ARCHIVED — Vol. 145, No. 21 — October 12, 2011

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Registration

SOR/2011-203 September 30, 2011

CANADA SHIPPING ACT, 2001

Voyage Data Recorder Regulations

P.C. 2011-1107 September 29, 2011

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, pursuant to paragraph 35(1)(d) of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (see footnote a), hereby makes the annexed Voyage Data Recorder Regulations.

VOYAGE DATA RECORDER REGULATIONS

INTERPRETATION

Definitions

1. (1) The following definitions apply in these Regulations.

“cargo vessel”
« bâtiment de charge »

“cargo vessel” means a vessel that is not a passenger vessel.

“competent authority”
« autorité compétente »

“competent authority” means

  • (a) a government that is a party to SOLAS;
  • (b) a society or association for the classification and registry of ships recognized by a government referred to in paragraph (a); and
  • (c) a testing establishment recognized by the Minister or by a government referred to in paragraph (a) as able to determine whether voyage data recorders meet the applicable requirements referred to in subsection 7(1).

“fishing vessel”
« bâtiment de pêche »

“fishing vessel” has the same meaning as in subsection 1(1) of the Marine Personnel Regulations.

“IMO”
« OMI »

“IMO” means the International Maritime Organization.

“inland voyage”
« voyage en eaux internes »

“inland voyage” means a voyage on the inland waters of Canada together with any part of any lake or river forming part of the inland waters of Canada that lies within the United States or on Lake Michigan.

“inland waters of Canada”
« eaux internes du Canada »

“inland waters of Canada” means all the rivers, lakes and other navigable fresh waters within Canada, and includes the St. Lawrence River as far seaward as a straight line drawn

  • (a) from Cap-des-Rosiers to West Point, Anticosti Island; and
  • (b) from Anticosti Island to the north shore of the St. Lawrence along a meridian of longitude 63°W.

“international voyage”
« voyage international »

“international voyage” means a voyage between a port in one country and a port in another country, but does not include a voyage solely on the internal waters of Canada and the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River and their connecting and tributary waters as far east as the lower exit of the St. Lambert Lock at Montréal.

“Minister”
« ministre »

“Minister” means the Minister of Transport.

“passenger vessel”
« bâtiment à passagers »

“passenger vessel” means a vessel that carries more than 12 passengers.

“sheltered waters voyage”
« voyage en eaux abritées »

“sheltered waters voyage” has the same meaning as in section 1 of the Vessel Certificates Regulations.

“SOLAS”
« SOLAS »

“SOLAS” means the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, and the Protocol of 1988 relating to the Convention.

“S-VDRs Standards”
« normes S-VDR »

“S-VDRs Standards” means the Recommendation on Performance Standards for Shipborne Simplified Voyage Data Recorders (S-VDRs), the annex to IMO Resolution MSC.163(78), or other performance standards that the Minister determines are not inferior to those standards.

“Testing Guidelines”
« directives de mise à l’essai »

“Testing Guidelines” means the Guidelines on annual testing of Voyage Data Recorders (VDR) and simplified Voyage Data Recorders (S-VDR), the annex to IMO MSC.1/Circ.1222.

“VDRs Standards”
« normes VDR »

“VDRs Standards” means the Recommendation on Performance Standards for Shipborne Voyage Data Recorders (VDRs), the annex to IMO Resolution A.861(20), or other performance standards that the Minister determines are not inferior to those standards.

Rigidly connected composite units

(2) A rigidly connected composite unit that consists of a pushing vessel and pushed vessel, when designed as a dedicated and integrated tug-and-barge combination, is considered to be a single vessel for the purpose of these Regulations.

Date vessel is constructed

(3) For the purpose of these Regulations, a vessel is constructed on the earliest of

  • (a) the day on which its keel is laid,
  • (b) the day on which construction identifiable with a specific vessel begins, and
  • (c) the day on which the assembly of the vessel has reached the lesser of 50 tonnes and one per cent of the estimated mass of all structural material of the vessel.

Incorporation by reference — as amended from time to time

2. (1) Unless otherwise indicated in these Regulations, any reference in these Regulations to a document is a reference to the document as amended from time to time.

“Should”

(2) For the purpose of interpreting a document incorporated by reference into these Regulations, “should” is to be read as “must”.

Footnotes

(3) For the purposes of these Regulations, guidelines, recommendations, requirements and similar matters set out in a document referred to in a footnote to a document incorporated by reference into these Regulations are to be considered mandatory.

APPLICATION

Application

3. (1) These Regulations apply in respect of

  • (a) Canadian vessels everywhere; and
  • (b) foreign vessels in Canadian waters that are engaged in the coasting trade.

Non-application

(2) These Regulations do not apply in respect of

  • (a) pleasure craft;
  • (b) vessels that do not have mechanical means of propulsion; or
  • (c) vessels that are on location and engaged in the exploration or drilling for, or the production, conservation or processing of, oil or gas, as defined in section 2 of the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act, in an area described in paragraph 3(a) or (b) of that Act.

COMPLIANCE

Authorized representative

4. The authorized representative of a vessel must ensure that the requirements of sections 5 to 10 are met.

VESSELS REQUIRED TO BE FITTED WITH
VOYAGE DATA RECORDERS

VESSELS ENGAGED ON INTERNATIONAL VOYAGES

Tonnage and date of construction

5. A vessel that is engaged on an international voyage must

  • (a) be fitted with a voyage data recorder that meets the requirements of the VDRs Standards if the vessel is
    1. (i) a passenger vessel of 150 gross tonnage or more, or
    2. (ii) a cargo vessel of 3 000 gross tonnage or more that was constructed on or after July 1, 2002; and
  • (b) be fitted with a voyage data recorder that meets the requirements of the S-VDRs Standards or the VDRs Standards if the vessel
    1. (i) is a cargo vessel of 3 000 gross tonnage or more that was constructed before July 1, 2002, and
    2. (ii) is not a fishing vessel.

VESSELS NOT ENGAGED ON AN
INTERNATIONAL VOYAGE

Date of construction — on or after January 1, 2012

6. (1) A vessel that is not engaged on an international voyage must be fitted with a voyage data recorder that meets the requirements of the VDRs Standards if the vessel was constructed on or after January 1, 2012 and is

  • (a) a passenger vessel of 500 gross tonnage or more; or
  • (b) a cargo vessel of 3 000 gross tonnage or more that does not engage solely on inland voyages.

Date of construction — before January 1, 2012

(2) A vessel that is not engaged on an international voyage must be fitted with a voyage data recorder that meets the requirements of the S-VDRs Standards or the VDRs Standards if the vessel was constructed before January 1, 2012 and is a passenger vessel of 500 gross tonnage or more.

Exception

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply in respect of passenger vessels that

  • (a) are not ferries;
  • (b) engage solely on sheltered waters voyages; and
  • (c) operate during fewer than six months in a year.

Deferred application

(4) Subsection (2) does not apply in respect of vessels constructed before the day on which these Regulations come into force before the earlier of

  • (a) the last day of the first inspection of the vessel carried out after January 1, 2013 for the purpose of issuing a certificate under subsection 10(2) of the Vessel Certificates Regulations, and
  • (b) July 1, 2015.

TYPE APPROVAL

VDRs Standards

7. (1) A voyage data recorder that is required to meet the requirements of the VDRs Standards must be of a type approved by a competent authority in accordance with

  • (a) in the case of a voyage data recorder fitted before June 1, 2008, the International Electrotechnical Commission standard Maritime navigation and radiocommunication equipment and systems — Shipborne voyage data recorder (VDR) — Performance requirements — Methods of testing and required test results, IEC 61996; and
  • (b) in the case of a voyage data recorder fitted on or after June 1, 2008, the International Electrotechnical Commission standard Maritime navigation and radiocommunication equipment and systems — Shipborne voyage data recorder (VDR) — Part 1: Voyage data recorder (VDR) — Performance requirements, methods of testing and required test results, IEC 61996-1.

S-VDRs Standards

(2) A voyage data recorder that is required to meet the requirements of the S-VDRs Standards must be of a type approved by a competent authority in accordance with the International Electrotechnical Commission standard Maritime navigation and radiocommunication equipment and systems — Shipborne voyage data recorder (VDR) — Part 2: Simplified voyage data recorder (S-VDR) — Performance requirements, methods of testing and required test results, IEC 61996-2.

Proof carried on board

(3) Proof of the type approval must be carried on board the vessel on which the voyage data recorder is fitted and must be in the form of either of the following that is issued by the competent authority:

  • (a) a label that is securely affixed to the voyage data recorder in a readily visible location; or
  • (b) a document that is kept in a readily accessible location on the vessel.

Language

(4) If the proof is issued in a language other than English or French, it must be accompanied by an English or French translation.

INSTALLATION, TESTING AND MAINTENANCE

Minimize malfunction

8. (1) A voyage data recorder that is fitted on a vessel must be installed, tested and maintained so as to minimize malfunction.

Electromagnetic compatibility

(2) The voyage data recorder must be installed so that electromagnetic interference does not affect the proper functioning of navigational equipment.

Good working order

(3) All reasonable steps must be taken to maintain the voyage data recorder in good working order.

Repairs

(4) If the voyage data recorder ceases to be in good working order, the vessel’s master must restore it to good working order as soon as feasible.

Maintenance record

(5) A maintenance record for the voyage data recorder that shows the following must be kept on board the vessel:

  • (a) the periodic testing and servicing;
  • (b) the defects;
  • (c) the repairs and the parts replacements; and
  • (d) the relevant dates, locations and personnel.

Performance tests

9. (1) On installation of a voyage data recorder on a vessel, and annually after installation,

  • (a) the voyage data recorder, including all sensors, must undergo a performance test in accordance with the Testing Guidelines; and
  • (b) the serviceability of all protective enclosures and devices fitted to aid in locating the voyage data recorder must be determined by a performance test carried out in accordance with the Testing Guidelines.

Section 3 of the Testing Guidelines

(2) In the case of a vessel required by section 5 to be fitted with a voyage data recorder, an annual performance test may, as permitted by section 3 of the Testing Guidelines, be carried out at the same time as an inspection.

Subsection 10(2) of the Vessel Certificate Regulations

(3) In the case of a vessel required by section 6 to be fitted with a voyage data recorder, an annual performance test may be carried out at the same time as an inspection for the purpose of issuing a certificate under subsection 10(2) of the Vessel Certificate Regulations if the period between tests does not exceed

  • (a) 15 months, in the case of a passenger vessel; and
  • (b) 18 months, in the case of a cargo vessel.

Certificates of compliance

(4) A copy of the certificate of compliance that is issued by the party who carried out the most recent performance test and that states the date of compliance and the applicable performance standards must be kept on board the vessel.

Language

(5) If the certificate of compliance is issued in a language other than English or French, it must be accompanied by an English or French translation.

DOCUMENTATION

Maintenance

10. The documentation necessary to ensure that a voyage data recorder fitted on a vessel can be maintained in good working order must be carried on board.

EXEMPTIONS AND EQUIVALENTS

SOLAS

11. For the purposes of these Regulations, the Marine Technical Review Board established under section 26 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 may exercise the Administration’s powers conferred by regulations 4(a) and 5 of Chapter I of SOLAS and regulations 3.2 and 20.3 of Chapter V of SOLAS.

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS TO THE
NAVIGATION SAFETY REGULATIONS

Section 9

12. Section 9 of the Navigation Safety Regulations (see footnote 1) is repealed.

Section 73

13. Section 73 of the Regulations and the heading before it are repealed.

Item 16 of Schedule 1

14. Item 16 of Schedule 1 to the Regulations is repealed.

COMING INTO FORCE

Registration

15. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Executive summary


Issue: As a result of the investigation into the sinking of the passenger and vehicle ferry Queen of the North in Wright Sound, British Columbia, in 2006, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) recommended that the requirement for the carriage of voyage data recorders or simplified voyage data recorders be extended to large passenger vessels over 500 gross tonnage and all other commercial vessels on an equivalent basis to those trading internationally.

Description: The primary purpose of a voyage data recorder (VDR) or a simplified voyage data recorder (S-VDR) is to assist in casualty investigations. The VDR or S-VDR records specific information from a variety of data sources on board the vessel and stores this information in a secure and retrievable form.

The Voyage Data Recorder Regulations (the Regulations) require all new passenger vessels of 500 gross tonnage or more and new cargo vessels of 3 000 gross tonnage or more that are not engaged solely on inland voyages to be fitted with a VDR. In addition, all existing passenger vessels of 500 gross tonnage or more are required to be fitted with either a VDR or an S-VDR by July 1, 2015. The Regulations do not apply to certain new and existing passenger vessels that are seasonally operated, nor do they apply to domestic cargo vessels constructed before January 1, 2012.

The Regulations also implement the VDR requirements contained in the International Safety Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS Convention), which affects Canadian vessels engaged on international voyages. As certain portions of these requirements were contained in the Navigation Safety Regulations, these specific requirements have been repealed.

Cost-benefit statement: A cost-benefit analysis estimated that, if all 243 passenger and cargo vessels potentially affected by the TSB recommendation were required to be fitted with an S-VDR, the cost to industry and Government would be approximately $6.5 million per year for the first 10 years. However, the analysis also estimated that about one third of the passenger vessels have already installed or are planning to install an S-VDR. Therefore, by the time the regulatory requirements enter into force, the incremental financial impact on existing passenger vessels could be significantly lower than currently estimated. The overall costs could be further reduced due to the exemption of some of these vessels from the regulatory requirements.

The primary purpose of a VDR or an S-VDR is to ensure that specific information is available for casualty investigations that could be used to improve safety. The cost-benefit analysis was not able to estimate the likelihood that this safety benefit and other potential benefits would be realized. Consequently, while it is reasonable to expect that there will be a positive impact on safety over the long term, the cost-benefit analysis found that it was not possible to quantify this. The one monetized benefit identified was a potential annual savings in TSB investigation costs for marine accidents of an estimated $1 million. Other benefits identified that may partially or fully offset the cost to industry include

  • improved operational procedures and mechanical designs through lessons learned;
  • reduced durations of accident investigations;
  • reduced legal costs; and
  • increased accountability and disclosure to the public.

Business and consumer impacts: The regulatory requirements provide a balanced approach for implementing the recommendation of the TSB by recognizing the benefits of requiring certain types of vessels to be equipped with a VDR or an S-VDR, while addressing stakeholders concerns and minimizing costs and business impacts.

Domestic and international coordination and cooperation: The Regulations are not expected to have any domestic or international trade impacts.

Performance measurement and evaluation plan: Transport Canada Marine Safety will monitor the installation and maintenance of VDRs or S-VDRs on the vessels to which the Regulations apply through its existing compliance programs.


Issue

The sinking of the passenger and vehicle ferry Queen of the North in Wright Sound, British Columbia in 2006 prompted the TSB to launch an investigation. In its report, (see footnote 2) the TSB noted that the Queen of the North was not equipped with a VDR and that it was not required to be equipped with one. The TSB noted that the lack of a VDR can result in a more complex and protracted investigation and that the information from a VDR or an S-VDR can be invaluable to investigators and operators seeking to understand the sequence of events leading up to an accident. As a result of its investigation, the TSB recommended that “the Department of Transport extend the requirement for the carriage of voyage data recorders/simplified voyage data recorders to large passenger vessels over 500 gross tonnage and all other commercial vessels on an equivalent basis to those trading internationally.”

The Minister of Transport agreed with the general intent of the recommendation and agreed to implement requirements for domestic vessels to carry VDRs or S-VDRs, taking into account a cost-benefit analysis and consultations with stakeholders. A new set of regulations was determined to be the preferred approach to require that applicable domestic vessels be fitted with appropriate VDR or S-VDR equipment and to ensure that the equipment is maintained and periodically tested.

Objectives

The objectives of the Regulations are to

  • require that certain newly built domestic vessels be fitted with a VDR;
  • require that certain existing domestic passenger vessels be fitted with either a VDR or an S-VDR;
  • implement certain SOLAS Convention provisions by requiring that Canadian vessels engaged on international voyages be fitted with VDRs; and
  • require that VDRs and S-VDRs be maintained and tested.

This will help increase the likelihood that the results from a marine accident investigation will be conclusive as to what happened and why, therefore having a positive impact on safety over the long term. It will also help reduce the time required to complete a marine accident investigation and reduce its related costs, and reduce the time required to communicate accident report findings and recommendations.

Description

The primary purpose of a VDR or an S-VDR is to assist in casualty investigations. The VDR or S-VDR records specify information from a variety of data sources on board the vessel; however, an S-VDR does not store the same level of detailed data that a VDR does. The VDR or S-VDR stores this information in a secure and retrievable form. The information stored relates to such things as the position, movement, physical status, and command and control of the vessel. A significant benefit of having a VDR or an S-VDR compared to other available data sources on the vessel is the recording of the bridge audio.

For Canadian vessels not engaged on an international voyage, the Regulations require all new passenger vessels of 500 gross tonnage or more and also new cargo vessels of 3 000 gross tonnage or more, which are not engaged solely on inland voyages, to be fitted with a VDR. In addition, all existing passenger vessels of 500 gross tonnage or more are required to be fitted with either a VDR or an S-VDR by July 1, 2015. Some new and existing passenger vessels that are seasonally operated are not required to be fitted with a VDR or an S-VDR. The Regulations do not apply to domestic cargo vessels constructed before January 1, 2012.

The Regulations also implement the SOLAS Convention VDR requirements for Canadian vessels engaged on an international voyage. Some of these requirements are currently contained in the Navigation Safety Regulations; therefore, the VDR requirements of those Regulations have been repealed. The SOLAS Convention requires all passenger vessels of 150 gross tonnage or more and all cargo vessels over 3 000 gross tonnage to be fitted with a VDR when engaged on an international voyage (SOLAS Convention Regulation V/20). Cargo vessels constructed before July 1, 2002, may be fitted with a VDR or an S-VDR. The SOLAS Convention allows Administrations to exempt certain vessels where interfacing a VDR with the existing equipment on the vessel is unreasonable and impracticable. While the Regulations do not implement such exemptions, Transport Canada Marine Safety may consider applications for exemptions on a case-by-case basis pursuant to the Marine Technical Review Board (MTRB) process. For the purposes of the Regulations, section 11 of the Regulations provides that the MTRB, established under section 26 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001), may exercise the Administration’s powers conferred by regulations 4(a) and 5 of Chapter I of SOLAS and regulation 3.2 of Chapter V of SOLAS.

All vessels required to be fitted with a VDR or an S-VDR are required to install, test, and maintain the equipment so as to minimize the possibility of malfunction. The VDR or S-VDR has to undergo an annual performance test to verify the accuracy, duration and recoverability of the recorded data. The serviceability of the protective enclosures and devices fitted to aid in locating the VDR or S-VDR also needs to be determined by a performance test carried out in accordance with testing guidelines.

Regulatory and non-regulatory options considered

Non-regulatory options were not considered. The carriage of necessary navigation and safety equipment for vessels is currently captured by regulations made under the CSA 2001. Given the TSB recommendation, regulations are the most appropriate vehicle to ensure that vessels are fitted with proper VDR or S-VDR equipment, and that the equipment is adequately maintained and tested. The regulatory requirements are in line with similar international regulations for vessels conducting international voyages.

Benefits and costs

To help determine the application of the Regulations and to assess the regulatory impacts, a cost-benefit analysis of regulatory requirement for voyage data recorders was conducted by Weir Canada for the type and size of vessels specified in the TSB recommendation. The cost-benefit analysis included a comparison of various sources of electronic data, marine accident statistics, international experiences, cost-benefit analysis and impacts on stakeholders. The number of vessels within the scope of the cost-benefit analysis was 115 domestic passenger vessels greater than 500 gross tonnage and 128 domestic cargo vessels greater than 3 000 gross tonnage.

When comparing available sources of electronic data, the cost-benefit analysis noted that there are several sources of data used by investigators when such data is available. These include electronic chart systems, automatic identification systems and vessel traffic services information. While much of the same information may be available from these sources, they do not include bridge audio recordings, and do not have a data survivability requirement. In the case of the Queen of the North, extensive dive operations were required in order to recover other possible sources of data from the sunken vessel, in particular the electronic chart system, which was used in the investigation.

In looking at a sample of other countries (for example United States, United Kingdom and Australia), the cost-benefit analysis found that these countries do not have a VDR requirement for vessels that are not subject to SOLAS Convention provisions. In a recent VDR study completed by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for the United States domestic ferries over 100 gross tonnage that carry more than 399 passengers on voyages less than 300 miles long, the USCG recommended against the use of a VDR and an S-VDR on these ferries.

The cost-benefit analysis included a review and analysis of the marine accident statistics, and it was noted that the Canadian marine industry does not experience a high number of serious accidents. The analysis of accident statistics for a 10-year period from 1997 to 2007 revealed that the sinking of the ferry Queen of the North was the only passenger vessel accident resulting in fatalities (there were two fatalities) whereas there was one shipping accident related to cargo vessels in which there was one fatality. There was one accident involving fishing vessels that resulted in the total loss of a fishing vessel with no fatalities.

With respect to carriage requirements, the cost-benefit analysis found that the cost and effort for integration of a VDR are insignificant when fitted during the building of a new vessel. Consequently, the cost-benefit analysis recommended alignment of Canadian VDR requirements for newly built cargo and passenger vessels, including ro-ro ferries, with the SOLAS Convention requirements. Ro-ro ferries are vessels designed to carry wheeled cargo, such as vehicles that are loaded using their own wheels and power. However, the retrofit of existing vessels with a VDR or an S-VDR may be quite complex, and gets increasingly difficult based on the number of data channels required to be recorded and the age of the vessel. For cost effectiveness, recognizing the complexities of fitting older vessels with a VDR, it was decided in the cost-benefit analysis to only consider the S-VDR option for the retrofit of existing vessels.

The cost of retrofitting an existing vessel with an S-VDR rather than a VDR is still significant. The estimated cost of fitting an existing vessel with an S-VDR ranged from $51,000 to $130,000 per vessel, with the cost being highly dependent on the age of the vessel. There would also be recurring costs related to certification, maintenance, and training, estimated at $16,500 per vessel. Overall, if all the existing passenger vessels and cargo vessels covered by the cost-benefit analysis were required to be fitted with an S-VDR, the cost to industry and Government would be approximately $6.5M per year for the first 10 years. However, by the time the regulatory requirements come into force, the incremental financial impact on existing passenger vessels could be significantly lower than currently estimated. The cost-benefit analysis estimated that about one third of the passenger vessels have already been fitted with an S-VDR or procurement action is in progress.

The primary benefit of a VDR or an S-VDR is to ensure specific information is available for casualty investigations that could be used to improve safety due to lessons learned. The benefit of an overall improvement in safety in the marine industry is a reduction in the frequency and consequences of marine accidents (i.e. reductions in the number of fatalities and reductions in impacts on the environment). However, the cost-benefit analysis found that it is impossible to estimate the likelihood that this safety benefit and other potential benefits would be realized. The one monetized benefit identified was a potential annual savings in TSB investigation costs for marine accidents of an estimated $1M, which would more than offset the estimated $0.3M cost to Government. Other benefits identified that may partially or fully offset the cost to industry include

  • improved operational procedures and mechanical designs through lessons learned;
  • reduced durations of accident investigations;
  • reduced legal costs; and
  • increased accountability and disclosure to the public.

In terms of weighing the benefits and the costs, the cost-benefit analysis could not quantify the positive safety impact and other benefits that VDR or S-VDR carriage would have. Therefore, it could not determine the extent in which the benefits would offset the costs. However, the cost-benefit analysis did specifically note that the potential for the benefits to outweigh the costs is greatest for passenger vessels. Furthermore, the cost-benefit analysis also found that the relative financial impact of a mandatory S-VDR carriage requirement on a small seasonal tour operator would be much more significant than on a larger year-round operator. The cost-benefit analysis also identified that a VDR carriage requirement may affect the competitive position of Canadian domestic cargo vessels operating in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway when compared to their U.S. competitors.

Cost-benefits statement

Base Year: 2012

2013

2014

Final Year: 2015

Present Value (After 2015)

Average Annual (After 2015)

A. Quantified impacts $

Benefits: Savings by the TSB due to the presence of a VDR or S-VDR

$0.16M

$0.28M

$0.39M

$0.5M

$3.35M

$0.5M

Costs incurred by private sector

$3.42M

$2.94M

$3.36M

$3.8M

$12.75M

$1.9M

Net benefits

($3.26M)

($2.66M)

($2.97M)

($3.3M)

($9.4M)

($1.4M)

B. Quantified impacts non-$ e.g. risks assessment

Negative impacts on stakeholders

Any increase in operating costs would likely be passed on to consumers.

Positive impacts on stakeholders

Thirty percent of passenger vessels owners would install an S-VDR before it becomes mandatory.

Positive impacts on the TBS (Government)

A non-monetized benefit of 0.5 to 1 year reduction in the average time required to complete an accident investigation and provide conclusions and recommendations.

C. Qualitative impacts

Improved safety over the long term: An overall improvement in safety in the marine industry, including a reduction in the frequency and consequences of marine accidents. Benefits would include a reduction in lives lost and environmental damage due to marine accidents.

Cost reduction for vessel owners and operators: Reduction in the frequency of marine accidents would reduce the industry costs for vessel repairs and reduce lost opportunity costs because of vessel unavailability. Over the long term, a reduction in the number of accidents could positively impact insurance premiums. Investigations can also lead to design and operational improvements that could impact vessel efficiency and performance.

Investigation time reduction: The average investigation time for marine accidents investigated by the TSB in recent years was more than 800 days. Delays in the issuance of a TSB report can cause a high level of public frustration and dissatisfaction. The availability of VDR/S-VDR data would reduce the time required to complete investigations and for safety information to be made available.

Reduction of litigation costs: The VDR or S-VDR could help reduce litigation costs in some cases due to the availability of objective technical data.

Positive impact on the public: Mandatory VDR/S-VDRs for passenger vessels would align with public expectation that the Government ensures the maximum safety in marine transportation. In the event of an accident, Canadians expect that authorities will inform them about how and why the event occurred and what can be done to prevent it in the future. This initiative is expected to result in the more timely delivery of more definitive information to the public after an accident. In addition, over the longer term, the public will benefit from a safer marine industry.


Rationale

The SOLAS Convention requires all passenger vessels of 150 gross tonnage or more and all cargo vessels over 3 000 gross tonnage to be fitted with a VDR when engaged on an international voyage (SOLAS Convention Regulation V/20). Cargo vessels constructed before July 1, 2002, may be fitted with a VDR or an S-VDR. The requirement has been phased in over the years, between July 1, 2002, and July 1, 2010. The SOLAS Convention allows Administrations to exempt certain vessels where interfacing a VDR with the existing equipment on the vessel is unreasonable and impracticable.

The TSB, in its marine investigation report on the Queen of the North, recognized the benefits of a VDR or an S-VDR. The vessel did not have a VDR, nor was it required to have one. The TSB noted that the lack of a VDR can result in a more complex and protracted investigation and that the information from a VDR or an S-VDR can be invaluable to investigators and operators seeking to understand the sequence of events leading up to an accident.

The Regulations implement domestic VDR requirements that take into account existing international standards and requirements, the recommendation of the TSB, the cost-benefit analysis conducted, and results of consultations with stakeholders. The Regulations do not apply to domestic cargo vessels constructed before January 1, 2012. This takes into account the significant costs involved, the impact of those costs, the uncertainty as to the extent the benefits would off-set the costs, and stakeholders’ comments and concerns. Furthermore, the regulatory requirements do not apply to cargo vessels operating solely on inland voyages in view of the above and, more specifically, the concern about the impact on their competitive position relative to their United States counterparts on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.

The regulatory requirements provide a balanced approach for implementing the recommendation of the TSB by recognizing the benefits of requiring certain types of vessels to be equipped with a VDR or an S-VDR, while addressing stakeholders’ concerns and minimizing costs and business impacts.

The Regulations are not expected to have any domestic or international trade impacts.

Strategic environmental assessment

A preliminary scan for environmental impacts has been undertaken in accordance with the criteria of Transport Canada’s Strategic Environmental Assessment Policy Statement — March 2001. The preliminary scan has led to the conclusion that a detailed analysis is not necessary. Further assessments or studies regarding environmental effects of this initiative are not likely to yield a different determination.

Consultation

The Canadian Marine Advisory Council (CMAC) is Transport Canada’s national consultative body for marine matters. Members include representatives of individuals and parties that have a recognized interest in boating and shipping concerning safety, recreational matters, navigation, marine pollution and response and marine security. Stakeholders were consulted at both the regional and national CMAC meetings, as well as during the development of the cost-benefit analysis, and included representatives of large passenger vessel operators, seasonal tour boat operators, ferry operators, marine officers, pilots, and equipment manufacturers.

The marine industry was also consulted on this regulatory initiative through the National CMAC Standing Committee on Navigation and Operations, as well as at several regional CMAC meetings across Canada. The first discussions at the National CMAC meeting on the application of VDR requirements to domestic vessels were held in May 2006. During the CMAC meeting consultations, the comments and concerns raised by representatives of cargo vessel owners and operators on the potential VDR carriage requirements were similar to those captured by the cost-benefit analysis. Some stakeholders also expressed concerns about the access and use of VDR or S-VDR data. It should be noted that the government’s access to and the use of the VDR or S-VDR data is governed by relevant Canadian laws concerning the access to and use of such information.

Cargo vessel owners and operators that were consulted, as part of the cost-benefit analysis, did not generally accept that there would be any benefit to retrofit an S-VDR on existing vessels. Most operators stated that the current Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) and other data sources provide adequate information for the efficient operation of their vessels. The potential high cost of retrofitting and maintaining an S-VDR was noted as a concern, particularly on vessels that are on average 25 years old. Operators consulted also noted that they were concerned about the impact the additional costs will have on their competitive position relative to their United States counterparts on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.

Through the CMAC meeting consultations with respect to cargo vessels over 3 000 gross tonnage, cargo vessel representatives were opposed to the proposed requirement to fit a VDR or an S-VDR on existing cargo vessels. They indicated that their concerns were related to the costs, age of the fleet, competitive position, and uncertain benefits of the proposed requirements. Many of their concerns were also identified in the cost-benefit analysis. Cargo vessel representatives were also opposed to the proposed requirement to fit a VDR on newly built vessels operating on the Great Lakes, given the recording capabilities of new technology, and a concern about the competitive disadvantage, given that their United States counterparts would not have the same requirement.

In response to the concerns raised by cargo vessel owners and representatives, and taking into account the cost-benefit analysis, the Regulations do not apply to domestic cargo vessels constructed before January 1, 2012, and do not apply to cargo vessels operating solely on inland voyages.

The cost-benefit analysis found that an S-VDR carriage requirement would generally be acceptable for the larger passenger vessel operators. Since the Queen of the North accident and the TSB findings, some passenger vessel operators have been expecting and preparing for a VDR requirement and in some cases have started to voluntarily fit S-VDRs on their vessels. However, seasonal tour boat operators expressed concern about the cost of fitting an S-VDR on their vessels.

Through the CMAC meeting consultations with respect to passenger vessels over 500 gross tonnage, there was support for the proposed requirement that newly built passenger vessels be fitted with a VDR, and that existing passenger vessels be fitted with an S-VDR. Some stakeholders expressed concerns about the impact of such proposed requirements on some small seasonal passenger vessel operators. Such concerns were also identified in the cost-benefit analysis and after discussions, the National CMAC Standing Committee on Navigation and Operations supported exempting such vessels from these proposed requirements.

The final results of the cost-benefit analysis were presented at the National CMAC meeting held in Ottawa, Ontario, in April 2009. The presentation reviewed the costs, the potential benefits, and the results of key consultations conducted as part of the cost-benefit analysis.

Pre-publication

The proposed Regulations were pre-published in Part Ⅰ of the Canada Gazette on November 6, 2010, followed by a 30-day public comment period. No comments were received.

Subsections 6(1) and (2) of the proposed Regulations as originally published referred to vessels constructed on or after January 1, 2011, and vessels constructed before January 1, 2011, respectively. The references to January 1, 2011, have been changed to January 1, 2012, in these two provisions in order to maintain the same intended phase-in intervals for the planning and retrofitting of vessels that are not engaged on an international voyage.

Paragraph 6(4)(a) of the proposed Regulations as originally published referred to an inspection carried out after January 1, 2012. This date has been changed to January 1, 2013. As well, paragraph 6(4)(b) of the proposed Regulations as originally published referred to a deferred application date of July 1, 2014. This date has been changed to July 1, 2015, for the same reasons as indicated above.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

The Regulations allow a phase-in until July 1, 2015, for existing vessels to be fitted with an S-VDR.

Compliance with the Regulations will be the same as that for other mandatory navigation and vessel requirements. Requirements will be routinely enforced through initial, scheduled, and periodic inspections by Transport Canada marine safety inspectors.

The Regulations will not affect the existing enforcement regime. Punishment for contraventions of the Regulations is referenced in subsections 38(1) and 121(2) of the CSA 2001.

Performance measurement and evaluation

The installation of VDRs or S-VDRs on newly built and on existing vessels and the maintenance and testing of this equipment will be monitored through the existing Transport Canada Marine Safety Inspection Program. Use of VDR or S-VDR data by the TSB in casualty investigations will provide an indication of successful implementation of the Regulations.

Contact

Robert Turner
Manager
Navigation Safety and Radiocommunications (AMSEC)
Marine Safety
Transport Canada
Place de Ville, Tower C
330 Sparks Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N8
Telephone: 613-991-3134
Fax: 613-998-0637
Email: robert.turner@tc.gc.ca

Footnote a
S.C. 2001, c. 26

Footnote 1
SOR/2005-134

Footnote 2
Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Marine Investigation Report M06W0052 — “Striking and Subsequent Sinking — Passenger and Vehicle Ferry Queen of the North Gil Island, Wright Sound, British Columbia, 22 March 2006”; released March 12, 2008.