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Commercial Vessel Requirements



If you see an outdated link please let us know.

CDN numbers:

These are no longer mandatory for the SDV-BS (MED A 3) course or the SVOP.

Alcohol, Marijuana 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.

Marijuana presents a whole new set of issues. The basics are the same for driving a vessel or a vehicle. But be aware that the THC deposits itself into your fatty cells.  When a stressful event occurs it releases the THC and you may test as positive.  The length of time is up to 28 days after the initial smoke.  If crossing the US border, the security officers are federal employees.  As it is illegal federally in the U.S. and you may be arrested an put in a Federal Institution.

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 and shots for pets if entering the U.S.  Please note there are restrictions on certain foods for both humans and pets as well.

PCOC (Pleasure Craft Operator Card):

The PCOC courses changed in 2011. Check out Transport Canad's site for all new information. They can be done on line at Canadian Power and Sail Squadron.

ROC-M Licenses:

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. You will need to write the radio exam again as there are no upgrades.  Authorities will be ticketing those, both pleasure and commercial,  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 $250,000.00, 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:

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. Licenses are renewable every 10 years. 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:

Click here for a link to Transport Publications. Click here for a list of Transport Canada approved training courses listed according to province.   Ship Safety Bulletins:    Ship safety bulletins can be found at Please talk to you local Transport Canada officer to get the correct information pertaining to your situation.

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