February 14, 2023 | Circular No. 11491

Dear Member,

The SLSMC are proposing changes to the Seaway Practices and Procedures that will come into effect for the 2023 navigation season.  Members are requested to submit any concerns with these proposed changes to the undersigned by March 3rd.

We are seeking clarification on several items including;

Section 7(1)(a) – What is the common practice now for fenders?  Are all ships using all steel fenders or are some ships using hardwood and Teflon?  The use of hardwood or Teflon is being removed.

Section 8 (3) – Need to discuss further regarding ships not equipped with landing booms and arrangements with third party tie-up service provider at Seaway Approach walls at the Canadian Locks prior to commencing transit of the Seaway.  The Federation will be scheduling a meeting with the Seaway to discuss implementing this new policy as outlined in Seaway Notice No 26 2022.

Section 29(3)(a)(iv) – In the past bow thrusters were only required to be operational during periods of high water or other exceptional times.  We are seeking clarification if this change now makes it mandatory at all times?  Will a ship be denied entry into the Seaway if the fitted bow thruster is non-operational?

Section 40(4) – Regarding entering, exiting or positioning in Locks, we are seeking clarification on the current practice with respect to ships use of thrusters when passing a lock gate or hands-free mooring (HFM) unit.

The Seaway will outline these proposed changes at their annual Customer Relations Meeting on March 2nd, and the Federation would consolidate members’ concerns into one submission.


Chad Allen,
Director, Marine Operations
Shipping Federation of Canada