Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 149, Number 48: Regulations Amending the Atlantic Pilotage Authority Regulations

November 28, 2015

Statutory authority

Pilotage Act

Sponsoring agency

Atlantic Pilotage Authority


(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)


The traffic levels in certain compulsory pilotage areas are very low. For example, in the past five years, the number of one-way trips has ranged from as few as 48 in Restigouche to 72 in Miramichi. There were only 53 trips in Voisey's Bay, performed on 21 different vessels. It is unlikely that one master would be able to obtain the trip requirements or the experience at sea qualifications in these low traffic areas.

In the previous version of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority Regulations (the Regulations) in force until March 11, 2014, there was a provision to allow an applicant for either a licence or certificate in one of the smaller ports “to undergo further training in accordance with a program approved by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority (the Authority) in order to ensure competency in the performance of pilotage duties in that area.”

While this worked for minor areas, applicants in the major ports specified in paragraph 14(1)(e) of these Regulations were not eligible for this further training. In order to broaden the pool of candidates for pilot licences, the Regulations were amended in March 2014 to include the possibility of completing a familiarity program to provide equivalent experience for licence candidates for all ports (subsection 14.1(2) in the current Regulations). Unfortunately, the same program was not made available for certificate candidates for the smaller ports. In larger ports, it is much easier for a certificate holder to reach the trip requirements that exist in subsection 14.1(1) because there are many more frequent callers to the port.

Recent amendments to the Regulations have inadvertently removed the latitude previously allowed the Authority to establish a program of further training for applicants for pilotage certificates in ports with a low volume of traffic. The issue is that the qualifications required under the current Regulations may be impracticable or unobtainable to candidates for those areas because of the low level of activity in a specified area. The Authority has examined its current Regulations and is making an adjustment to deal with challenges presented by external factors in minor ports where low traffic levels present additional challenges for the Authority and industry.


The Authority is responsible for administering, in the interest of safety, an efficient pilotage service within the Canadian waters in and around the Atlantic provinces, including the waters of Chaleur Bay in the province of Quebec, south of Cap d'Espoir.

In accordance with subsection 20(1) of the Pilotage Act, an Authority may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, make regulations necessary for the attainment of its objectives. The Authority has examined the current Regulations and is making an adjustment to deal with challenges presented by external factors.


The objective of the proposed amendment is to allow the experience at sea requirements for applicants for a pilotage certificate to be modified by the Authority to address areas where low traffic levels make the current Regulations impractical for mariners to apply for a pilotage certificate.


The Authority is proposing to amend the Regulations under “Experience at Sea — Applicants” to allow a pilotage certificate applicant to complete a familiarity program within a two-year period prior to the application instead of meeting the additional experience at sea qualifications prescribed earlier in this section of the Regulations. This program would be available in areas with low traffic levels and are specified in the Regulations as the Miramichi or Restigouche compulsory pilotage areas of New Brunswick, the Bay of Exploits, Voisey's Bay, Humber Arm or Stephenville compulsory pilotage areas of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Pugwash compulsory pilotage area of Nova Scotia.

“One-for-One” Rule

This amendment is not expected to add any administrative burden on industry as the change affects the qualifications for certificates. This amendment will benefit industry in the abovementioned ports by reducing the regulatory burden and by providing additional options or opportunities to meet requirements.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as there are no costs (or significant costs) to small business.


Consultation in various forms has taken place with the parties affected by these proposed amendments. Shipping industry stakeholders initially raised concerns about the effect of the 2014 regulatory amendment, and consultations took place with both industry and the Canadian Marine Pilots' Association. Representatives from the pilots and industry were consulted extensively on the proposed changes to the Regulations and their possible effects. In each meeting, operational issues and alternatives were discussed, and as a result, amendments were made to the proposal. The response from the stakeholders has been positive, with every indication that the changes are seen as reasonable and necessary.


The proposed amendments are expected to give applicants for a pilotage certificate more options on how they become familiar with these low volume areas. The Authority will develop a familiarity program based on the navigational requirements of the particular pilotage area, the amount of experience of the candidate, the type of vessel, and other factors. The familiarity program may include trips in the pilotage area with licensed pilots and simulator training. The cost will be borne by the candidate or the employer, but over time, money will be saved when they will no longer pay pilotage charges for the respective area.

The persons who are required to meet the experience at sea qualifications prescribed in the General Pilotage Regulations are experienced masters. The changes would affect the additional experience at sea requirements set out in the Regulations. By making changes to the applicant screening process through the introduction of the familiarization program, there will also be more options for pilotage certificate applicants to get familiar with an area where there is declining or intermittent traffic. In order for the Authority to provide quality service and efficient oversight in these areas, it is important that there be as many tools as possible available for training and familiarization.

The alternative qualification requires time spent as master (or person in charge of the deck watch). The alternative requirement calls for serving as master on voyages in the area for 18 months, or a longer combination of master and deck watch responsibilities, under paragraph 14.1(1)(a). This may be more attainable; however, there is no requirement to have significant experience in the area other than that found in subsection 14.2(2). That section requires four one-way trips during a two-year period. A scenario may therefore ensue in which a master has been in the area twice in an 18-month period, but only have had two voyages consisting of four one-way trips. These voyages could have been about 18 months apart.

The changes in the applicant qualifications for pilotage certificates will not affect the safety or efficiency of the pilotage service, as there would be a requirement to complete a familiarity program established by the Authority. The status quo in these areas would have left the Authority and industry in a situation where it is getting more difficult for capable mariners to qualify to receive a pilotage certificate.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

No change is expected to compliance and enforcement of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority Regulations.


Captain Sean Griffiths
Chief Executive Officer
Atlantic Pilotage Authority
Cogswell Tower, Suite 910
2000 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 3K1
Telephone: 902-426-2550
Fax: 902-426-4004


Notice is given, pursuant to subsection 20(3) of the Pilotage Act (see footnote a), that the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, pursuant to subsection 20(1) of that Act, proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Atlantic Pilotage Authority Regulations.

Interested persons who have reason to believe that a provision of the proposed Regulations that prescribes the qualifications that a holder of any class of licence or any class of pilotage certificate shall meet is not in the public interest may, pursuant to subsection 21(1) of the Pilotage Act (see footnote b), file a notice of objection setting out the grounds for the objection with the Minister of Transport within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. In addition, interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations to the Minister of Transport within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.

Each notice of objection or representation must be clearly marked as a notice of objection or representation, cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice and be sent to Michele Rae, Acting Chief, Regulatory Development, Legislative, Regulatory, Policy and International Affairs, Marine Safety and Security, Department of Transport, Place de Ville, Tower C, 11th Floor, 330 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5 (tel.: 613-991-3008; email:

Halifax, November 9, 2015

Chief Executive Officer
Atlantic Pilotage Authority



1. (1) The portion of paragraph 14.1(1)(b) of the French version of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority Regulations (see footnote 1) before subparagraph (i) is replaced by the following:

(2) Subsection 14.1(2) of the French version of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(2) Le demandeur d'un brevet pour une zone de pilotage obligatoire n'est pas tenu de remplir les conditions additionnelles relatives aux états de service en mer prévues au paragraphe (1) s'il a terminé avec succès, au cours de la période de deux ans précédant la date de sa demande, un programme de familiarisation qui est établi par l'Administration et qui offre un niveau d'expérience équivalent.

(3) Section 14.1 of the Regulations is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):

(3) Instead of meeting the additional experience at sea qualifications prescribed by subsection (1), an applicant for a pilotage certificate for a compulsory pilotage area set out below may, within the two-year period immediately before the date of the application, have successfully completed a familiarity program that is established by the Authority and provides an equivalent degree of experience:


2. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are published in Part II of the Canada Gazette.