June 3, 2024 | Circular No. 11673

Dear Member,

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has notified us that to enhance navigation safety in the Port of Vancouver, Tier 1 vessels with mechanical deficiencies must have a mandatory tethered tug escort within designated Traffic Control Zones (TCZs).  Please click here to access the notice.

Mechanical deficiencies pose significant navigation and environmental risks, including potential damage to infrastructure and supply chain disruptions.  Therefore, the Port Authority is implementing this measure to proactively manage navigation risks associated with vessels that have mechanical issues or have recently undergone repairs. This aims to prevent marine accidents and protect port infrastructure.

Application: The requirement applies to Tier 1 vessels experiencing issues with main propulsion, steering systems, or other critical navigation equipment, and after repairs necessitating engine immobilization. A tethered tug with at least a 50t bollard pull rating or an adequate tractor/ASD tug must escort these vessels from entry to exit within the TCZs.

Cost to Industry: While additional costs are expected, the port authority notes that competitive marine services are available at reasonable rates, with costs considered an incremental increase beyond standard docking or undocking fees.

Compliance and Reporting:

  • Vessels must report defects to the Canadian Coast Guard MCTS.
  • Permissions for repairs must be requested through the Pacific Gateway Portal.
  • Standby tugs are required for anchored vessels with unavailable main engines.
  • Additional safety measures may be imposed by the port authority as necessary.
  • For further assistance, contact the 24/7 Operations Centre at 604-665-9086 or harbour_master@portvancouver.com.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.


Cédric Baumelle,
Director, Marine Operations