Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (S.C. 2001, c. 26)

Act current to 2017-09-27 and last amended on 2017-06-22. Previous Versions

Vessel Traffic Services

Marginal note:Entering, leaving or proceeding within a VTS Zone
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (4), no vessel of a prescribed class shall

    • (a) enter, leave or proceed within a VTS Zone without having previously obtained a clearance under this section; or

    • (b) proceed within a VTS Zone unless able to maintain direct communication with a marine communications and traffic services officer in accordance with the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Marine communications and traffic services officers

    (2) The Minister may designate as marine communications and traffic services officers persons in the federal public administration who meet the requirements specified by the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Powers of officers

    (3) Subject to any regulations made under section 136, to any other Act of Parliament governing ports or harbours and to the regulations or by-laws made under such an Act, for the purpose of promoting safe and efficient navigation or environmental protection, a marine communications and traffic services officer may, with respect to any vessel of a prescribed class that is about to enter or is within a VTS Zone,

    • (a) grant a clearance to the vessel to enter, leave or proceed within the VTS Zone;

    • (b) direct the master, pilot or person in charge of the deck watch of the vessel to provide, in the manner and at any time that may be specified in the direction, any pertinent information in respect of the vessel that may be specified in the direction;

    • (c) direct the vessel to use any radio frequencies in communications with coast stations or any other vessel that may be specified in the direction; and

    • (d) direct the vessel, at the time, between the times or before or after any event that may be specified in the direction,

      • (i) to leave the VTS Zone,

      • (ii) to leave or refrain from entering any area within the VTS Zone that may be specified in the direction, or

      • (iii) to proceed to or remain at any location within the VTS Zone that may be specified in the direction.

  • Marginal note:If vessel unable to communicate

    (4) If a vessel

    • (a) is unable to obtain a clearance required by subsection (1) because of an inability to establish direct communication with a marine communications and traffic services officer, or

    • (b) after obtaining a clearance, is unable to maintain direct communication with a marine communications and traffic services officer,

    the vessel may, subject to subsection (6), nevertheless proceed on its route.

  • Marginal note:Communication and obtaining clearance

    (5) The master shall

    • (a) in the circumstances described in subsection (4), take all reasonable measures to communicate with a marine communications and traffic services officer as soon as possible; and

    • (b) in the circumstances described in paragraph (4)(a), obtain a clearance as soon as possible after direct communication is established.

  • Marginal note:Equipment failure

    (6) In the circumstances described in subsection (4), if the master is unable to establish or maintain direct communication because of an equipment failure on the vessel, the vessel shall

    • (a) if it is in a port or anchorage where the equipment can be repaired, remain there until it is able to establish communication in accordance with the regulations; and

    • (b) if it is not in a port or anchorage where the equipment can be repaired, proceed to the nearest reasonably safe port or anchorage on its route when it is safe to do so and remain there until it is able to establish communication in accordance with the regulations.

  • 2001, c. 26, s. 126;
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 224(E).
Marginal note:Variations from requirements or conditions
  •  (1) The Minister may, on request, vary in respect of a vessel a requirement or condition made under paragraph 136(1)(b) or (c) if the Minister is satisfied that the varied requirement or condition would result in an equivalent or greater level of safety.

  • Marginal note:Contravention

    (2) A contravention of a requirement that is varied under subsection (1) is deemed to be a contravention of the original requirement.

Aids to Navigation

Marginal note:Aids to navigation vest in Her Majesty

 All aids to navigation acquired, installed, built or maintained at the expense of a province before it became a part of Canada, or at the expense of the Government of Canada, and all buildings and other works relating to those aids, are vested in Her Majesty in right of Canada and are under the control and management of the Minister.

Marginal note:Obligation to report damage
  •  (1) If a vessel, or anything towed by a vessel, runs down, moves, damages or destroys an aid to navigation in Canadian waters, the person in charge of the vessel shall, without delay, make a report to a marine communications and traffic services officer or, if that is not feasible, to an officer of the Canadian Coast Guard.

  • Marginal note:Obligation to report — navigation hazard

    (2) A person in charge of a vessel in Canadian waters who discovers an uncharted hazard to navigation, or discovers that an aid to navigation is missing, out of position or malfunctioning, shall make a report without delay to a marine communications and traffic services officer or, if that is not feasible, to an officer of the Canadian Coast Guard.

Search and Rescue

Marginal note:Designation of rescue coordinators
  •  (1) The Minister may designate persons as rescue coordinators to organize search and rescue operations.

  • Marginal note:Power of rescue coordinators

    (2) On being informed that a person, a vessel or an aircraft is in distress or is missing in Canadian waters or on the high seas off any of the coasts of Canada under circumstances that indicate that they may be in distress, a rescue coordinator may

    • (a) direct all vessels within an area that the rescue coordinator specifies to report their positions;

    • (b) direct any vessel to take part in a search for that person, vessel or aircraft or to otherwise render assistance;

    • (c) give any other directions that the rescue coordinator considers necessary to carry out search and rescue operations for that person, vessel or aircraft; and

    • (d) use any lands if it is necessary to do so for the purpose of saving the life of a shipwrecked person.

  • Marginal note:Duty to comply

    (3) Every vessel or person on board a vessel in Canadian waters and every vessel or person on board a vessel in any waters that has a master who is a qualified person shall comply with a direction given to it or them under subsection (2).

Marginal note:Answering distress signal
  •  (1) Subject to this section, the master of a vessel in Canadian waters and every qualified person who is the master of a vessel in any waters, on receiving a signal from any source that a person, a vessel or an aircraft is in distress, shall proceed with all speed to render assistance and shall, if possible, inform the persons in distress or the sender of the signal.

  • Marginal note:Distress signal — no assistance

    (2) If the master is unable or, in the special circumstances of the case, considers it unreasonable or unnecessary to proceed to the assistance of a person, a vessel or an aircraft in distress, the master is not required to proceed to their assistance and is to enter the reason in the official log book of the vessel.

  • Marginal note:Ships requisitioned

    (3) The master of any vessel in distress may requisition one or more of any vessels that answer the distress call to render assistance. The master of a requisitioned vessel in Canadian waters and every qualified person who is the master of a requisitioned vessel in any waters shall continue to proceed with all speed to render assistance to the vessel in distress.

  • Marginal note:Release from obligation

    (4) The master of a vessel shall be released from the obligation imposed by subsection (1) when the master learns that another vessel is complying with a requisition referred to in subsection (3).

  • Marginal note:Further release

    (5) The master of a vessel shall be released from an obligation imposed by subsection (1) or (3) if the master is informed by the persons in distress or by the master of another vessel that has reached those persons that assistance is no longer necessary.

Marginal note:Assistance

 The master of a vessel in Canadian waters and every qualified person who is the master of a vessel in any waters shall render assistance to every person who is found at sea and in danger of being lost.

 
Date modified: