June 1, 2022 | Circular No. 11440

Dear Member,

A number of members have recently reported that they have received conflicting messages from CBSA regarding reporting procedures for crew members and other individuals arriving in Canada on board vessels, particularly as relates to mandatory use of the ArriveCAN application.

We have reached out to CBSA for clarification of the above, and they have reverted with the following:

  • Crew members arriving on commercial cargo vessels are one of the only groups of individuals who are still allowed to report on paper (via the Traveller Contact Information Form) – in recognition of the fact that they may not have Internet access to submit ArriveCAN data at sea.  This being said, crew members are strongly encouraged to use ArriveCAN whenever possible, which they can do once the vessel has docked in Canada and up until the point it is being cleared by CBSA.
  • Non-crew passengers arriving on commercial cargo vessels (family members, cargo superintendents, etc.) are required to submit their vaccination and arrival information via ArriveCAN, and can do so up to the point the vessel is being cleared. Although CBSA officers may, in some instances, allow non-crew individuals to report on paper, the legal requirement (as per the relevant Order-in-Council) is that they report via ArriveCAN.
  • Passengers and crew members arriving on board cruise ships are required to complete an ArriveCAN submission prior to embarkation. The cruise operator is responsible for ensuring all passengers and crew members have a complete ArriveCAN submission before allowing the passenger or crew member to board. No paper option is available.

CBSA also notes that the need to submit public health information electronically through ArriveCAN is a legal requirement that falls under the jurisdiction of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).  Although CBSA has been facilitative in allowing the use paper forms in cases of crew members who have difficultly submitting electronically, the Agency’s ongoing ability to do so may change as PHAC requirements evolve.

Members with questions or comments on any of the above should contact the undersigned.


Karen Kancens
Vice President