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Transport Canada revises measures for seafarer certificates amidst COVID pandemic


Transport Canada has announced revised temporary measures pertaining to marine personnel certificates, discharge books, marine medical certificates and general marine counter services implemented during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security has determined, as specified below, that certain personnel certificates be granted an extension of validity to address challenges related to the limited availability of training and restricted movement during the global COVID-19 pandemic. This approach is aligned with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Circular Letter No. 4204/Add.5/Rev. 1, dated April 02, 2020, that encourages maritime administrations to take a pragmatic and practical approach regarding the extension of seafarer certificates.

Furthermore, the Master of a Canadian-flagged vessel is reminded of their obligation under subsection 206(2) of the Marine Personnel Regulations to ensure that each member of the vessel’s crew, at the beginning of their employment, is trained to perform their assigned duties vital to safety or the prevention or mitigation of pollution.

There is no requirement to submit an application to obtain an extension referenced in this present Ship Safety Bulletin. It is recommended that you retain a copy of this Bulletin with your certificate, especially when serving on a vessel making an international voyage(s).

Any Certificate of Competency, that otherwise would have expired between October 1, 2019 and March 15, 2020 (but which was extended by previous Ship Safety Bulletins) is now further automatically extended until June 30, 2021.

Any Certificate of Competency, that otherwise would have expired between March 16, 2020 and June 30, 2021 (but which was extended by previous Ship Safety Bulletins) will now remain valid until the earlier of:

  1. 15 months from the date of expiry on the face of the certificate, or
  2. December 31, 2021.

 Any Canadian seafarer, holding a Certificate(s) of Proficiency in marine emergency duties that has expired, or is otherwise set to expire on or before December 31, 2021, is granted, regarding their respective Certificate(s) of Proficiency in marine emergency duties, an extension until December 31, 2021 

 Despite any extension granted under this Ship Safety Bulletin, it is strongly recommended that any seafarer in possession of a certificate that will soon expire, start the process to renew their certificate as soon as possible.

 For seafarers who require a medical certificate to obtain or maintain a certificate of competency to work domestically, a Marine Medical Certificate that is currently valid, and that otherwise would have expired on or before August 31, 2021, is granted, regarding their Marine Medical Certificate, an extension until September 30, 2021. There is no requirement to submit an application to obtain this extension.

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