June 6, 2024 | Circular No. 11675

Dear Member,

We wish to further clarify the Notice from Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) which was distributed to our members in Circular Letter 11673 regarding VFPA tug escort requirements.  During the recent “Active Vessel Traffic Management User Committee Meeting”, VFPA conveyed that tethered tug escort requirements now extend to vessels undergoing repairs and/or maintenance on main propulsion systems, steering systems, or main switchboard electricals, including routine engine maintenance, necessitating engine immobilization authorization from the Port Authority. Please be advised that this requirement is now in effect.

While we commend VFPA’s efforts to enhance navigational safety and adapt its Standard Operating Procedures based on formal risk assessments, particularly focusing on the risk of collision with fixed structures, we believe VFPA should differentiate between main engine immobilization for routine maintenance, and immobilization due to deficiencies or breakdowns.  The Federation continues to engage with VFPA on this matter and will revert to members with an update.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.

Sincerely,

Cédric Baumelle,
Director, Marine Operations