Domestic Safety Management (Canada)


“In 1998, Transport Canada introduced Safety Management Regulations under the Canada Shipping Act which introduced the requirements of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code to Canadian companies and vessels subject to the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The Safety Management Regulations apply to cargo vessels of 500 gross tons or more and passenger vessels carrying more than twelve passengers engaged on international voyages subject to the SOLAS Convention.”

Transport Canada is currently in the process of amending the Safety Management Regulations. The regulatory proposal currently applies to Canadian non-Convention vessels. When these proposed amended regulations come into force, the following vessels and the companies that operate them will be required to adopt a SMS in compliance with either the ISM Code or the Marine Safety Management System (MSM) Regulations:

  • Tier I: Canadian vessels subject to Chapter IX of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS);
  • Tier II: Canadian vessels of 500 gross tonnage and upwards or Canadian vessels carrying 50 or more passengers; 
  • Tier III: Canadian vessels over 24 meters in length (24.4m for fishing vessels);
  • Tier IV.A: Canadian vessels over 15 GT (150 GT for fishing vessels);
  • Tier IV.B: Canadian Passenger Carrying vessels and tugs up to 15GT;
  • Tier V: Other Canadian vessels up to 15 GT.