Did you know that all commercial vessels, including tugboats, needs to be inspected and certified to operate in Canadian waters?

By inspecting and certifying marine vessels, Transport Canada, the federal government department responsible for transportation safety and security, is able to ensure that Canada’s marine community is safe and environmentally responsible.

In order to carry out these responsibilities, Transport Canada administers the Board of Steamship Inspection Scale of Fees Regulations.

In order to continue delivering high-quality services to mariners, Transport Canada will be implementing a more consistent application of fees for inspection and certification of Canadian vessels in accordance with these regulations.

A national process, launched in spring of 2012, will ensure that vessel owners are being charged correctly and consistently as legislatively prescribed by the regulations. Although, consistent application of the Board of Steamship Inspection Scale of Fees Regulations is not an increase in existing fees, it may result in changes to invoicing commercial vessels for Transport Canada services. For more information, read the frequently asked questions and answers.

Questions and Answers

Q.  The invoice for my inspection this year is higher than it was last year.  Have my inspection fees been increased?

A.  All applicable fees will now be applied consistently across Canada. As a result, in some cases vessel owners will receive an invoice that is lower, and some will be higher. Overall, however there is no across the board increase to fees.

Q. What has changed? How will inspection and service fees be billed?

A. In spring 2012, Marine Safety begun using a national process for applying fees, to ensure that they are applied consistently across the country, in accordance with the Board of Steamship Inspection Scale of Fees Regulations. With the launch of the national process on May 30, 2012, some vessel owners may see increased charges on their invoices.

The national process means that owners/operators will pay the correct fees for the services provided. In Phase II, in addition to financial controls, the national process will also track service requests and the level of service provided. This will allow Marine Safety to continue to improve and provide more efficient and consistent services.

Examples of fees in the existing regulations that were not always applied consistently in the past are:

  • The $500 fee for an inspector to be available upon request for vessel services (section 29),
  • The $400 fee for the first issue of a Safe Manning Document (section 30, item #4),
  • The $100 for the Safe Manning Document renewal (section 30, item #5), and
  • The $100 per visit fee (section 30, item #12).

Q. What are the Board of Steamship Inspection Scale of Fees Regulations?

A. The Board of Steamship Inspection Scale of Fees Regulations are the regulations that set the fees Marine Safety charges for vessel inspections and other related activities.  

Q. What is a standby fee?

A. The $500 standby fee is payable when a Marine Safety inspector is made available or placed on call at your request, either continuously or during specified periods, to perform a service of any kind with respect to your ship.  This includes cargo inspections and other Port Warden duties. The standby fee is payable for each calendar day or partial day that the inspector is on call or made available.

The standby fee does not apply in cases where a request is made, but a Marine Safety inspector is not available to do an inspection.

Q. How can I minimize my fees?

A. Before requesting an inspection, make sure your vessel is ready.  Understand the regulatory requirements for your vessel.  By minimizing the number of visits the inspector must make to the vessel, your fees will be lower.

Q.  Where can I find more information?

A.  For more information on fees for vessel inspection and services please contact:

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