Changes coming to the Safety Management Regulations in 2023 will affect most Canadian Domestic Vessel owners!

The existing Safety Management Regulations, published in 1998, apply to approximately 96 vessels in the Canadian fleet. The proposed Regulations will apply to approximately 16,000 Canadian vessels, including all commercial passenger vessels, aiming to ensure a larger portion of Canada’s fleet adheres to a higher safety standard. 

The proposed regulations would repeal and replace the existing Safety Management Regulations, broadening the application of safety management systems to the Canadian domestic fleet. This would also address the Transportation Safety Board’s recommendations to require all commercial vessels to have a Safety Management System.

The proposed regulations would divide the Canadian fleet into five classes, each with varying levels of safety management systems and oversight requirements. The class in which a vessel is placed would be determined by its size, type, and operation. The Canadian fleet would be divided into five classes:

Class 1: The current Regulations apply to all International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea vessels, and the companies that operate them. There are no changes for class 1.

Class 2: Canadian vessels 500 gross tonnage or more and the companies that operate them, gross tonnage being a measure of the vessel’s overall size, and any vessels that carry 50 passengers or more.

Class 3: Canadian vessels longer than 24 metres, except for vessels in classes 1 or 2.

Class 4:

  • A: Canadian vessels greater than 15 gross tonnes, except vessels that are in classes 1 to 3, or
  • B: Canadian passenger vessels and towboats of not more than 15 gross tonnes, except vessels that are in classes 1 to 3.

Class 5: Canadian vessels 24 metres or less, less than 15 gross tonnes, and are not in class 4 B.

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