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2020-06-10

COVID-19 Resource Centre

 

 

LAST UPDATED JULY 30, 2020

 

Below is a compendium of measures for international vessels operating in Canadian waters that have been implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Specific measures included in the compendium include the following:


1.  Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) guidance
2.  Federal border restrictions

3.  Federal quarantine order

4.  Provincial border restrictions and quarantine measures

5.  Transport Canada reporting requirements

6.  Crew members and marine transportation workers

7.  Cruise ship restrictions in Canadian waters

8.  Ship inspections

9.  St. Lawrence Seaway

10. US Coast Guard

11. Pilotage

1. PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY CANADA (PHAC) GUIDANCE

2. federal Border Restrictions

CLOSURE OF CANADIAN BORDER TO FOREIGN NATIONALS:

  • Rule: Canadian border closed to foreign nationals for all non-essential (discretionary) travel. 

    Exemption:

  • Closure not applicable to healthy crew members and other individuals providing essential services to vessels. For a list of essential workers, see federal guidelines on Services and Functions Deemed Essential.
  • Individuals travelling to join ship in Canada should have a copy of TC Ship Safety Bulletin (SSB) 18/2020, along with Guidance to airlines at international airports. Travelers must also have a non-medical mask covering mouth and nose or might be refused boarding- Click HERE.

    See exemptions for travellers coming directly from U.S. below.

CLOSURE OF CANADA - U.S. BORDER:

  • Rule:  Canada-US border closed for all discretionary travel (e.g. tourism, recreation, entertainment) until August 21, 2020. 

    Exemption:

  • Closure not applicable to individuals engaged in non-discretionary travel, including healthy trade and transportation workers crossing the border for work (eg: crew and other individuals providing essential services to ships), as well as workers involved in economic services, supply chains, and critical infrastruture support.

  • Individuals travelling should have a copy of TC SSB 18/2020, along with CBSA bulletin and Canadian guidance to airlines at transborder US airportsTravelers must also have a non-medical mask covering mouth and nose or might be refused boardingclick HERE.

NOTE:

  • Above border restrictions should be read in combination with Federal Quarantine Order (as per item 3 below), as well as relevant provincial restrictions (as per item 4 below).

3. FEDERAL QUARANTINE ORDER

14-DAY SELF-ISOLATION REQUIREMENT WHEN ENTERING CANADA:

  • Rule: All travellers who are permitted to enter Canada from other countries must self-isolate for 14 days -  applicable nationally and as per federal Quarantine Order (in effect until August 30, 2020).

    Exemption:

  • Marine workers who are exempted must still maintain a distance of two-metres from others to the best of their ability, closely self-monitor, and self-isolate if exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (PHAC directives). These requirements apply at federal and provincial levels.

4. Provincial BORDER AND Quarantine Orders

  • Important Note:  Provincial border restrictions and quarantine orders may also be applicable in addition to federal requirements.

  • Click HERE for additional information and a provincial listing of relevant orders.

5. TRANSPORT CANADA - REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

VESSEL PRE-ARRIVAL:

  • Report to TC Marine Safety and Security (TCMSS) - TC Special Marine Security Notice.   

  • 96 and 24 hour Pre-Arrival Inspection Reports (PAIR); Pay particular attention to crew's health.

  • Report if crew's health situation changes at any time after submission of 96 and 24 hour PAIR reports to TC Marine Safety and Security (TCMSS) as per coordinates below.

  • Upon receiving a report, PHAC will issue directives to vessel and notify other entities as needed.

UPON ARRIVAL AT ANCHOR OR BERTH (IF COVID SYMPTOMS ON BOARD):

  • If COVID-19 symptoms suspected on board, inform local health authorities (click HERE for provincial details), ship's agent and TC MSS.  Local health authority will issue directives.


WHEN ORDERING A PILOT:

  • Ship agent to inform pilotage authority of crew's health.


REPORTING BY OTHERS
(ship agent, terminal operators, etc.):

  • Should contact the responsible provincial or local health authorities.


TCMSS DETAILS:


COVID 19 PHONE NUMBERS BY PROVINCE:

6. crew members & MARINE TRANSPORTATION WORKERS 

TRAVELING TO CANADA TO JOIN A SHIP (CREW MEMBERS & OTHER ESSENTIAL WORKERS):

  • Asymptomatic individuals travelling to Canada to join a ship are exempted from prohibition of entry into Canada for foreign nationals, as per Transport Canada Ship Safety Bulletin 18/2020.


  • Documentation at airport for crew members joining a ship:
  • Seafarer identity document issued in accordance with ILO
  • Certificate of competency
  • Proof of employment
  • Passport
  • Visa (if from a visa-required country)
  • Transport Canada Ship Safety Bulletin 18/2020 
  • Canadian guidance to airlines at international airports
  • Canadian guidance to airlines at transborder airports (if relevant)

  • Documentation at airport for other essential marine workers joining a ship:
  • Proof of employment on board the ship
  • Passport
  • Visa (if from a visa-required country)
  • Transport Canada Ship Safety Bulletin 18/2020 
  • Canadian guidance to airlines at international airports
  • Canadian guidance to airlines at transborder airports (if relevant)

  • Additional note:
  • All air passengers to have a non medical mask covering their mouth and nose during travel (including at airport) or will be refused boarding - click HERE.
     

VISA PROCEDURES FOR CREW MEMBERS JOINING A SHIP: 

  • NEW All joining crew members from visa-required countries must apply on-line for a temporary resident visa.

  • NEW In order for a visa application to be processed on an expedited basis, applicants must do the following when filling out the on-line form: 

    - In the field entitled "reason for travel," select "Other" from the dropdown menu
    - Enter COVID-19 (exactly as written here)

  • NEW Although applicants will receive an automatically-generated "Biometrics Instruction Letter" following submission of their application, IRCC has provided the following additional guidance:

    • If a crew member resides in an area where the Visa Application Centre (VAC) is open, they should schedule an appointment to enrol their biometrics as per the instructions in the letter.
    • If a crew member resides in an area where the VAC is closed as a result of COVID-19, they should wait to hear from IRCC with respect to next steps, as the biometrics requirement will likely be waived in such cases (assuming no "red flags" in the applicant's file).
    • A worldwide listing of VACs that are open/closed can be found on this Government of Canada WEBPAGE. 

  • If an applicant has not received any communication about their application after 5 business days, they should contact IRCC's Travel Exemptions inbox to request an update (IRCC.COVID-TravelExemptions-Exemptionsdevoyage-COVID.IRCC@cic.gc.ca

  • Please click HERE for Transport Canada's guidance document on this issue.

72-HOUR EXIT REQUIREMENT FOR DISCHARGED CREW MEMBERS

  • CBSA officers will grant extensions to the requirement that discharged crew members leave Canada within 72 hours on a case-by-case basis, based on the exit plans presented and in consideration of COVID-related challenges of booking outbound flights, etc.

  • Crew members who expect to remain in Canada well beyond 72 hours after being discharged can apply to extend their stay in Canada by obtaining a visitor record.


SHORE LEAVE RESTRICTIONS:

  • NEW - "Controlled shore leave" permitted for asymptomatic seafarers for a period of no more than 4 hours.  Must occur at a shore-based welfare facility (e.g. seafarer mision) located either on port grounds or in a nearby location, or in a "designated area on port grounds"

  • No shore leave in the Arctic - until December 31, 2020.

  • See TC Ship Safety Bulletin 18/2020 (issued June 30, 2020) for additional information.

NEW GUIDANCE ON FACE COVERINGS FOR MARINE TRANSPORTATION WORKERS 

  • In cases where PPE is not already required and social distancing is not consistently possible, marine transportaiton workers should have in their possetion (or have access to) a non-medical mask or face covering.

  • Use face covering on risk-based approach according to workplace circumstances or when required by local authorities.

  • See TC Ship Safety Bulletin 15/2020 for additional information.
 

7. crUISE ship RESTRICTIONS IN CANADIAN WATERS

CANADIAN WATERS SOUTH OF 60th PARALLEL:

Rule:  Vessels with overnight accommodations allowed to carry more than 100 persons (passengers and crew) prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020.

  • Exception:  A foreign vessel that is in the territorial seas of Canada exercising the "right of innocent passage" (transiting without stopping) in accordance with international law.
  • Exception: A foreign vessel that is transiting the Great Lakes, Inside Passage, St. Lawrence River, St. Lawrence Gulf or St. Lawrence Seaway (and does not moor, anchor or berth beyond what is necessary for ordinary navigation).

CANADIAN WATERS NORTH OF 60th PARALLEL:

Rule:  Vessels that are certified to carry more than 12 passengers prohibited from entering Canadian Arctic waters (waters north of the 60th parallel and the territorial sea in the vicinity of Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador coast) until October 31, 2020.

  • Exception:  A vessel exercising its right of innocent passage, provided such vessel has submitted written notice to the Minister of Transport 60 days before its expected date of arrival in the above waters.


OTHER SCENARIOS:

Rule: Other vessels (e.g. small cruise ships under 100 person capacity and tour boats) are permitted to operate subject to restrictions from their provincial, territorial, or local health authority. 

  • NEW Above vessels are still subject to border restrictions prohibiting all foreign nationals (including from US) from entering Canada for leisure purposes.  This includes entries into Canadian territorial and inland waters which do not include landing on Canadian soil(touring, sightseeing, whale w atching, etc.).
  • Please see this CBSA Fact-Sheet for additional information

Rule:  Essential passenger vessels and ferry vessels can continue to operate, provided they have mitigation measures in place to reduce to the spread of COVID-19.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Please see the following for additional information:

UNITED STATES:

Rule:  US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has extended its "No Sail Order" for cruise ships to September 30, 2020 NEW.

  • Applies to all commercial passenger vessels with a capacity of more than 250 people for which an overnight stay onboard by passengers or crew is anticipated.
  • Applies to all above-noted vessels operating in waters subject to US jurisdiction, including those that have previously voluntarily suspended operations.
  • Order additionally applies to cruise ships operating outside of US waters if the cruise ship operator intends for the ship to return to US waters while the Order remains in effect until September 30, 2020. 
  • For additional information, click HERE.  
 

8. ship INSPECTIONS

Inspectors to maintain a 2-meter distance from others at all times; Inspectors (TC, CFIA, etc) can travel in the same vehicle/launch only if 2-metre separation can be maintained throughout the transit.

 

PORT STATE CONTROL (PSC) INSPECTIONS - TRANSPORT CANADA:

Although Canada will continue to use a risk-based approach when selecting vessels for PSC inspections, please note the following:

  • On-site inspection will be maintained mostly for foreign vessels identified as High Priority (P1) under regional MOUs.  Amount of time inspectors spend on board and interactions with crew will be minimized as much as possible.
  • For other selected vessels (including foreign tankers identified as Medium Priority (P2)), verification will be done through document review with possibility of on-site inspection if such review not satisfactory.

In event that ship cannot fulfill convention / statutory requirements despite best efforts (e.g. challenges revalidating seafarer or ship certificates or delays in completing required audit, surveys, repairs, etc.):

  • TC will take a programatic approach to compliance, in accordance with the Paris MOU and Tokyo MOU guidance on PSC inspections in a COVID-19 context (i.e. situation will be assessed on case-by-case basis).

ASIAN GPYSY MOTH (AGM) INSPECTIONS - CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY:

  • As general rule, CFIA to conduct non-compliance inspections (at anchorage) and import inspections based on risk.
  • Other measures may include request for additional information prior to inspection in order to reduce amount of time spent on board and interaction with crew.
 

9. St Lawrence seaway

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS:

In addition to following Transport Canada's reporting protocols (as per TC section 5 above), vessel must promptly advise nearest Seaway traffic control center in event of a crew member presenting COVID-19 symptoms:


OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES:

  • Limited capacity to assist ships requiring mooring lines at a lock equipped with Hands-Free mooring.  Vessels requiring this service to contact nearest Seaway traffic control centre as per Seaway Notice #9 and Seaway Notice #17.
  • Limitations to interfaces for persons / service providers at all Canadian locks, as per Seaway Notice #10.
  • Restrictions for pilots boarding ships at Iroquois Lock, as per revised Seaway Notice #24.
  • Screening measures for personnel requesting entry to a lock via access gates and for crew members reuesting to disembark a ship at the locks.


SEAWAY INSPECTIONS:

  • Vessels must complete Self-Inspection Report for Foreign Ships and return report to SLSMC 96 hours prior to arrival at CIP 2.  This may result in some ships being exempted from full enhanced inspection (ESI) and granted direct entry into St. Lawrence Lock, as per Seaway Notice #19.
  • However, ballast water inspection will still take place, even for ships exempt from ESI.
  • Inspectors will board vessels wearing protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.).


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

  • SLSMC FAQ - Click HERE.

10. us coast guard

The following provides a summary of some of the information contained in the US Coast Guard COVID 19 Marine Safety Information Bulletins. For direct access to USCG MISBs, click HERE.

 

VESSEL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Any illness onboard that may adversely affect the safety of a vessel or port facility must be reported immediately to the US Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP), as must cases of persons who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.  This requirement is separate from (and in addition to) other required Coast Guard or CDC (Centres for Disease Control) reporting (as per below). See MSIB 02-20 (Change 5) for more information.

  • In addition to the above, vessels destined to a US port must report to the CDC any sick or deceased crew / passengers during 15 day period prior to arrival at US port:
         - Click HERE for CDC guidance for cargo ships
         - Click HERE for CDC form for reporting illness onboard

  • USCG will review "Notice of Arrivals" and coordinate with CDC quarantine stations, who will coordinate with local health authorities.

PORT STATE CONTROL INSPECTIONS:

  • USCG will not issue deficiencies or detain vessels for expired certificates, documents or mariner credentials until October 1, 2020.

  • USCG may accept evidence such as vessel status within Qualship 21, previous port state or flag state exams, recent classification surveys, pictures, video, vessel logs, etc. in lieu of Coast Guard attendance onboard to credit a required inspection or exam; or may defer a required inspection of exam for up to 90 days.

  • See MSIB 09-20 for additional information.

ENTRY AND CREW RESTRICTIONS:

  • Entry restrictions on persons arriving from or through high risk countries, including Iran, China, EU states within Schengen Area, United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland - click HERE.

  • Cargo vessels that have been to the countries noted above or embarked crew members from these countries within the last 14 days, which have no sick crew members on board, will be permitted to enter the US and conduct normal operations, provided crew members remain on board the vessel except to conduct specific activities directly related to vessel cargo.

  • Authority to restrict shore leave resides with Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the USCG and CDC (for medical matters).  Ports/terminals must coordinate with local CBP, USCG, CDC, state and local health department offices  Nothing in the Seafarer Access requirements prevents ports/terminals from maximizing options to minimze interaction that may include use of camera systems, barriers or other measures.

  • See MSIB 07-20 (Change 2) for more information.

MOBILITY OF MARINE TRANSPORTATION WORKERS:

  • Commercial shipping sector is identified as essential for continuous flow of commerce (including crew, port workers, vessel owners / operators, shipping agents, marine consultants, naval architects, marine exchanges, surveyors, etc.).

  • Please note that US federal guidelines are advisory in nature and quarantine orders are up to state and local officials.  

  • See MSIB 11-20 for additional information.

GENERAL GUIDANCE:

  • See US CDC Interim Guidance for Ships on Managing Suspected Coronavirus Disease - click HERE.

 

11. PILOTAGE

Atlantic Pilotage Authority (APA)

Notice to clients: March 27 & March 11  

  • Advising on preventives measures (including protocols for PPE, pilot boats and offices
  • APA reduced the number of pilot carried by boat to minimize risks
  • Pilots instructed to follow vessel's specified protocols 
  • Pilots and vessel crew to use different set of RADAR, ECDIS consoles, ROT indicators (when available)
  • Over carriage of pilots to ports outside of APA jurisdiction not permitted  
  • When requesting a pilot, report to dispatch center any person with symptoms
  • Sanitize access and wheelhouse prior to pilot boarding
  • Wherever possible, maintain safe distance of at least 2-meter

Laurentian Pilotage Authority (LPA)

 

Notices to clients: March 20  & March 12

  • When requesting a pilot, report to dispatch center any person with symptoms and advise if crew member's health situation changes thereafter;  

  • Confirm that LPA required hygiene and protection measures have been put in place prior to pilot boarding 

  • Maintain safe distance of at least 2-metre

  • Pilot boats and pilot waiting rooms are sanitized daily; LPA and Pilots Corporation ensure that pilots are in good health and follow all applicable government directives

Great Lakes Pilotage Authority (GLPA)

 

Notice to clients No. 2 & No. 3 

  • When requesting a pilot (12hrs notice), report to dispatch center any person with symptoms
  • Sanitize access and wheelhouse prior to pilot boarding; 
  • Wherever possible, maintain safe distance of at least 2 meters

Pacific Pilotage Authority (PPA)

Notice to clients: March 18 & memos Victoria Dispatch & Prince Rupert:

  • Information on transportation and logistics to move pilots to ships (March 30 -Notice 5/2020
  • Pilotage orders for out of district assignments (BC to Puget Sound or reverse) will no longer be permitted  (Notice 4/2020)
  • Onboard sanitation requirements prior to pilot board 
  • Wherever possible, maintain safe distance of at least 2 metres
  • Additional reporting requirements for vessel/crew arriving from high risk areas 

British Columbia Coat Pilots COVID-19 protocol - click here

12. EUROPEAN MARITIME SAFETY AGENCY 

NEW: COVID 19 measures listed by EU member states - click HERE

 

 

The Shipping Federation of Canada is working diligently to provide marine stakeholders with information specific to their sector in response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation.  We are liaising with key authorities to ensure the delivery of streamlined information and timely updates on protocols and practices.

 

We urge members to take the appropriate steps to contain the spread of COVID-19, preserve the health of their teams and take practical protective measures against the virus. 

 

DISCLAIMER: Although we will endeavour to update this webpage as often as possible, information issued directly by Canadian authorities and other entities interacting with vessels remains the official source to ensure compliance.