the cruise ship, or a partial inspection will be conducted, which includes targeting a specific area on the vessel plus the medical facility.
Environmental Health Officers provide public health guidance or direction as needed, to cruise ship staff when standards are out of compliance. At the end of inspections, inspectors write a report describing inspection findings and recommendations.
Every international cruise ship under the Public Health Agency of Canada – Cruise Ship Inspection Program are required to report all cases of gastrointestinal illness (GI) 24 to 36 prior to arrival in a Canadian port from a foreign port. This includes reports of zero cases. If there are any additional cases after that 24-hour report, a four-hour update must be made. When the four-hour update is made, it must include all cases and not just the additional cases. In addition, a special report must be made when GI reaches two percent in passengers or crew.
This includes vessels that might be 15 days or less away from Canada. Reporting can be made electronically, preferably web-based reporting, but can also be made via fax or phone.
A standard GI report will be submitted to Public Health Agency of Canada no less than 24 hours, but no more than 36 hours before the ship’s arrival at a Canadian port. The report will contain the name of the vessel, ports and dates of embarkation and disembarkation, the total number of reportable cases of passengers and crew and the total number of passengers and crew.
When a cruise does not originate in Canada, routine reporting is to be submitted prior to arrival at the first Canadian port of call. When a cruise originates in Canada, routine reporting is to be submitted prior to arrival at the last port of call in Canada.
If the number of GI illness cases change after submission of the initial report, an updated report will be submitted no less than four (4) hours before the ship’s arrival at the Canadian port. The four (4) hour update report will be a cumulative total count of the reported crew and passengers during the entire cruise, including the additional cases. Routine reports and four (4) hour update reports may be made by telephone, facsimile, or preferably electronically. Proof must be maintained on the ship that the report was successfully received by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
A special report must be submitted at any time during a cruise, including between two Canadian ports, when the cumulative percentage of reportable cases entered in the gastrointestinal illness surveillance log, reaches 2% among passengers or 2% among crew and the vessel is within 15 days of expected arrival at a Canadian port. Routine 24-hour and 4-Hour Reports shall continue to be submitted. A telephone notification shall accompany a special 2% report.
A second special report must be submitted when reportable cases reach 3% among passengers or 3% among crew, and the vessel is within 15 days of expected arrival at a Canadian port.
Appendix 1 – Relevant acts and regulations
A current list of all Canadian Acts and Regulations can be found on the Department of Justice Canada website.
|Federal Acts and Regulations||Department|
|Canada Shipping Act, 2001||Transport Canada & Canadian Coast Guard|
|Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act||Transport Canada|
|Marine Liability Act||Transport Canada|
|Marine Transportation Security Act||Transport Canada|
|Canadian Environmental Protection Act||Environment and Climate Change Canada|
|Coasting Trading Act||Canada Border Services Agency, Transport Canada|
|Canada National Parks Act||Parks Canada|
|Oceans Act||Department of Fisheries and Oceans|
|Fisheries Act||Department of Fisheries and Oceans|
|Migratory Birds Contraventions Act||Department of Fisheries and Oceans|
|Species at Risk Act||Environment and Climate Change Canada|
|Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations||Transport Canada|
|Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations, 1995||Transport Canada|
|Shipping Safety Control Zone Orders||Transport Canada|
|Anchorage Regulations||Transport Canada|
|Collision Regulations||Transport Canada|
|Navigation Safety Regulations||Transport Canada|
|Life Saving Equipment Regulations||Transport Canada|
|Marine Personnel Regulations||Transport Canada|
|Northern Canada Vessel Traffic Services Zone Regulations||Transport Canada|
|Steering Appliances and Equipment Regulations||Transport Canada|
|Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations||Transport Canada|
|Voyage Data Recorder Regulations||Transport Canada|
|Tarium Niryutait Marine Protected Areas Regulations||Parks Canada|
|Marine Mammal Regulations||Department of Fisheries and Oceans|
Nunavut Acts and Regulations
Nunavut Waters and Nunavut Surface Rights Tribunal Act
Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act
Nunavut Archaeological and Paleontological Sites Regulations
Territorial Parks Act
Territorial Parks Regulations
Environmental Protection Act
Yukon Acts and Regulations
Wilderness Tourism Act
Wildlife Act (and Regulations)
Parks and Land Certainty Act
Northwest Territories Acts and Regulations
Appendix 2 – Contact list
Addresses and telephone numbers may change from time to time. Should you have difficulty with any of the numbers listed in this section, please contact the Government of Canada reference line at (613) 941-4823 or (800) O-CANADA.
|Reference Number in Text||Federal Departments and Agencies||Phone Number||Website Address|
|1.||Canada Border Services Agency||1-800-461-9999 (in Canada only) or 204-983-3500
|2.||Canadian Armed Forces - Yellowknife||867-873-0700, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org||http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/operations-regional-jtf-north/detachments.page|
|3.||Canadian Coast Guard||Regional Operations Centre||855-209-1976||Regional XCA-MontrealOps@dfo-mpo.gc.ca||www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/eng/CCG/Home|
|4.||Ice Office (Arctic Sector)||514-283-2784||DFO.IceOpsArctic.GlacesOpsArctique.MPO@dfo.mpo.gc.ca|
|5.||Canadian Hydrographic Services||613-998-4931 or email@example.com||http://www.charts.gc.ca/index-eng.asp|
|6.||Department of Fisheries and Oceansfirstname.lastname@example.org||http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/index-eng.htm|
|7.||Environment Canada and Climate Change - Canadian Wildlife Service||819-938-3860 or email@example.com||https://www.ec.gc.ca/nature|
|8.||Environment Canada and Climate Change - Ice Services||819-938-3860 or 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)||N/A|
|9.||Global Affairs Canada||N/A||N/A||https://www.international.gc.ca/department-ministere/form_contact-formulaire_contacter.aspx?lang=eng|
|10.||Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada||1-888-242-2100 (in Canada only)||N/A||http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department|
|11.||Marine Communications and Traffic Services, Canadian Coast Guard||N/A||N/A||http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/Marine-Communications/Home|
|12.||Parks Canada Agency||
819-420-9486 (international calls)
|13.||Public Health Agency of Canada||1-844-280-5020||Email contact form on the contact us website|
|14.||RCMP - “G “ Division (NWT)||867-765-3900||Email contact form on the contact us website|
|15.||RCMP - “M “ Division (Yukon)||867-667-5551||Email contact form on the contact us website|
|16.||RCMP - “V “ Division (NU)||867-975-4409||Email contact form on the contact us website|
|17.||Transport Canada Civil Aviation – Prairie and Northern Region||888-463-0521||PNRspecialflightops@tc.gc.ca||https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/menu.htm|
|18.||Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security - Prairie and Northern Regionfirstname.lastname@example.org||http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/menu.htm|
|19.||Dept. of Culture and Heritage||867-975-5500||N/A||http://ch.gov.nu.ca|
|20.||Dept. of Economic Development & Transportation||867-975-7800||CruiseNunavut@gov.nu.ca||http://gov.nu.ca/edt|
|21.||Dept. of Environment – Parks and Special Places Divisionemail@example.com||http://gov.nu.ca/environment|
|22.||Dept. of Justice, Legal Registries||867-975-6590||Legal.Registries@gov.nu.ca||http://www.nunavutlegalregistries.ca|
|23.||Dept. of the Environment – Wildlife Divisionfirstname.lastname@example.org||http://gov.nu.ca/environment|
|24.||Dept. of the Environment – Wildlife Management Boardemail@example.com||http://gov.nu.ca/environment|
|25.||Eeyou Marine Region Impact Review Board||819-895-2202||N/A||http://www.eeyoumarineregion.ca/impact-review-board/|
|26.||Hunter and Trapper Organizations||Several||N/A||Please contact specific communities for details.|
|27.||Inuit Heritage Trustfirstname.lastname@example.org||http://www.ihti.ca/eng/home-english.html|
|28.||Kitikmeot Inuit Association||867-983-2458||N/A||https://kitia.ca|
|29.||Kivalliq Inuit Associationemail@example.com||http://www.kivalliqinuit.ca|
|30.||Nunatsiavut Government Lands Division (Labrador)||709-922-2942||N/A||http://www.nunatsiavut.com/department/lands-natural-resources|
|31.||Nunavik Marine Region Planning Commissionfirstname.lastname@example.org||http://www.nmrpc.ca|
|32.||Nunavut Impact Review Boardemail@example.com||http://www.nirb.ca|
|33.||Nunavut Planning Commission||867-979-3444 (Iqaluit)
867-983-4625 (Cambridge Bay)
|35.||Qikiqtani Inuit Associationfirstname.lastname@example.org||http://qia.ca|
|36.||Workers Safety & Compensation Commission||877-404-4407||Email contact form on the contact us website||http://www.wscc.nt.ca/staff-directory|
|Reference Number in Text||Northwest Territories Departments / Organizations||Phone Number||Website Address|
|37.||Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources||867-767-9055 ext. 53001||N/A||http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/en/about-environment-and-natural-resources|
|38.||Dept. of Industry, Tourism & Investment - Compliance Division*||867-777-7196||N/A||http://www.iti.gov.nt.ca/en|
|39.||Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources||867-678-6650||N/A||http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/en|
|40.||Dept. of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI)*||867-777-7196||N/A||http://www.iti.gov.nt.ca/en|
|41.||Environment Impact Review Board (EIRB)||email@example.com||http://eirb.ca/|
|42.||Inuvialuit Joint Secretariatfirstname.lastname@example.org||http://jointsecretariat.ca|
|43.||Inuvialuit Lands Administration||867- 977-7100||N/A||https://www.inuvialuitland.com/|
|44.||Local Hunter and Trapper Organizations (HTO) *||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|45.||Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA)||867-767-9162, ext. 21044||N/A||http://www.maca.gov.nt.ca/|
|46.||Northern Parks and Sites Establishment||Various||N/A||N/A|
|47.||Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre for NWTemail@example.com||http://www.pwnhc.ca/|
|48.||Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission||867-920-3888 or 800-661-0792||Email contact form on the contact us website||http://www.wscc.nt.ca/|
|Reference Number in Text||Yukon Departments / Organizations||Phone Number||Website Address|
|49.||Dept. of Environmentfirstname.lastname@example.org||http://www.env.gov.yk.ca/|
|50.||Dept. of Environment, Yukon Parks Branchemail@example.com||http://www.env.gov.yk.ca/camping-parks/ParkPermits.php|
|51.||Dept. of Tourism & Culture||867-667-5036||N/A||http://www.tc.gov.yk.ca/|
|52.||Environmental Impact Screening Committee*||867- 777-2828||Email contact form on the contact website||http://www.gov.nt.ca/contact-gnwt|
|53.||Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Boardfirstname.lastname@example.org||https://wcb.yk.ca/|
|54.||General Inquiries||867-667-5811 or 867-667-5812||Inquiry.email@example.com||https://yukon.ca/|
|55.||Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board||867-668-6420 or 866-322-4040 (toll-free)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
Appendix 3 – Permits and authorizations by jurisdiction
|Dept. / Agency||Permit / Requirement||Fee / Cost||Translation Required||Deadline||Applicable to Passenger Carrying Vessels||Notes|
|Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada||Federal: Entry to National Wildlife Areas (NWAs) and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs). Also handles Bylot Island , located in Sirmilik National Park||No||Yes - Inuktitut||01 Feb annually||Yes||Also check for Important Bird Areas) and Migratory Bird Terrestrial Habitat Sites including Visitor Permits and Business License (see separate entries below) (Translation not required in 2016)|
|Parks Canada Agency, Licensing and Permitting||National Park - Business License / Guide Permit. (Permits may be required for each individual staff member.)||$196.20 CAD per park||No||60 days prior to arrival||Yes||Also review the "Application Guide to Nunavut National Parks"|
|Parks Canada Agency, Licensing and Permitting||National Park - Guiding Permit (embedded in the Business License)||$19.60 CAD per guide per park||No||60 days prior to arrival||Yes||N/A|
|Parks Canada Agency||National Park - Firearms Permit / Polar Bear Safety Plan Template||$30 CAD per permit||No||60 days prior to arrival||Yes||N/A|
|Parks Canada Agency||National Parks - Report encounters with bears||No||No||Due post visit||Yes||N/A|
|Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (CIC) Temporary Foreign Worker Units / Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)||STEP 1: Visas or exemptions are required for any staff and/or crew who will work on shore - no exceptions!||See below.||No||Apply 120-90 days ahead if submitting a work permit*||Yes||
Inquire as to Visa and Work Permit requirements
* 30 days ahead if requesting an exemption
|Service Canada||STEP 2: Obtain Labour Market Impact Assessment||CAD $1000||No||Apply 120-90 days for work permit||Yes||Additional fees may apply. If requesting an exemption – apply a minimum of 30 days before.|
|Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for work permits||STEP 3: Obtain the Work Permits (if not filing for an exemption)||CAD $155 per permit||No||Apply 120-90 days ahead||Yes||N/A|
|Transport Canada Civil Aviation||Approvals for use of non-Canadian Registered aircraft, pilots and operators are required. Special permits also needed for the use of UAV / drones.||No||No||Min. 90 days in advance.||Yes||This application process is complicated.|
|Canada Border Services Agency & Transport Canada||CBSA Coasting Trade License||TBD||No||TBD||Depends on the itinerary.||Refer to the Coasting Trade Act.|
|Transport Canada Marine Safety||Contact for up-to-date regulations||N/A||N/A||Contact early on in the process||Yes||Contact Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security, Prairie and Northern Region|
|Global Affairs Canada||Provide vessel itinerary||N/A||N/A||As early as possible.||Yes||N/A|
|Canadian Coast Guard||Provide vessel itinerary||N/A||N/A||As early as possible.||Yes||N/A|
Vessel inspections – Certifications issued.
Provide vessel itinerary*
|TBD||No||N/A||Yes||* Submit as early as possible.|
|Transport Canada||Vessel Declaration of Security||N/A||N/A||Contact TC for details||Yes||A Declaration of Security (DOS) must be completed each time the vessel drops anchor or moors at a wharf or land structure in the Arctic.|
|Canada Border Services Agency||Please consult the CBSA Cruise Ship Handbook for full details on the forms and requirements.||See Handbook for details.||No||See Handbook for details.||Yes||The CBSA Cruise Ship Handbook is a comprehensive guide to all CBSA procedures for clearing cruise ships arriving in Canada. This includes specific sections addressing Arctic clearance arrangements and all applicable forms and permits.|
|Canadian Armed Forces and respective RCMP detachments||Send itinerary of the vessel in advance||No Fee||No||Submit early on.||Yes||N/A|
|RCMP||Firearms Registration||No Fee||No||Submit early in planning process.||Yes||N/A|
|Dept. / Agency||Permit / Requirement||Fee / Cost||Translation Required||Deadline||Applicable to Passenger Carrying Vessels||Notes|
|Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC) (Conformity Determination)||Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act of 1995||No Fee*||Project Proposal is submitted in English. **||File as early on as possible. First step in the review process||Yes||
* There are fees for translation services.
** See below for NIRB for screening requirements.
***Applies to commercial and non-commercial yachts.
|Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC)||Application to Determine Conformity with the North Baffin Regional Land Use Plan||No||No||Complete upon receipt*||Yes||
* If forwarded by NPC.
**Would apply if the Project was submitted to the NPC. (See above.)
|Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB)||Nunavut Impact Review Board (required if the NPC issues a positive conformity determination)||No Fee *||Some translation required||2nd step**||Yes||
* There are fees for translation services.
** If referred by NPC.
*** If the yacht program includes any permit applications. This is not required if no permits are being sought from any of the agencies.)
|Dept. of Economic Development and Transportation||Outfitter License||CAD $225||No||Minimum of 3 months ahead of arrival||Yes||N/A|
|Dept. of Economic Development & Transportation||Consent to Public Disclosure of Tourism Information||N/A||No||Required a minimum of 3 months ahead of arrival)||Yes||N/A|
|Dept. of Justice (Corporate Registrations / Annual Returns)||Registration as an Extra-Territorial Corporation -- Business License Annual Update (Certificate of Compliance as an Extra-Territorial Corporation)||CAD $300||No||Submit asap||Yes||- must be sent with the Outfitter's License|
|Workers Safety & Compensation Commission||Worker's Coverage (WSCC Exemption NOTE: in 2016 the one application covered both Nunavut and NWT||No Fee||No||Minimum of 3 months ahead of arrival||Yes||N/A|
|Dept. of Economic Development and Transportation||Economic Benefits Pre and Post Reports (Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet)||No Fee||No||Yes *||Yes||* Pre-trip Report due 3 months before arrival. Post-trip Report due 30 days after the trip completion.|
|Nunavut Tourism||Consider joining Nunavut Tourism||Fee applies if company joins *||No||No deadline requirement||Optional||* Membership is optional.|
|Dept. of Environment, Parks: Planning and Operations*||Nunavut Parks||TBA||See below||30 days in advance **||Yes||
* Nunavut Parks & Special Places Division
** If applicable
|Dept. of Environment, Parks: Planning and Operations*||Territorial Park Firearms Permit||TBA||No||N/A||Yes||* Nunavut Parks & Special Places Division|
|Dept. of Environment, Parks: Planning and Operations*||Territorial Park Use Permit||TBA||No||N/A||Yes||* Nunavut Parks & Special Places Division|
|Dept. of Environment, Parks: Planning and Operations*||Territorial Film & Photo Permit||TBA||No||N/A||Yes||* Nunavut Parks & Special Places Division|
|Dept. of Environment, Parks: Planning and Operations*||Territorial Park Visitor's Permit||TBA||No||N/A||Yes||* Nunavut Parks & Special Places Division|
|Dept. of Environment, Nunavut Wildlife Management Board||Wildlife Observation License (Nunavut Wildlife Act)||CAD $175 *||No||Yes||* ($25 license fee + $150 license surcharge + 5% Federal Tax)|
|Dept. of Environment, Nunavut Wildlife Management Board||Wildlife Recording Log (for Polar Bear and Wildlife Interactions)||N/A||No||W/in 30 days of completion of voyage||Yes||N/A|
|Department of Environment Conservation Office*||Report any problem wildlife or any interaction with carnivores||N/A||No||As soon as possible||Yes||* Report to the local Environment Conservation Office.|
|Dept. of Environment, Nunavut Wildlife Management Board||Nunavut Territory Archaeological and/or Paleontological permit||No Fee*||No **||by March 31||Yes***||
* If application submitted within 30 days of arrival – late fees will apply.
**Application in English but letter(s) to communities and Inuit Associations must be translated to Inuktitut. The department will translate Section 4 of the application to Inuktitut.
*** Permit issued to the staff archaeologist.
**** Permit can be issued to the Expedition Leader or guide if an archaeologist is not on board.
|Dept. / Agency||Permit / Requirement||Fee / Cost||Translation Required||Deadline||Applicable to Passenger Carrying Vessels||Notes|
|Qikiqtani Inuit Association||Access Permit to Inuit Owned Land||CAD $250*||Yes||30 days in advance||Yes||* If applicable|
|Kitikmeot Inuit Association||Access Permit to Inuit Owned Land||CAD $250*||Yes||30 days in advance||Yes||* If applicable|
|Hunter and Trapper Organizations *||Written agreement with the appropriate Hunters and Trappers Committees||No Fee||Yes||30 days in advance||Yes||* Contact points vary - see list of HTOs|
|Inuit Heritage Trust||Inuit Guide Hiring||N/A||No||30 days in advance||Yes||* Small size of yachts will likely preclude being able to hire Inuit and/or Inuvialuit guides.|
|Dept. of Environment or Fisheries and Oceans Canada*||
Sport Fishing License
* Most sporting goods stores, hardware and convenience stores, some RCMP detachments can issue Sport Fishing Licenses.
** CAD $40 (season license for non-residents) ; CAD $30 (3-day license for non-residents)
|Inuvialuit Joint Secretariat||Complete Environment Impact Screening Assessment. *||No Fee||No||6 to 8 week prior min.**||Yes||
* Involves an assessment and consultative process of the environmental impacts related to commercial development or projects in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.
**Must complete a consultation process.
|Environment Impact Review Board (EIRB)||Environmental Impact Review Guidelines||N/A||N/A||N/A||Yes||N/A|
|Dept. of Industry, Tourism & Investment - Compliance Division*||Contact Territorial Agencies:||N/A||N/A||Contact early on in the planning process||Yes||* Resources, Wildlife & Economic Development, Western Arctic/Beaufort Delta Regional office|
|Dept. of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development, Parks and Tourism Office*||Entrance to Territorial Parks, Heritage and Archaeological Sites and Wildlife Sanctuaries||N/A||N/A||Contact early on in the planning process||Yes||* NOTE: Contact is made via the office above.|
|Northern Parks and Sites Establishment||Entrance requirements into territorial parks and wildlife sanctuaries.||TBD||TBD||2 to 4 weeks min.*||N/A||* Submit as early as possible. Must complete a consultation process.|
|Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission||WSSC Proof of Registration*||CAD $300||No||Takes 3 business days to receive||Yes||* NOTE: IN 2016 this was handled by the WSSC office in Nunavut for NWT.|
|Inuvialuit Lands Administration||Land Use Permit Application (Inuvialuit Private Lands) *||TBD||TBD||4 to 6 weeks prior min.**||Yes||
* NOTE: Applies only to lands outside Hamlet boundaries.
**Submit as early as possible. Must complete a consultation process.
|Dept. of Tourism, Industry and Investment (ITI)*||Tourism Operator License||CAD $545 **||No||6 to 8 weeks prior** *||Yes||
* Through Beaufort Delta Regional ITI office.
** Fee is under review. Renewals are $160 CAD.
License renewals (for existing permits) are due before March 31.
*** Must complete a consultation process.
|Dept. of Tourism, Industry and Investment (ITI)*||Entrance requirements into territorial parks and wildlife sanctuaries.||TBD||TBD||2 to 4 weeks min.*||N/A||
* Submit as early as possible. Must complete a consultation process.
** Through Beaufort Delta Regional ITI office; "Attn: Parks Manager"
|Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA)||
Business Licence for Community Access*
Note: Issued through Community Hamlet offices.
|TBD||TBD||2 to 4 weeks min.*||Yes||Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA)|
|Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre for NWT||Archaeological and Heritage Sites - Permits**||TBD||TBD||6 to 8 weeks min.*||Yes||
* Submit as early as possible. Must complete a consultation process.
** Permit to conduct commercial activities in NWT archaeological sites per the Archaeological Sites Regulations.
Note: The authority to conduct activity will depend on location and scope of project.
|Local Hunter and Trapper Organizations (HTO) *||Written agreement with the appropriate Hunters and Trappers Committees||N/A||N/A||30 days in advance preferred||Yes||* Contact the EISC for a list of contact points.|
|Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources||
Sport Fishing License
|CAD $40*||N/A||N/A||Yes||* F3 license for non-residents|
|Beaufort Sea Beluga Management Plan (Amended fourth printing)||Helicopter Operations (in general)||N/A||N/A||In advance of voyage||Yes||N/A|
|Dept. / Agency||Permit / Requirement||Fee / Cost||Translation Required||Deadline||Applicable to Passenger Carrying Vessels||Notes|
|Dept. of Environment, Yukon Parks Branch*||
|No Fee||No||No||Yes||* Yukon Territorial Parks & Heritage Rivers|
|Dept. of Tourism & Culture||
|No Fee||No||No||Yes*||* Since 2014 no specific requirements for cruise or expedition ships|
|Dept. of Environment||Corporate Registry||TBD||No||No||Yes||N/A|
|Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board||Application for Temporary Status (Expedition Team) *||TBD||No||No||Yes||* If the vessel in the Yukon less than 10 calendar days and if the company is not hiring any Yukon workers.|
|Dept. of the Environment *||Permit required: Wilderness Tourism License. **||$100 CAD (2014)||No||No - can take up to 30 days||Yes||
* Registrar, Wilderness Tourism Licensing Act, Parks and Protected Areas Branch.
** NOTE: Operators planning shore excursions, a commercial tourism business license must obtained.
|Environmental Impact Screening Committee*||Under the Inuvialuit Final Land Claims Agreement, cruise operators must be pre-screened.||No Fee||No||No||Yes||* Joint Secretariat - Inuvialuit Renewable Resource Committee|
|TBD||Permits for Territorial Parks||No Fee *||No||No - can take up to 30 days||Yes||* Fee is only charged for overnight camping.|
|Environment Yukon||Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island Park - Application for a Park Permit*||No Fee||No||No||Yes||* Also referred to as a Park Use Permit. Required for both commercial and recreational vessels.|
|Environment Yukon||Post Visit Reports - "Day Trips Instructions"||N/A||No||Yes *||Yes||* See deadline in Instructions.|
|Environment Yukon||Accident Report||N/A||No||Yes *||Yes||* As early on as possible following an accident|
|Environment Yukon||Yukon Angling License (Sport Fishing)||Yes*||No||No||Yes||
* $10 CAD for 1-day
$20 CAD for 6-day
$35 CAD for season
Appendix 4 – Shipping safety control zones
Appendix 5 - Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations – Schedule 1 (Zone/Date table)
|Zone 1||Zone 2||Zone 3||Zone 4||Zone 5||Zone 6||Zone 7||Zone 8||Zone 9||Zone 10||Zone 11||Zone 12||Zone 13||Zone 14||Zone 15||Zone 16||Zone 17|
|Arctic Class 10, CAC 1||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year|
|Arctic Class 8, CAC 2||Jul. 1 to Oct. 15.||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year|
|Arctic Class 7||Aug. 1 to Sept. 30||Aug. 1 to Nov. 30||Jul. 1 to Dec. 31||Jul. 1 to Dec. 15||Jul. 1 to Dec. 15||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year|
|Arctic Class 6, CAC 3||Aug. 15 to Sept. 15||Aug. 1 to Oct. 31||Jul. 15 to Nov. 30||Jul. 15 to Nov. 30||Aug. 1 to Oct. 15||Jul. 15 to Feb. 28||Jul. 1 to Mar. 31||Jul. 1 to Mar. 31||All year||All year||Jul. 1 to Mar. 31.||All year||All year||All year||All year||All year|
|Arctic Class 4||Aug. 15 to Sept. 15||Aug. 15 to Oct. 15||Jul. 15 to Oct. 31||Jul. 15 to Nov. 15||Aug. 15 to Sept. 30||Jul. 20 to Dec. 31||Jul. 15 to Jan. 15||Jul. 15 to Jan. 15||Jul. 10 to Mar. 31||Jul. 10 to Feb. 28||Jul. 5 to Jan. 15||June 1 to Jan. 31||June 1 to Feb. 15||June 15 to Feb. 15||June 15 to Mar. 15||June 1 to Feb. 15|
|Arctic Class 3, CAC 4||Aug. 20 to Sept. 15||Aug. 20 to Sept. 30||Jul. 25 to Oct. 15||Jul. 20 to Nov. 5||Aug. 20 to Sept. 25||Aug. 1 to Nov. 30||Jul. 20 to Dec. 15||Jul. 20 to Dec. 31||Jul. 20 to Jan. 20||Jul. 15 to Jan. 25||Jul. 5 to Dec. 15||June 10 to Dec. 31||June 10 to Dec. 31||June 20 to Jan. 10||June 20 to Jan. 31||June 5 to Jan. 10|
|Arctic Class 2||No Entry||No Entry||Aug. 15 to Sept. 30||Aug. 1 to Oct. 31||No Entry||Aug. 15 to Nov. 20||Aug. 1 to Nov. 20||Aug. 1 to Nov. 30||Aug. 1 to Dec. 20||Jul. 25 to Dec. 20||Jul. 10 to Nov. 20||June 15 to Dec. 5||June 25 to Nov. 22||June 25 to Dec. 10||June 25 to Dec. 20||June 10 to Dec. 10|
|Arctic Class 1A||No Entry||No Entry||Aug. 20 to Sept. 15||Aug. 20 to Sept. 30||No Entry||Aug. 25 to Oct. 31||Aug. 10 to Nov. 5||Aug. 10 to Nov. 20||Aug. 10 to Dec. 10||Aug. 1 to Dec. 10||Jul. 15 to Nov. 10||Jul. 1 to Nov. 10||Jul. 15 to Oct. 31||Jul. 1 to Nov. 30||Jul. 1 to Dec. 10||June 20 to Nov. 30|
|Arctic Class 1||No Entry||No Entry||No Entry||No Entry||No Entry||Aug. 25 to Sept. 30||Aug. 10 to Oct. 15||Aug. 10 to Oct. 31||Aug. 10 to Oct. 31||Aug. 1 to Oct. 31||Jul. 15 to Oct. 20||Jul. 1 to Oct. 31||Jul. 15 to Oct. 15||Jul. 1 to Nov. 30||Jul. 1 to Nov. 30||June 20 to Nov. 15|
|Type A||No Entry||No Entry||Aug. 20 to Sept. 10||Aug. 20 to Sept. 20||No Entry||Aug. 15 to Oct. 15||Aug. 1 to Oct. 25||Aug. 1 to Nov. 10||Aug. 1 to Nov. 20||Jul. 25 to Nov. 20||Jul. 10 to Oct. 31||June 15 to Nov. 10||June 25 to Oct. 22||June 25 to Nov. 30||June 25 to Dec. 5||June 20 to Nov. 20|
|Type B||No Entry||No Entry||Aug. 20 to Sept. 5||Aug. 20 to Sept. 15||No Entry||Aug. 25 to Sept. 30||Aug. 10 to Oct. 15||Aug. 10 to Oct. 31||Aug. 10 to Oct. 31||Aug. 1 to Oct. 31||Jul. 15 to Oct. 20||Jul. 1 to Oct. 25||Jul. 15 to Oct. 15||Jul. 1 to Nov. 30.||Jul. 1 to Nov. 30||June 20 to Nov. 10|
|Type C||No Entry||No Entry||No Entry||No Entry||No Entry||Aug. 25 to Sept. 25||Aug. 10 to Oct. 10||Aug. 10 to Oct. 25||Aug. 10 to Oct. 25||Aug. 1 to Oct. 25||Jul. 15 to Oct. 15||Jul. 1 to Oct. 25||Jul. 15 to Oct. 10||Jul. 1 to Nov. 25||Jul. 1 to Nov. 25||June 25 to Nov. 10|
|Type D||No Entry||No Entry||No Entry||No Entry||No Entry||No Entry||Aug. 10 to Oct. 5||Aug. 15 to Oct. 20||Aug. 15 to Oct. 20||Aug. 5 to Oct. 20||Jul. 15 to Oct. 10||Jul. 1 to Oct. 20||Jul. 30 to Sept. 30||Jul. 10 to Nov. 10||Jul. 5 to Nov. 10||Jul. 1 to Oct. 31|
|Type E||No Entry||No Entry||No Entry||No Entry||No Entry||No Entry||Aug. 10 to Sept. 30||Aug. 20 to Oct. 20||Aug. 20 to Oct. 15||Aug. 10 to Oct. 20||Jul. 15 to Sept. 30||Jul. 1 to Oct. 20||Aug. 15 to Sept. 20||Jul. 20 to Oct. 31||Jul. 20 to Nov. 5||Jul. 1 to Oct. 31|
APPENDIX 6 - Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations – Schedule 2 (construction standards for types A, B, C, D and E vessels)
|Type of Ship||American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)||Bureau Veritas (BV)||China Classification Society (CCS)||Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK)||DNV-GL||Finnish- Swedish Ice Class Rules (FSICR)||International Association of Classification on Societies (IACS)||Korean Register of Shipping (KR)||Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (LR)||Poiski Rejestr Statkow (PRS)||RINA Services (RINA)||Russian Maritime Register of Shipping|
|Type A||Ice Class A0||ICE CLASS IA SUPER||Ice Class B1*||NS (Class 1A Super Ice Strengthening)||Ice (1A*) or ICE-1A or E4||1A Super||PC1 à PC7||IA Super||Ice Class 1AS FS (+) or Ice Class 1AS FS (+)||L1A||ICE CLASS 1A SUPER||UL or LU5 or Arc5|
|Type B||Ice Class B0||ICE CLASS IA||Ice Class B1||NS (Class 1A Ice Strengthening)||Ice (1A) or ICE-1A or E3||1A||1A||Ice Class 1A FS (+) or Ice Class 1A FS||L1||ICE CLASS 1A||L1 or LU4 or Arc4||L1, LU4 or Arc4
|Type C||Ice Class C0||ICE CLASS IB||Ice Class B2||NS (Class 1B Ice Strengthening)||Ice (1B) or ICE-1B or E2||1B||–||1B||Ice Class 1B FS (+) or Ice Class 1B FS||L2||ICE CLASS 1B||L2 or LU3 or Ice 3|
|Type D||Ice Class D0||ICE CLASS IC||Ice Class B3||NS (Class 1C Ice Strengthening)||Ice (1C) or ICE-1C or E1||1C||–||1C||Ice Class 1C FS (+) or Ice Class 1C FS||L3||ICE CLASS 1C||L3 or LU2 or Ice 2|
|Type E||Ice Class E0||1D||Ice Class B||NS (Class 1D Ice Strengthening)||ICE-C or E||Category II||–||1D||Ice Class 1D or Ice Class 1E||L4||1D||L4 or LU1 or Ice 1|
Appendix 7 – Time zones maps
Figure 2.1 & 2.2: Winter and summer time zones in Canada
Appendix 8 – PHAC – Elements of the cruise ship inspection program
Environmental Health Officers (Inspectors) provide public health guidance or direction as needed, to cruise ship staff when standards are out of compliance. At the end of inspections, inspectors write a report describing inspection findings and recommendations. Each international cruise ship will be assessed for the public health risk onboard based on historical inspection data (including data for the US – VSP), previous critical violations, etc. Based on this risk assessment, either a full public health inspection will be targeted for the cruise ship or a partial inspection will be conducted, which includes targetting a specific area on the vessel plus the medical facility.
|Major Areas Inspected on a Cruise Ship||Environmental Health Officers look at:|
|Potable water systems||
|Swimming Pools and Spas||
|Galleys and dining rooms||
|Child activity centers||
|Commons areas of the cruise ship||
Appendix 9 – Land claims agreements in the Canadian Arctic
- Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (1995)
- First Nation of the Nacho Nyak Dun (1995)
- Vuntut Gwich’in First Nation (1995)
- Teslin Tlingit Council (1995)
- Selkirk First Nation (1997)
- Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (1997)
- Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in (formerly Dawson First Nation) (1998)
- Ta’an Kwäch’än Council (2002)
- Kluane First Nation (2003)
- Kwanlin Dün First Nation (2005)
- Carcross/Tagish First Nation (2006)
Northwest Territories (NWT)
- Inuvialuit Agreement (1984) - Note: This agreement also covers the Beaufort Sea coastline in the Yukon Territory.
- Gwich’in Agreement (1992)
- Sahtu Dene and Métis Agreement (1994)
- Tlicho Agreement (2005)
- Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (1993)
- James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (1975)
- Northeastern Quebec Agreement (1978)
- Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement (2007)
- Eeyou Marine Region Land Claims Agreement (2012)
Newfoundland & Labrador
- Labrador Inuit Agreement (2005)
Appendix 10 – Land claims agreement map
Appendix 11 – Maps of protected areas along the Arctic coastline
Source – Environment Yukon
Appendix 12 – Codes of conduct
Code of conduct for operators in Nunavut
Source: Nunavut Department of Economic Development and Transportation
Educate staff about local history, contemporary culture, norms and values so that they can inform and educate guests about restrictions, local customs and expected behavior. Ensure that staff members distribute the ‘Welcoming Visitors to Nunavut Guide’ to clients and any community-specific material that outline expectations.
Provide your clients with an understanding of the economic aspects of making a living in Nunavut through tourism. Help them understand fair pricing for local cultural activities, special experiences, art and souvenirs.
Remember that illegal substances are forbidden in Nunavut and that alcohol cannot be brought in to certain (dry) communities. Ensure that your clients, staff and crew are aware of the regulations, and do not bring, give or trade alcohol for anything in these communities.
Be informed about wildlife product import laws. If your guests wish to purchase local carvings or art made of bone or other wildlife products, they may need an export permit prior to departing for their trip.
Follow all requirements of the Government of Nunavut for tourism vessel operations in the territory, as well as any relevant community by-laws and federal requirements.
Establish contact with, and send information on sailing plans to, each community that you plan to visit. Advise the community as soon as possible of any changes.
Ensure that you have proper permissions and permits for visiting Inuit owned lands, territorial or federally protected areas (e.g. national parks), archeological sites, and other specially recognized sites.
Train your staff fully and maintain your equipment in good order so that landings and shore-based activities have minimal or no negative impacts on the environment and cultural heritage.
Undertake a litter check after any shore visit.
Please do not disturb the wildlife. Keep a conservative distance and maintain a respectful noise level. Do not lure, herd or otherwise seek out polar bears or other wildlife.
Whenever possible, please hire/use local guides, local dock or landing facilities, local performance groups or other community-based personnel. If a community can directly see the benefits of your visit, they will look forward to your return. Ensure that your journey has a positive economic impact for the territory, communities and individuals.
Good practice on cruise vessels includes hiring two culturists to travel with you for the entire journey or part of it.
Call in your position to the Canadian Coast Guard daily and when you enter new ice zones. In addition to providing us with important information on your location you will also be able to access navigational data and up to date ice information.
Be aware of environmental conditions at all times. Ice cover and ice distribution in the Canadian Arctic are always changing. Seek local knowledge where possible.
Respect privacy in communities. Keep a good distance from houses and never glance or photograph through private windows. Always ask for permission before taking someone’s picture.
There are a lot of sled dogs in Nunavut towns and settlements. They are working dogs, not pets. Ensure that your clients, staff and crew do not approach, attempt to pet, or feed these dogs without supervision and the permission of the dog owner/handler.
Where possible, operators should use distillate fuel oil during all operations in the Arctic. Lower emission outboard engines are also encouraged.
Welcoming visitors to Nunavut
Source: Nunavut Department of Economic Development and Transportation
Welcome to our beautiful land – Nunavut – Canada’s Arctic territory. We are happy to have you here! Please read this information to make the most of your visit in Nunavut.
Daily life here is different from what most visitors are used to. We encourage you to learn about our Inuit culture, to hear our stories, and to share in experiencing our traditions. Please come with an open mind to learn how we have survived for thousands of years and how we live now. Also, please remember that we are proud of our hunting traditions and our use of local food sources such as seal and caribou. Wildlife products are central to our culture, and our subsistence.
You provide us with an important opportunity to share our stories both from the past and the present, so please listen to our stories and, if you want, share your stories too! Let’s celebrate our differences and our similarities.
Please be aware that bringing illegal substances to communities is not allowed. In some communities, no alcohol is allowed, so you must make sure you know and follow the rules. Trading alcohol for local products is always wrong.
We invite you to take pictures of our beautiful scenery and our friendly communities, but please ask for permission before taking pictures of us, our children, and our homes.
We encourage you to explore our communities, but please respect our privacy, our belongings, our homes and yards. Treat us the way you wish to be treated at your home.
Stay with your tour guides. They are knowledgeable and will enrich your experience. Don’t wander around communities unless you are invited to do so.
Most of our communities are small. A lot of new faces in town all of a sudden can have a significant impact on our daily lives. We welcome visitors, but please respect our need to have our own space.
Your spending is important to our livelihoods, so be generous when bargaining and give proper value for locally-made arts and crafts. Make sure you know whether you can bring wildlife products such as sealskin, bone or ivory back to your own country.
We invite you to visit our grocery stores but remember that due to the remoteness of our communities, it takes a lot of effort to fill our shelves with provisions. Fresh items are only re-supplied once a week, weather and flights permitting. Please purchase only the food that you truly need.
Dog teams are important to hunting, and it is necessary to remember that they are working animals, not pets. While we encourage you to watch our dogs, please do so at a respectful distance. Please do not interfere with dogs while they are being fed or talk to the owners when they are working with their teams unless you are especially invited to do so.
If you venture away from the community to enjoy our scenery and local fauna, remember that our stones and cultural treasures are not souvenirs, they are part of our ancient history. Please kindly leave them where they belong. Also, avoid littering on the land and water!
We hope your visit to Nunavut will leave you with great memories of both the landscape and its people! We encourage you to share your experiences with others so that one day we can welcome you, your family and friends back to our home.
Appendix 13 – Nunavut territorial parks firearm permit background document
Nunavut territorial parks firearm permit
The Government of Nunavut, Department of Environment is committed to ensuring that all visitors, residents, and outfitters using Nunavut’s Territorial Parks do so in a manner that protects personal safety, the safety of clients, and natural resources, while minimizing the impacts to wildlife populations from defence kills. The Nunavut Territorial Parks Act authorizes the Director of Nunavut Parks to issue a Nunavut Parks Firearms Permit to outfitting companies and individuals. A Nunavut Territorial Parks Firearms Permit may only authorize the use of firearms for the emergency protection of park users from dangerous wildlife, as provided by subsection 3.3 of the Territorial Parks Regulations. Except as may be authorized in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, hunting or the use of firearms other than for emergency protection are not authorized by the Territorial Parks Act, its regulations, or policy.
Inuit Beneficiaries using a park for the sole purpose of harvesting and/or harvesting-related activities as per the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement are exempt from the application of the Nunavut Territorial Parks Firearms Permitting Policy. Inuit Beneficiaries officially owning an outfitting company or employed as a guide, will be required to comply with the terms and conditions of the Nunavut Territorial Parks Firearms Permitting Policy.
An Application for Nunavut Territorial Parks Firearms Permit must be completed by each individual requesting approval to carry a firearm with them into Nunavut Territorial Parks. Legible photocopies of the applicant’s Licence to Possess Firearms, Legal Registration of Firearms and Completion of a Firearms Safety Course must be submitted with the application. Applicants must indicate that they have read and understood the Polar Bear Safety in Nunavut Territorial Parks and the Safe and Sustainable Travel in Nunavut Territorial Parks (mandatory information).
The completed application form must be submitted to the Superintendent of Nunavut Parks for review. If the application is approved, the Superintendent will issue a Nunavut Territorial Parks firearms Permit to the applicant. Permits for Local and Non-Local Outfitting Companies may be issued on a seasonal or annual basis, not to exceed one year. Permits for Nunavut Residents shall be issued for specific trip dates or on an annual basis. Permits for Non-Resident Visitors shall be issued for specific trip dates.
A Nunavut Territorial Parks Firearms Permit holder is authorized to possess and use a firearm in a Nunavut Territorial Park under the terms and conditions more fully stated in the permit and may discharge the firearm only where authorized to do so for the emergency protection of persons or property from dangerous wildlife, by ss. 3.3 of the Territorial Parks Regulations.
A person authorized by the permit to carry a firearm in a Nunavut Territorial Park shall carry the permit and a description of the registered firearm on his or her person at all times when in the designated Park. Nunavut Territorial Parks Firearms Permits are non-transferable and are valid only for the persons, dates and locations identified on the permit.
From the Territorial Parks Act, Territorial Parks Regulations, amendment registered July 10, 2002, under registration number R-010-2002, Section 3, Firearms:
3.3 (4) A person who is granted a permit to possess and use a firearm in a territorial park may discharge the firearm with the intent to frighten or drive away wildlife only where it is necessary:
- To preserve his or her life;
- To preserve the life of another person;
- To protect his or her property; or
- To protect another person’s property.
(5) A person who is granted a permit to possess and use a firearm in a territorial park may discharge the firearm with intent to kill wildlife only where it is necessary:
- To preserve his or her life; or
- To preserve the life of another person.
3.4 A person may carry and use without a permit bear deterrent devices such as cracker shells that are designed to frighten but not injure wildlife unless the devices are intended to be discharged from a firearm.
Note: Bear deterrent pistol launchers require a Nunavut Territorial Parks Firearms Permit.