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Canada and U.S. sign cooperative vessel traffic service accord for Great Lakes transportation


Canada and the United States have signed a Cooperative Vessel traffic Service (CVTS) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) conceived to bolster the safety and efficiency of maritime traffic across the Great Lakes Marine Transportation System (MTS).

Representatives from the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) Central Region, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS), the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC), and the United States Coast Guard Ninth District (USCG), signed the agreement on April 11 in Quebec. It is the first official unified information sharing agreement among all four entities who have a long history of cooperation.

The MOU highlights the need for a unified information-sharing system to enhance data exchange, improve situational awareness, and reduce human error in maritime traffic management.

The signing ceremony was notably attended by Marc-André Meunier, Assistant Commissioner, CCG Central region, Adam Tindall-Schlicht, Administrator for the GLS, Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the SLSMC, and Admiral John Hickey, commander of the Ninth USCG District.

Rear Admiral Jon Hickey hailed the MOU as a significant step towards ensuring safe and efficient shipping across both the U.S. and Canada. “This MOU is another great step in our continued, cooperative commitment to the safe and efficient movement of goods and services through both the U.S. and Canada.”

“Vessel traffic management across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River is a vital service, and our continued collaboration will ensure safe and efficient navigation across these inland waters,” said Marc-André Meunier.

Terence Bowles of the SLSMC, welcomed the MOU as a means to enhance safety and security on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Green Shipping Corridor, a vital link in the North American supply chain.

“The Seaway has a long history of implementing technological innovations to improve the safety and efficiency of its operations,” said Adam Tindall Schlicht, GLS Administrator. “This formal agreement with trusted bi-national partners will improve the vessel transit experience by enhancing workplace safety, lowering operating costs for carriers, and achieving greater efficiencies in freight movement.”

(SLMCS photo)