News & FAQ›
Commercial Vessel Requirements›
If you see an outdated link please let us know.
These are no longer mandatory for First Aid and SDV-BS (MED A 3) courses or the SVOP.
Alcohol and Boating:
Boating while impaired is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada. . The maximum sentence may vary depending on provincial statutes. In most provinces Alcohol may be consumed on board a pleasure craft only if it meets all of the following conditions: *the vessel has permanent sleeping facilities, *the vessel has permanent cooking facilities, *the vessel has a permanent toilet, and *the vessel is anchored or secured alongside a dock. Rules apply differently for commercial vessels. Each situation will be assessed by Transport Canada and a decision made as to how alcohol will be used or carried aboard. Check with your local TC officer.
Ship or Boat:
A boat becomes a ship when she is over 20 meters in length (65.6 ft.)
It has always been understood that when entering either the US or Canada one had to clear customs before landing or anchoring. This is however incorrect. You must clear customs immediately even if only passing through foreign waters. Please check with Customs as the rules have changed. October 2017 marks a time when the rules were enhanced and security to enter U.S waters is far more thorough. You will need your passport, vessel registration and licenses for pets if entering the U.S.
PCOC (Pleasure Craft Operator Card):
The PCOC courses changed in 2011. Starting April of 2011 all exams are now 50 questions, multiple choice. The exams are written by Transport Canada. All online exams will now take about 5 hours to complete with the applicant filling out answer sections as they read the material provided before they write the exam. The courses provided by Heads-Up Navigation have met the new requirements for several years and will continue to be given in the same manner.
ROC-M licenses are now green and have the DSC endorsement. If you have a brown card or obtained your card before January 2006 you should update your card in order to comply. A simple 20 question exam and 3 verbal questions will bring you up to the current standards. You will need to provide a copy of the brown card and ID proof in the form of a drivers license or passport. See ROC-M course information. Authorities will be ticketing those using a radio without a license!
Tickets & Fines
Transport Canada has brought in a program of ticketing and fines which applies to all commercial and recreational operators and owners called the Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs). Under the new system owner/operators will face fines of up to $25,000.00, as a result of tickets issued on the spot for infractions under the CSA (Canada Shipping Act) 2001. This includes failing to have or maintain safety equipment, inadequate documentation, improperly trained crew or inadequate watches, oil pollution and marine traffic violations. Go to Transport Canada's website to find out the complete set of fines listed under AMPs: www.tc.gc.ca/marine/menu.htm.
Licensing & Registration of Vessels
For those of you with questions about licensing or registration of your vessel you can go to this site at Transport Canada. Changes in licensing now requires that you must transfer all documentation within 90 days of purchase. Many commercial registered vessels must also now show load lines fore and aft in order for their registration to be valid. Transport Canada issues Safety Bulletins on a regular basis to update all mariners with important information. Click here to view Ship Safety Bulletins, and see some samples below.
Transport Canada Publications:
Ship Safety Bulletins:
Ship safety bulletins can be found at www.tc.gc.ca/sssb-bsn. Please talk to you local Transport Canada officer to get the correct information pertaining to your situation.