Inspection of non-Canadian commercial vessels

From Transport Canada

All non-Canadian commercial vessels that enter Canadian waters are inspected. This is part of the international Port State Control system.

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Port State Control

Port State Control (PSC) is a ship inspection program whereby foreign vessels entering a sovereign state's waters are boarded and inspected to ensure compliance with various major international maritime conventions.

PSC programs are regional in nature. Several countries sharing common waters group together under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU is designed to ensure that vessels trading in the region are not substandard.

Canada’s international memberships

Canada will host the Third Joint Ministerial Conference of the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding on Port State Control on May 3 to 4, 2017.

Canada has signed two MOUs: the Paris MOU and the Tokyo MOU.

  • Canada became an associate member of the Paris MOU in 1988 and was accepted as a full member in 1994 (the first non-European member)
  • Canada was a driving force in the creation of the Tokyo MOU and has been a member since its inception in 1993

Inspection of non-Canadian commercial vessels

Ship inspections are carried out at all major Canadian ports by Marine Safety inspectors. An inspection database and a list of detained ships are maintained, and the same information is provided to the two MOU databases.

Contact Marine Safety for information on Canada’s Port State Control system


Transport Canada
Marine Safety (AMSEA)
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N5

Telephone: 613-991-3143
Teletypewriter / TDD: 1-888-675-6863
Fax: 613-993-8196

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