May 17, 2010 11:00 ET

The Government of Canada Introduces New Regulations for Small Vessels

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 17, 2010) - The Government of Canada today announced new Small Vessel Regulations to help improve public safety on the water. The measures will help reduce the number of small vessel accidents and incidents. 

The updated Small Vessel Regulations include new requirements for safety equipment and operational safety practices on small commercial vessels, such as tour boats, work boats and human-powered vessels. These regulations also provide a more flexible process for transferring a pleasure craft licence. 

"With these changes, the Government of Canada is keeping two important commitments to Canadians: we are promoting safety in our communities, and helping to reduce unnecessary and administrative red tape," said Canada's Transport Minister John Baird.

These regulatory changes are in line with the objectives of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and modernize the requirements governing the safety of small vessels. Following public consultations, the regulations have been updated to:

  • reflect best practices for small commercial vessel safety and guided excursions;
  • simplify the certification process for small non-pleasure vessels and extend it to manufacturers and importers;
  • make compliance easier without compromising safety; and
  • allow 90 days to transfer licences between owners by mail, during which time new owners are permitted to operate their pleasure craft.

Additionally, the new regulations make it easier for manufacturers to build, certify and sell small vessels by harmonizing the construction requirements for pleasure craft with non-pleasure vessels of up to six metres in length, and by increasing the compatibility of small vessel construction requirements with those of the United States and Europe.

The Small Vessel Regulations were pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on April 25, 2009. After consideration of comments received, the regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on May 12, 2010, and are now in effect.

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Contact Information

  • James Kusie
    Director of Issues Management and Parliamentary Affairs
    Office of Canada's Transport Minister
    John Baird, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    Transport Canada, Ottawa