Vol. 149, No. 10 — May 20, 2015
SOR/2015-99 May 1, 2015
CANADA SHIPPING ACT, 2001
Regulations Amending the Vessels Registry Fees Tariff and the Vessel Registration and Tonnage Regulations
P.C. 2015-484 April 30, 2015
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, pursuant to subsection 7(2), paragraph 35(1)(g) (see footnote a) and section 77 (see footnote b) of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (see footnote c), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Vessels Registry Fees Tariff and the Vessel Registration and Tonnage Regulations.
REGULATIONS AMENDING THE VESSELS REGISTRY FEES TARIFF AND THE VESSEL REGISTRATION AND TONNAGE REGULATIONS
VESSELS REGISTRY FEES TARIFF
1. Section 3 of the Vessels Registry Fees Tariff (see footnote 1) and the heading before it are replaced by the following:
3. (1) The fee payable for registering a vessel, a group of small vessels or a fleet in the small vessel register for a five-year period is $50.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of pleasure craft.
(3) For the purposes of this section, “group of small vessels” means two or more vessels of 5 gross tonnage or less that are owned by the same person.
VESSEL REGISTRATION AND TONNAGE REGULATIONS
2. Section 1 of the Vessel Registration and Tonnage Regulations (see footnote 2) is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:
- (a) in respect of a vessel referred to in Part 1, means the distance measured parallel to the waterline from the forward end of the foremost outside surface of the hull shell to the aft end of the aftermost outside surface of the hull shell; and
- (b) in respect of a vessel referred to in Part 2, means 96% of the total length on a waterline at 85% of the least moulded depth measured from the top of the keel, or the length from the fore side of the stem to the axis of the rudder stock on that waterline, if that is greater, except that, in vessels designed with a rake of keel, the waterline on which the length is measured shall be parallel to the designed waterline. (longueur)
“power”, in respect of an engine, means the power, in kilowatts, that the manufacturer declares has been determined in accordance with the version of International Standard ISO 8665, Small Craft — Marine Propulsion Engines and Systems — Power Measurements and Declarations, that is in effect when the engine is manufactured. (puissance)
3. The Regulations are amended by adding the following before the heading “NOTIFYING CHIEF REGISTRAR” before section 2:
EXEMPTED CLASSES OF VESSELS
1.1 (1) The following classes of vessels are exempted from the registration requirement in subsection 46(1) of the Act:
- (a) vessels that are equipped with one or more primary propulsion engines whose aggregate power is less than 7.5 kW;
- (b) vessels that are 8.5 m or less in length and that are propelled by sail alone;
- (c) human-powered vessels, other than vessels in respect of which the Special-purpose Vessels Regulations apply; and
- (d) vessels that are operated by a recreational boating school for training and that
- (i) are not prohibited by section 10 of the Vessel Certificates Regulations from engaging on a voyage, and
- (ii) were licensed under section 202 of the Act immediately before being operated by the recreational boating school for training.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of vessels that carry more than 12 passengers.
AUTHORIZATION OF THE MINISTER TO EXEMPT
1.2 The Minister may, by order, exempt vessels or classes of vessels from the registration requirement in subsection 46(1) of the Act for one year, on any terms and conditions that he or she considers appropriate, if he or she is of the opinion that the exemption is not likely to adversely affect marine safety, and he or she may amend or revoke the exemption.
EXCLUDED GOVERNMENT VESSELS
1.3 (1) Subsection 46(3) of the Act does not apply in respect of government vessels that
- (a) are equipped with one or more primary propulsion engines whose aggregate power is less than 7.5 kW; or
- (b) are 8.5 m or less in length and are propelled by sail alone.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of vessels that carry more than 12 passengers.
4. Section 6 of the Regulations and the heading “INTERPRETATION” before it are repealed.
5. The Regulations are amended by adding the following after section 18:
EXEMPTED CANADIAN VESSELS
19. This Division applies in respect of Canadian vessels that are exempted under section 1.1 or 1.2 from the registration requirement in subsection 46(1) of the Act and that are not registered.
Calculation of Tonnage
20. If it is necessary to determine the tonnage of a Canadian vessel for the purposes of any regulations made under the Act, the vessel’s authorized representative shall ensure that its tonnage is calculated in accordance with
- (a) Division 1, if the vessel is 24 m in length or more; or
- (b) Division 3, if the vessel is less than 24 m in length.
6. Part 3 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
VARIATION OF THE ACT IN RESPECT OF CERTAIN GOVERNMENT VESSELS
DEFINITION OF “CANADIAN VESSEL”
21. The definition “Canadian vessel” in section 2 of the Act is varied as follows:
- “Canadian vessel”
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- “Canadian vessel” means
- (a) a vessel that is registered or listed under Part 2 (Registration, Listing and Recording) or that is exempted under the regulations from the registration requirement in subsection 46(1); or
- (b) a government vessel to which subsection 46(3) of the Act does not apply under section 1.3 of the Vessel Registration and Tonnage Regulations.
COMING INTO FORCE
7. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
Prior to 2011, all vessels other than pleasure craft were required to be registered including, under certain circumstances, canoes, kayaks, row boats and small sailing vessels. This conflicted with the government policy that small commercial vessels should be subject to similar rules for like vessels operating as recreational vessels (e.g. pleasure craft). Pleasure craft are required to be licensed; however, human-powered pleasure craft, sailboats and power-driven vessels fitted with motors of less than 7.5 kilowatts (kW) [10 horsepower (hp)] are exempt. This exemption applies only to licensing. Regulations relating to vessel construction, safety equipment and pollution prevention continue to apply.
Thousands of Canadian boaters are affected by the small vessel registration requirements, which place an unnecessary administrative burden on the owners of canoes, kayaks, row boats and sailboats not used for pleasure, as registration does not present any real identifiable safety benefit.
The Vessel Registration and Tonnage Regulations (VRTR) and the Vessels Registry Fees Tariff (VRFT) [the Regulations] establish requirements with respect to vessels in the Canadian Register of Vessels under Part 2 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001). The Canadian Register of Vessels includes the small vessel register part. The vessel registration provisions contained in the 2011 amendments to the CSA 2001 authorized the Minister of Transport to make regulations to exempt small vessels from registration and simplify the registration process for fleets of small vessels.
In May 2010, Transport Canada (TC) amended the Small Vessel Regulations to establish new safety requirements for human- powered non-pleasure vessels (e.g. canoes, kayaks) engaged in guided excursions. That raised concerns among small vessel users regarding the registration of human-powered vessels (such as canoes and kayaks) and small powered vessels that were not pleasure craft. The focus of the complaints was that the small vessel registration process was too complicated for owners of such vessels and placed an administrative burden on small vessel owners that far outweighed any safety benefit.
In response, on March 17, 2011, the Minister of Transport published in Ship Safety Bulletin No. 01/2011, an interim registration guidance policy. Small vessel owners were notified that the registration of the following classes of vessels would no longer be required:
- Human-powered vessels;
- Small sailing vessels; and
- Small power-driven vessels with motors less than 7.5 kW.
The bulletin also noted that registration would still be required for government vessels of those types and commercial river rafts. This bulletin has since been replaced with Ship Safety Bulletin No. 05/2012. Changes include the requirement for commercial river rafts to be registered in the small vessel register only.
On June 26, 2011, the Supporting Vulnerable Seniors and Strengthening Canada’s Economy Act received royal assent. This Act amended Part 2 of the CSA 2001
- to enable the registration of fleets of small non-pleasure craft that would otherwise have had to be registered individually under a single certificate of registry and single official number;
- to authorize the Governor in Council to make regulations exempting classes of vessels from the registration requirement of subsection 46(1); and
- to allow the making of regulations which authorize the Minister to exempt vessels or classes of vessels from the registration requirements until such time as regulations make the exemption permanent.
Transport Canada maintains a database called the Small Commercial Vessel Registration System (SCVRS), which tracks the registration of vessels in the small vessel register. Currently, there are 12 662 vessels listed in the register. In addition to reducing the administrative burden of registration for Canadians, the amendments to the Regulations also help to reduce the number of records required to be maintained in the database.
The immediate objective of the amendments to the VRTR and the VRFT is to reduce the administrative burden on small vessel owners and operators, small businesses, charitable organizations, and governments.
These amendments support the government’s broader objective to reduce administrative red tape for Canadian businesses and the public by
- making permanent the interim registration guidance set out in Ship Safety Bulletin No. 01/2011 and No. 05/2012; and
- extending the regulatory exemption to include government-owned vessels of the same types and vessels operated by recreational boating schools.
The reduction in the number of vessel registrations enables the chief registrar to re-direct the efforts of local and national registry staff more effectively. Vessel registry staff can direct their attention to other additional crucial activities while still being able to provide a high quality of service to stakeholders. As well, an increase in the efficient processing of new and renewal registrations can be expected. Over the last two years, vessel registry staff has been centralized to the National Capital Region, and overall staffing numbers have been reduced.
Vessels Registry Fees Tariff (VRFT)
The VRFT sets the service fees with respect to vessels that are registered in the Canadian Register of Vessels, including those in the small vessel register.
Currently, a $50 fee is charged for an individual vessel that has been registered in the small vessel register. A certificate and official number is issued for the vessel. A $50 fee is also charged for registering a fleet of small vessels, where each vessel must have a hull length of 8.5 meters or less and must be less than 5 gross tonnage (the 8.5 metre hull length is related to calculating tonnage using a non-calculated method — a hull length of 8.5 metres has a gross tonnage equal to 4.99, which fits the “group discount” requirements for registering small vessels) and are owned by a single owner. A unique certificate and official number is issued for each vessel in the fleet.
The amendments to the VRFT bring them in line with the 2011 amendments to the CSA 2001, which allows a fleet of vessels to be registered in the small vessel register. The amendments enable the registration of a vessel, a group of small vessels (which is defined as two or more vessels of 5 gross tonnage or less that are owned by the same person) or a fleet of small vessels in the small vessel register for a five-year period. The registration fee remains unchanged at $50.
Vessel Registration and Tonnage Regulations (VRTR)
The VRTR set out the requirements for the registration of vessels, the issuance and cancellation of certificates of registry for Canadian vessels and the calculation of tonnage.
These amendments to the VRTR exempt the following classes of vessels from the registration requirement in subsection 46(1) of the CSA 2001:
- Vessels that are equipped with one or more primary propulsion engines whose aggregate power is less than 7.5 kW;
- Vessels that are 8.5 m or less in length and that are propelled by sail alone;
- Human-powered vessels, other than those identified in the Special-purpose Vessels Regulations (e.g. commercial river rafts); and
- Certain vessels that are operated by a recreational boating school for training.
Note: the exemption does not apply in respect of vessels that carry more than 12 passengers.
Recreational boating schools often train students in the safe operation of pleasure craft using chartered vessels that are normally used for pleasure. But when used in the school environment, they cease to be pleasure craft and become subject to regulatory requirements applicable to non-pleasure craft. After several years of consultation with the industry, the amendments will exempt such vessels from the registration requirements only if
- they are not prohibited by section 10 of the Vessel Certificates Regulations from engaging on a voyage;
- they were licensed as pleasure craft immediately before being operated for training purposes; and
- they meet all requirements of the CSA 2001 and its regulations for non-pleasure craft.
The amendments authorize the Minister of Transport, by order, to exempt vessels or classes of vessels from the registration requirements identified in subsection 46(1) of the CSA 2001 for up to one year. The exemption may be amended or revoked at the Minister’s discretion, at any time.
Subsection 46(3) of the CSA 2001 requires all government vessels to be registered. However, subsection 7(2) authorizes the making of regulations varying or excluding the application of a provision of the Act to government vessels. The amendments exclude, from the requirement in subsection 46(3), the following government vessels:
- Those that are equipped with one or more primary propulsion engines whose aggregate power is less than 7.5 kW; and
- Those that are 8.5 m or less in length and are propelled by sail alone.
This new exemption will not apply, however, to vessels that carry more than 12 passengers.
The amendments also vary the definition of “Canadian vessel” in the CSA 2001 and also detail how the tonnage of a Canadian vessel is determined.
The amendments represent an OUT under the “One-for-One” Rule.
Currently, small vessel registrations are renewed every five years with an average of 7 500 annual registrations attributed to Canadian businesses.
- Small non-pleasure vessels equipped with motors of less than 7.5 kW;
- Small non-pleasure vessels propelled by sail alone that are not more than 8.5 m in length;
- Human-powered small non-pleasure vessels (e.g. canoes and kayaks) that are not commercial river rafts; and
- Certain vessels used for training.
Note: This does not include small vessels that carry more than 12 passengers.
- These vessels may be registered individually or in groups; average of 25 vessels per group;
- Estimate is that up to 75 000 non-government vessels are registered every five years. Number of vessels 75 000 × 50% to factor in efficiency by registering in groups 37 500 vessels;
- Annualized = 37 500/5 = 7 500 vessels;
- Each vessel is issued a certificate and number. It takes 2.5 hours of administrative time to complete the 4 forms to register a vessel.
Action — Eliminate registration for all non-government vessels.
Reduction in administrative costs = 7 500 @ 2.5 hours
These assumptions have been entered in the Regulatory Cost Calculator with all registration activities estimated to take 2.5 hours, and the wage rate at $37.38 for “contractors and supervisors in trades and transportation.” A 10-year time period, 7% discount rate, and 2012 price base year was used. Estimated values were validated by TC technical inspectors and program groups. While stakeholders were consulted during the CSA 2001 amendments for canoes and kayaks and are supportive of the amendments, no consultations have been done on the “One-for-One” estimates specifically.
The resulting annualized reduction in administrative burden is estimated to be $572,046.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply in this instance, as the amendments do not increase costs for small businesses. However, the amendments potentially benefit small businesses by reducing the administrative burden of vessel registrations and renewals. Removing the registration requirement on certain small vessels is expected to have a positive impact by reducing the compliance and administrative costs for small vessel owners. The requirement for owners to have signatures witnessed on forms has also been removed which saves time for stakeholders who may not have had the legal means to have their signatures witnessed. Also, the requirement for a corporate seal was lifted, as it was not deemed a necessary requirement. The cost savings for this process have been included in the “One-for-One” Rule time estimates above.
These Regulations results in a cost savings for stakeholders with regard to costs associated with the registration of vessels. There has been no opposition and a very high level of support for the amendments. The amendments were discussed in 2012 at the national and regional Canadian Marine Advisory Council meetings, TC’s main consultative body for marine matters.
Paddling associations, the Boy Scouts of Canada, Girl Guides of Canada, other non-profit and sporting organizations, guide-outfitter associations, and numerous private individuals voiced their concerns to the Minister regarding registration of small vessels, between 2010 and 2011. The government’s response was to publish an interim guidance bulletin (Ship Safety Bulletin No. 01/2011, and then replaced with Ship Safety Bulletin No. 05/2012) that effectively adopted the solution proposed by stakeholders. As part of the Supporting Vulnerable Seniors and Strengthening Canada’s Economy Act, the CSA 2001 was amended to establish provisions that authorized the exemption from registration for vessels in regulations and to establish a process for registering fleets of small vessels.
The amendments to the VRTR and the VRFT implement the provisions of the CSA 2001 and, in addition, extend them to small vessels and fleets owned by federal, provincial and municipal governments.
The amendments to the VRTR and VRTF are an affirmation of the government’s commitment to reduce the regulatory burden on Canadians, especially non-profit organizations, charitable organizations and small business owners. The amendments give the chief registrar information to be supplied with an application for registration for small vessels and fleets of small vessels; for example, instead of requiring the owner of a large fleet of small vessels to submit a separate application for each vessel, and in turn receive a certificate of registry and unique official number for each vessel, the amendments make it possible for the owner to submit a single application form and to receive a single certificate of registry and an official number for the entire fleet. This will greatly save on time and resources for both parties and simplify the registration process.
The changes to the VRTR establish a minimum engine power for registration of small non-pleasure vessels that is identical to the minimum engine power for the licensing of pleasure craft.
The changes to the VRFT alleviate much of the administrative burden related to the registration process for fleets. The benefits to business and the public, by eliminating or reducing the red tape associated with the registration of small vessels and fleets of small vessels, will be significant.
In addition to the estimated annual reduction in administrative burden to businesses of $572,046, the Regulations also provide saving for the registration of government vessels. It is estimated that registration would no longer be required for 2 000 individual vessels, as well as 900 government fleet applications.
The potential (annualized) reduction in administrative costs for individual boaters, non-profit organizations, charitable organizations, small businesses and government combined is estimated to be $793,237.
Implementation, enforcement and service standards
The vessel registration program delivery has been modified to centralize the vessel registry (in the National Capital Region). A proactive approach was taken to advise stakeholders of changes in service delivery via emails, letters, bilingual communiqués, TC Web site, telephone conversations, etc., including other government departments such as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
Transport Canada’s compliance and enforcement procedures and training manuals will be updated to incorporate the changes to the VRFT and VRTR. Marine Safety inspectors and other enforcement partners will be apprised of the changes and appropriate training provided.
A communication plan will be launched following the publication of the Regulations to notify vessel owners of the changes. The plan will include mail and direct communication with paddling associations, non-profit, guide-outfitter, sporting organizations and federal, provincial and municipal government agencies. Updated vessel registration information will be published on the TC Web site.
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