March 20, 2024 | Circular No. 11646

Dear Member,

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has advised us that they wish to implement a new inspection procedure for maiden voyage vessels destined to a port in British Columbia (B.C.).  CFIA intends to implement this procedure by April 1, 2024.

CFIA’s definition for maiden voyage vessels is a “vessel that has been recently constructed and is on its inaugural voyage to pick up its first cargo”.  This means that the vessel has recently left dry dock and is without cargo when docking at a port in B.C.

Based on a recently conducted risk assessment, CFIA has concluded that maiden voyage vessels do not necessarily require a physical inspection.  As such, in place of a physical, on-site inspection of maiden voyage vessels, a documentation review will be completed by a CFIA inspector.

Issuance of Approval for Loading certificates will be provided to the ship’s agent via email, and the original certificate will be made available for pick-up from the issuing CFIA office. The application process to CFIA for maiden voyage vessel inspection does not change for incoming vessels and prioritization of vessels remains the same.

The Vancouver office will process maiden voyage vessel applications for both Vancouver and Vancouver Island.  Vessels loading in Prince Rupert remain the responsibility of the Prince Rupert CFIA office.

The Approval for Loading certificate will be provided via email to the vessel agent once completed, and the original paper copy will be made available at the issuing CFIA office for pickup during regular office hours.

Items of note:

  1. Submission of documents for maiden voyage vessel inspection must include:
  2. On the Request for Ship Inspection form submitted to CFIA, indicate ‘Maiden Voyage’ in the Previous Cargo section.

Please address any questions to the undersigned or Farah Ahmad at


Cédric Baumelle
Director, Marine Operations