March 26, 2024 | Circular No. 11648

Dear Member,

Please find below some useful information in preparation of the upcoming cruise season and also a reminder for the Ship Security Officers.

Contact Department Contact Details
Transport Canada Situation Centre 24/7 Mandatory Reporting for Threats/Breaches/Incidents:


Transport Canada Atlantic Region Marine Security Generic Email
Transport Canada List of Certified Occasional-Use Marine Facilities Pacific Region

Atlantic Region

Ontario Region

Québec Region

Prairie and Northern Region

Marine Transportation Security Regulations (MTSR)

Transport Canada Marine Security Operations Bulletins (these bulletins provide specific guidance related to particular situations pertaining to marine security operations)

Particular attention must be made to the following bulletins:

  • MSOB 2023-003 : Clarification of the acceptable identification required for cruise ship screening.
    This bulletin brings to your attention that cruise ships are increasingly issuing Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) and alternative wearable technology (eg. medallins, bracelets etc.) to replace traditional boarding passes for passengers.  These RFIDs are not accepted without supporting photo identification.  A government issued document or document issued by the vessel which includes a photo/name in addition to the RFID would adequately validate the identity of the person.  However, should the marine facility/cruise terminal screening point be equipped to read the RFID technology (which includes a picture/name of the passenger), the RFID alone could be accepted as identification.
  • MSOB 2023-001 Shore leave and access to vessels subject to the Marine Transportation Security Regulations for Seafarers, Seafarers’ Welfare, and Labour Organizations.
    This bulletin is subject to the provision of the Marine Transportation Security Regulations (MTSR).  It aims to obtain a proper balance between the needs of security and protection of the rights of seafarers with respect to shore leave and access to vessels.  This bulletin serves as a reminder that the master of the vessel cannot be impeded from making or executing any decision that, in the professional judgment of the master, is necessary to maintain the safety and security of the vessel.  If access is denied to personnel holding proper identification from their respective seafarers’ welfare and labour organizations, operators of ports and marine facilities are encouraged to further engage in seeking the coordination with the Master of the vessel as to when the Master is able to provide access.  If attempts to coordinate access are unsuccessful, the individual seeking access should advise the Transport Canada Situation Center at 1-888-857-4003 as soon as possible of any access denied to representatives of seafarers’ welfare and labour organizations or any concerns.
  • MSOB 2016-002 Suspicious Activity Reporting
    Suspicious activities may not meet the threshold for mandatory reporting to Transport Canada (TC) and often go unreported.  TC treats all reports of suspicious activities as sensitive security information and will share the information with Canadian law enforcement agencies and public safety partners on a need to know basis.  This bulletin provides criteria to describe TC’s recommendations for reporting suspicious activity and examples of what can be described as suspicious activities.
  • MSOB 2013-002 – Cruise Ships, Cruise Ships Tenders and Cruise Ship Terminal – 100% Screening at All MARSEC Levels
    At all MARSEC levels, regardless of whether or not the screening is conducted on shore or on the vessel, each cruise ship operator subject to the Marine Transportation Security Regulations (MTSR), is responsible to ensure that 100% screening of each person and all their goods is carried out including but not limited to carry-on baggage and checked baggage.  This is to ensure that no person possesses or carries weapons, explosives or incendiaries on board a cruise ship.

Marine Safety Management SystemDetermining the Penalty for Non-compliance with Interim Order Respecting the Discharge of Sewage and the Release of Greywater by Cruise Ships in Canadian Waters.   This Policy came into effect February 19, 2024.  It provides guidance on the assessment of an appropriate administrative monetary penalty (AMPS) for non-compliance by the person or vessel subject to the Interim Order Respecting the Discharge of Sewage and the Release of Greywater by Cruise Ships in Canadian Waters.  The requirements for cruise vessels in the Interim Order are:

  • Prohibits discharge of greywater and of treated sewage within three nautical miles from shore where geographically possible across Canada;
  • Strengthens the treatment of greywater together with sewage before it is discharged between three and twelve nautical miles from shore south of 60°N using an approved treatment device in non-Arctic waters. This will complement existing regulations for Arctic waters under the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act; and
  • Requires reporting of compliance with these measures in Canadian waters upon request.

Please address any questions to the undersigned or Farah Ahmad at .


Cédric Baumelle
Director, Marine Operations