FAQ: Marine Transportation
- What kind of marine complaints does the Agency handle?
- Is the Agency responsible for marine safety or policy matters?
- What is pilotage?
- What is a shipping conference?
- What is a coasting trade licence?
Q1. What kind of marine complaints does the Agency handle?
All pilotage authorities charge for their services. When increases in pilotage charges are announced, any person can object and the Agency must carry out an investigation of the proposed increases. Port authorities have the right to set fees and any person can complain to the Agency that these fees are unjustly discriminatory. Similarly, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation can set Seaway tolls and any person can complain to the Agency that these tolls are unjustly discriminatory.
Q2. Is the Agency responsible for marine safety or policy matters?
No. The Agency does not have any safety related mandate or any policy making responsibilities. These issues fall under the purview of Transport Canada.
Q3. What is pilotage?
Pilotage is the navigation of a large vessel by a highly skilled Canadian marine pilot using his specialized skills and knowledge to guide the vessel through waters that have been designated as compulsory pilotage zones by a pilotage authority. There are four pilotage authorities in Canada, the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, the Laurentian Pilotage Authority, the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority and the Pacific Pilotage Authority. These pilotage authorities are responsible for the safe navigation of vessels within their area of jurisdiction. Each authority designates specific regions within its jurisdiction where the services of a licenced pilot onboard a vessel are required. An authority considers many factors before designating compulsory areas; such as, the degree of difficulty in and around a port, the incidence of weather, depth of the water, amount of traffic and the nature of the cargo carried, among other things.
Q4. What is a shipping conference?
A shipping conference is a group of shipping lines that have formed a cartel for the joint setting of rates and service conditions for transporting containerized exports and imports. A shipping conference is protected against prosecution under the collusion provisions of the Competition Act provided that they meet certain legislative requirements outlined in the Shipping Conferences Exemption Act, 1987.
Q5. What is a coasting trade licence?
It is a licence issued by the Minister of Public Safety to a Canadian resident who has applied for permission to bring a foreign flagged vessel into Canadian waters to perform a service or activity within Canadian waters over a specified period of time. A coasting trade licence is issued when there are no suitable Canadian vessels available to perform the service or activity.