Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
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Marine Transportation Security Regulations (SOR/2004-144)

Regulations are current to 2021-06-03 and last amended on 2014-06-19. Previous Versions

PART 2Vessels (continued)

Vessel Security Alert System (continued)

[SOR/2006-269, s. 5(F)]
  •  (1) The vessel security alert system shall

    • (a) be capable of being activated from the navigation bridge and at least one other location;

    • (b) comply with

      • (i) International Maritime Organization Resolution MSC.136(76), annex 7, Performance Standards for a Ship Security Alert System, as amended from time to time, if the system was installed before July 1, 2004,

      • (ii) International Maritime Organization Resolution MSC.147(77), annex 5, Performance Standards for a Ship Security Alert System, as amended from time to time, if the system is installed on or after July 1, 2004; or

      • (iii) another performance standard that provides the same level of security as in subparagraph (i) or (ii); and

    • (c) be equipped with activation points designed to prevent its inadvertent initiation.

  • (2) For the purpose of interpreting the annexes referred to in paragraph (1)(b), “should” shall be read to mean “shall”.

 The vessel security alert system, when activated,

  • (a) shall, if the security of the vessel is under threat or has been compromised, initiate and transmit a vessel-to-shore security alert to the nearest Canadian maritime rescue coordination centre identifying the vessel and its position and indicating that the security of the vessel is under threat or has been compromised;

  • (b) shall not send a security alert to another vessel;

  • (c) shall not raise an alarm on board the vessel; and

  • (d) shall continue the security alert until it is deactivated or reset.

  •  (1) The radio system used for a vessel security alert system shall comply with relevant international standards.

  • (2) If the vessel security alert system is powered from the vessel’s main source of electrical power, it shall also be possible to operate the system from another source of power.

 If a Canadian maritime rescue coordination centre notifies the Minister that it has received a vessel security alert, the Minister shall immediately notify the contracting governments in the vicinity of which the vessel is operating and, in the case of a Canadian ship, its operator.

 If a Canadian maritime rescue coordination centre notifies the Minister that it has received a vessel security alert from a vessel that is entitled to fly the flag of a foreign state, the Minister shall immediately notify the contracting government of that vessel and, if appropriate, of the countries in the vicinity of which the vessel is operating.

Declaration of Security

  •  (1) A declaration of security shall be completed before an interface starts between a vessel and a marine facility or another vessel if

    • (a) they are operating at different MARSEC levels;

    • (b) one of them does not have a security plan approved by a contracting government or by a security organization referred to in section 9.2 of Part A of the ISPS Code;

    • (c) the interface involves a cruise ship, a vessel carrying certain dangerous cargoes or the loading or transfer of certain dangerous cargoes; or

    • (d) the security officer of either of them identifies security concerns about the interface.

  • (2) A new declaration of security is required if there is a change in the MARSEC level.

  • (3) The declaration of security shall provide a means for ensuring that all shared security concerns are fully addressed throughout the interface and shall contain the information set out in the form in Appendix 1 of Part B of the ISPS Code, with the terms “ship”, “port facility” and “security measures” read as “vessel”, “marine facility” and “security procedures”, respectively.

  • (4) The declaration of security shall be in English or French and be signed by the vessel security officer and the marine facility security officer or the vessel security officers, as the case may be.

  • (5) A vessel security officer or a marine facility security officer may authorize in writing a person who has security responsibilities on the vessel or marine facility and appropriate training to complete and sign the declaration of security on their behalf.

  • (6) At MARSEC level 1 and MARSEC level 2, a continuing declaration of security may be used for multiple interfaces between a vessel and a marine facility or another vessel if the effective period of the declaration does not exceed

    • (a) 90 days at MARSEC level 1; or

    • (b) 30 days at MARSEC level 2.

  • (7) If a declaration of security is required under subsection (1) between a vessel and the operator of a lock in the St. Lawrence Seaway, it shall be completed on its entry into the first lock and remain in effect until the vessel exits the St. Lawrence Seaway at the St. Lambert Lock or the Welland Canal at Port Colborne.

Vessel Security Assessment


 The persons who conduct a vessel security assessment shall have, collectively, the competence to evaluate the security of the vessel, including knowledge that is relevant to the industry in which the vessel operates, in the following areas:

  • (a) current security threats and patterns;

  • (b) the detection and recognition of weapons, explosives and incendiaries and other dangerous substances and devices;

  • (c) the recognition of the characteristics and behavioural patterns of persons who are likely to threaten security;

  • (d) techniques that might be used to violate security procedures or to circumvent security procedures, equipment or systems;

  • (e) methods used to cause a security incident;

  • (f) the effects of dangerous substances and devices on vessels and their equipment;

  • (g) vessel security requirements;

  • (h) vessel-to-vessel and vessel-to-marine facility interface business practices;

  • (i) emergency preparedness and response and contingency planning;

  • (j) physical security requirements;

  • (k) radio and telecommunications systems, including computer systems and networks;

  • (l) marine engineering; and

  • (m) vessel and marine facility operations.

Security Assessment Information

 The company security officer shall ensure that the following security assessment information is provided to persons who conduct the on-site survey and vessel security assessment:

  • (a) the general layout of the vessel, including the location of

    • (i) actual and potential points of access to the vessel and their function,

    • (ii) areas that should have restricted access,

    • (iii) essential maintenance equipment,

    • (iv) stowage and cargo spaces, including storage areas for essential maintenance equipment, ships’ stores, cargo and unaccompanied baggage, and

    • (v) ships’ stores;

  • (b) security threat assessments, including the purpose and methodology of the assessment, for the area in which the vessel operates or at which passengers embark or disembark and the types of cargo being carried by the vessel;

  • (c) a copy of any previous security assessment prepared for the vessel;

  • (d) a list of the emergency and stand-by equipment available to maintain essential services;

  • (e) changes in the tide that might have an impact on the vulnerability or security of the vessel;

  • (f) the number of vessel personnel, the security duties of persons with security responsibilities and existing security training requirements;

  • (g) a list of existing security and safety equipment for the protection of personnel, visitors and passengers;

  • (h) details of escape and evacuation routes and assembly stations that have to be maintained to ensure the orderly and safe emergency evacuation of the vessel;

  • (i) copies of existing agreements with persons or organizations that provide security services; and

  • (j) details of security procedures in effect, including inspection and access control procedures, identification systems, surveillance and monitoring equipment, personnel identification documents, communication, alarm, lighting, access control and other security systems.

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