Transportation Safety Board of Canada Regulations

Understanding the new TSB Regulations and how they affect your work in the marine industry

What's new in the new regulations? The Transportation Safety Board Regulations were changed for the first time since 1992, bringing them up-to-date with the current transportation industry and legislation. As of 12 March 2014, Part 2 of the Regulations came into effect. Part 1 comes into effect on 1 July 2014. This fact sheet highlights some important changes that may affect your work in the marine industry.

The new regulations make it easier for you to report marine occurrences without increasing costs or the administrative burden

What has changed?

The TSB has put in place new regulations that repeal and replace the previous version. The new regulations are simpler and better aligned with other federal legislation, industry standards and international agreements. This has changed some of what you must report to the TSB in the event of a transportation occurrence and how we investigate. In particular, the new regulations:

  • Make it easier to understand what needs to be reported and by whom;
  • Clarify basic rules pertaining to witness interviews; and
  • Bring certain definitions and terminologies up-to-date.

Who do the regulations apply to?

The new regulations apply to all marine occurrences in Canada, including those related to the exploration or exploitation of the continental shelf, but excluding those involving only pleasure craft. They also apply to any occurrence involving a ship registered or licensed in Canada.

Compliance with the new regulations is mandatory. Companies that don't comply can be held accountable under the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act.

Effective 12 March 2014 – TSB Regulations, Part 2

Witness interviews

TSB investigators interview witnesses for the sole purpose of advancing transportation safety. The interviews are confidential and protected under our Act. To help ensure witnesses feel comfortable and speak openly, the new regulations specify that:

  • Interviews are held in private.
  • Interviews must be recorded.
  • Witnesses may choose one representative to accompany them during an interview as long as this person is not also a witness.
  • TSB investigators may exclude a witness' representative from the interview if their actions or behaviour interferes with the interview.
  • Witnesses may request in writing a copy of the interview records.

Effective 1 July 2014 – TSB Regulations, Part 1

Definitions

Definitions have been brought up-to-date with terminology used in other federal acts and regulations, industry standards, and international agreements. Here are some definitions that may affect what you report to the TSB:

Definitions that may affect what you report to the TSB
Term Definition Change
Dangerous goods “Dangerous goods” now has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act. Aligned with other legislation
Master The person in command and charge of a ship, but does not include a licensed marine pilot while the pilot is performing pilotage duties under the Pilotage Act. Aligned with the Canada Shipping Act, 2001
Operation The activities for which a ship is used at any time other than when the ship is in dry dock or laid-up. New
Pilot Any person who is not a member of the ship's crew and who has the conduct of the ship. Aligned with the Pilotage Act
Serious injury Any bone fracture (except fingers, toes or the nose); lacerations that cause severe hemorrhage or nerve, muscle or tendon damage; internal organ injury; second or third degree burns or any burns affecting more than 5% of the body; exposure to infectious substances or harmful radiation; or an injury likely to require hospitalization. Added various injuries in addition to those that likely require hospitalization
Pleasure craft A ship that is used for pleasure and not for a commercial purpose. Aligned with the Canada Shipping Act, 2001
Radio ship reporting station A Canadian Coast Guard radio station, a Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centre, a Canadian marine radio station operated by the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation or a Canadian harbour radio station Added additional reporting stations
Risk of collision A situation in which a ship comes so close to being involved in a collision that a threat to the safety of any person, property or the environment exists. New

Reporting requirements

Who is required to report a marine occurrence?

When the operator of the ship—whether they are the owner, the master, the ship's pilot, a crew member or the harbour master—has direct knowledge of an occurrence, they are required to report it to the TSB.

When do you report an occurrence?

In addition to the current requirements, you must now report an occurrence when:

  • A ship makes unforeseen contact with the bottom without going aground.
  • A ship is anchored, grounded or beached to avoid an occurrence.
  • A ship sustains a total failure of the main or auxiliary machinery.
  • A ship sustains a total failure of the navigational equipment or the propulsion, steering or deck machinery if the failure threatens the safety of any person, property or the environment.

What are you required to report?

In addition to the current requirements, your reports to the TSB must now include:

  • The name of the authorized representative referred to in subsection 14(1) of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
  • The make and model of any voyage data recorder onboard the ship, as well as any action taken or planned to save the data on the recorder.
  • The number of crew members, passengers and other people onboard the ship at the time of the occurrence, as well as the number of deaths or serious injuries.
  • The ice conditions at the time of the occurrence.
  • The location of the occurrence (regardless of whether the ship is missing or not).
  • A description of the occurrence and the extent of any damage to the ship, the environment or other property.
  • A list of any dangerous goods released, including the shipping name or UN number.
  • The actions taken or being taken to locate or access a missing or inaccessible ship.
  • A description of any action taken or being taken to protect people, property and the environment.
  • The name, title, phone number and address of the person making the report.
  • Any supporting information about the occurrence required by the TSB.

What are you no longer required to report?

To simplify operational requirements, you are no longer required to report:

  • Small releases of dangerous goods (only releases that exceed the quantity or emission level specified in Part 8 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations must be reported).
  • The qualifications of the master and, if applicable, the ship's pilot.

For more information

For more information about reporting a marine occurrence, please visit our Report an occurrence webpage. You can also consult the following documents:

If you have specific questions about the new regulations, please contact communications@bst-tsb.gc.ca.