August 24, 2021 | Circular No. 11313

Dear Member,

As per this LINK, CBSA has provided an updated information sheet outlining its enhanced border measures for processing commerical marine vessels in an ongoing Covid context.

Although most of the information contained in the document has already been sent to members via other channels, it may nevertheless serve as a useful resource that consolidates all of the Covid-related requirements that CBSA is responsible for enforcing (including for other departments) into a single document.

Key elements contained in the information sheet include the following:

  • Section 1: Requirement for all persons on board a vessel to report to a CBSA screening officer upon arrival at the FPOA in Canada.  This can be done either in person (in cases where CBSA boards the vessel) or by telephone, depending on the port / region involved.
  • Sections 2 and 3:  Ongoing exemption of crew members from the need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 molecular test (applies to both pre and post arrival testing, and regardless of whether the crew member arrives by land, air or on board the vessel).
  • Section 4:  Requirement for vessels to provide notification of actual or suspected illness on board in advance of arrival at the FPOA in Canada.  Such notification may be submitted to Transport Canada when sending the pre-arrival information report (PAIR), to CBSA when sending the pre-arrival notification message (PAN) or directly to PHAC (
  • Section 5:  Ongoing exemption of crew members and other eligible marine workers from Covid-related border restrictions if entering for a purpose that is not discretionary or optional. Note that above exemption is NOT applicable to passengers (paying and non-paying passengers, family members of the crew, or other personnel not engaged in the operation of the vessel).
  • Secton 6:  Requirement for all arriving crew members to provide traveller contact information to CBSA.  Crew arriving via land and marine can either use the Traveller Contact Information Form or submit their information using the ArriveCAN application.  Crew arriving via air MUST submit their information via ArriveCAN before boarding their flight to Canada.
  • Section 7:  Requirement for vessels to provide names of all departing crew members upon arrival at FPOA in Canada. Clarification of requirements for off-signing crew members as opposed to discharged crew members.
  • Section 8:  Confirmation that CBSA will not be restricting shore leave for seafarers (see Transport Canada’s Ship Safety Bulletin 11/2021 for most recent updates regarding shore leave).

We trust the above information will be helpful to member operations.  As always, members with questions or concerns should contact the undersigned.


Karen Kancens
Vice President