Navigation Safety Regulations, 2020 (SOR/2020-216)
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Regulations are current to 2023-03-06 and last amended on 2021-10-06. Previous Versions
PART 2Marine Radiocommunications (continued)
DIVISION 1General Requirements (continued)
Marginal note:Float-free EPIRB
209 (1) A vessel must be fitted with a float-free EPIRB if
(a) the vessel is engaged on a near coastal voyage, Class 1 or an unlimited voyage; or
(b) the vessel is more than 12 m in length and is engaged on an inland voyage or a near coastal voyage, Class 2.
Marginal note:Float-free EPIRB — location
(2) The float-free EPIRB must be fitted on board a vessel such that it would allow the EPIRB to
(a) float free should the vessel sink;
(b) be readily accessible near the position from which the vessel is normally navigated, unless it can be activated by remote control from that position; and
(c) be manually released and carried into a survival craft.
Marginal note:EPIRB or other equipment
(3) A vessel that is 12 m or less in length and engaged on an inland voyage in the waters of the Great Lakes, their connecting and tributary waters or the waters of the St. Lawrence River, or on a near coastal voyage, Class 2, must be equipped with
(a) a float-free EPIRB;
(b) a manually activated EPIRB;
(c) a PLB; or
(d) in the case of a vessel that is less than 8 m in length and that operates exclusively in sea area A1, a waterproof portable VHF handheld radio capable of DSC.
Marginal note:Manual EPIRB or other equipment — location
(4) A manually activated EPIRB, a PLB or a portable VHF handheld radio capable of DSC must be worn by the person in charge of the navigational watch or, if that is not practicable, stowed so that it is readily accessible for immediate use in the event of abandonment of the vessel.
Marginal note:Broadcast service of maritime safety information
210 (1) A vessel that is engaged on a voyage beyond the limits of sea area A1 in an area where there is a broadcast of maritime safety information over medium frequency, such as by an international NAVTEX service, must be fitted with a NAVTEX receiver or another receiver that is compatible with the broadcast service, if it is
(a) a vessel that carries more than six passengers;
(b) a fishing vessel that is 24 m or more in length;
(c) a towboat of 150 gross tonnage or more; or
(d) a vessel of 300 gross tonnage or more.
Marginal note:Maritime safety information
(2) A vessel that is not subject to the requirement of subsection (1) and that is engaged on a near coastal voyage, Class 1 or an unlimited voyage must have the necessary equipment to receive maritime safety information during the voyage.
Marginal note:Search and rescue VHF radio direction-finding apparatus
211 The following vessels must be fitted with a search and rescue VHF radio direction-finding apparatus:
(a) a government vessel used for search and rescue; and
(b) a standby vessel used to provide transport or assistance to employees who are employed in connection with the exploration or drilling for, or the production, conservation, processing or transportation of, oil or gas.
Marginal note:Documents and publications
212 The master and authorized representative of a vessel must ensure that the following documents and publications are kept on board in a readily accessible location:
(a) the radio operator certificate for each of its the radio operators; and
(b) at the main operating position of the radio installation,
(i) Radio Aids to Marine Navigation published by the Canadian Coast Guard, and
(ii) the radio inspection certificate for the radio installation, if a certificate is required by section 240.
Marginal note:Antenna plan
213 A vessel that is 20 m or more in length must have an antenna plan that indicates the relative position of each antenna.
Marginal note:Main operating position requirements
214 The main operating position of a radio installation must have
(a) a card of instructions, such as TP 9878, Distress and Safety Radiotelephone Procedures, published by the Department of Transport, visibly displayed, setting out a clear summary of the radio distress procedures;
(b) the following items, stored so as to be easily accessible:
(i) instructions to enable the radio equipment to be properly operated, and
(ii) the instructions, replacement parts and tools necessary to carry out routine maintenance and checks on the radio equipment, as recommended by the manufacturer or required under Division 2 of this Part, that may be performed by persons who are not radio technicians; and
(c) a visibly displayed, reliable and accurate device that indicates time.
Marginal note:Spare antenna
215 A vessel referred to in subsection 204(1) that is 20 m or more in length and fitted with only one VHF radio installation capable of DSC must be equipped with a spare antenna accompanied by sufficient interconnecting cable to permit the fast replacement of the main antenna without retuning.
Marginal note:Sources of electrical energy
216 A vessel must have a supply of electrical energy sufficient to operate its radio installation and to charge any batteries used as part of the reserve source of energy for the radio installation.
Marginal note:Reserve source of energy
217 (1) A vessel that is 20 m or more in length, a vessel that carries more than six passengers or a towboat must have
(a) a reserve source of energy that meets the requirements of Division 2 of this Part and that is sufficient to supply its radio installation for the purpose of conducting distress and safety communications in the event of a failure of the main and emergency sources of electrical energy; and
(b) a permanently installed means for internally or externally lighting the radio controls that are necessary for the operation of its radio installation, independent of the main and emergency sources of electrical energy.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a vessel that carries more than six passengers or a towboat, if
(a) it is less than 20 m in length;
(b) it is navigating in sea area A1; and
(c) it is equipped with a survival craft VHF radiotelephone or a waterproof portable VHF handheld radio capable of DSC.
DIVISION 2Technical Requirements
Marginal note:Application — Canadian vessel
218 (1) This Division, other than section 228, applies in respect of radio equipment, including documentation for the equipment, that a Canadian vessel must have on board under Division 1 of this Part, the Life Saving Equipment Regulations or the Large Fishing Vessel Inspection Regulations, as applicable.
Marginal note:Application — foreign vessel
(2) Sections 219 and 223 and the requirement under subsection 240(3) to inspect the radio installation also apply in respect of any radio equipment, including documentation for the equipment, that a foreign vessel in Canadian waters must have on board under Division 1 of this Part, the Life Saving Equipment Regulations or the Large Fishing Vessel Inspection Regulations, as applicable.
Marginal note:Application — section 228
(3) Section 228 applies in respect of all EPIRBs and PLBs on board
(a) a Canadian vessel; or
(b) a pleasure craft that
(i) is licensed under Part 10 of the Act, or
(ii) is principally maintained or operated in Canada and is not registered or licensed under the laws of another state.
Marginal note:General requirements — radio installation
219 A radio installation must be
(a) installed on board a vessel so as to
(i) protect it from mechanical, electrical or any other interference that would adversely affect its functioning,
(ii) be compatible with other radio and electronic equipment installed on the vessel and not cause adverse electromagnetic or electrostatic interaction, and
(iii) be readily accessible for maintenance purposes and inspection;
(b) clearly marked with the vessel’s name, call sign, maritime mobile service identity number and any other identifier that may be used in the course of transmitting or receiving communications; and
(c) located on a vessel so as to
(i) maximize its safety and operational accessibility,
(ii) enable the monitoring of the distress and safety frequencies, including frequencies on which maritime safety information is broadcasted, and the sending of distress signals or distress alerts, from the position from which the vessel is normally navigated, and
(iii) protect it from the harmful effects of water, extremes of temperature and other adverse environmental conditions.
Marginal note:VHF radio accessibility
220 A VHF radiotelephone and a VHF radio installation must be accessible from the vessel’s conning position and its operation, including the selection of channels, must be possible from that position.
Marginal note:Position of vessel
221 If radio equipment is capable of automatically providing the vessel’s position when transmitting a distress alert, the vessel’s position and the time the vessel was at that position must be made available from a GNSS receiver for transmission by the radio equipment.
Marginal note:Radio equipment standards
222 (1) The radio equipment referred to in column 1 of Schedule 3 must be of a type approved by a competent authority as meeting the following standards:
(a) the performance standards set out in the Annex to IMO resolution A.694(17), General Requirements for Shipborne Radio Equipment Forming Part of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and for Electronic Navigational Aids;
(b) the testing standards set out in IEC 60945, Maritime Navigation and Radiocommunication Equipment and Systems – General Requirements – Methods of Testing and Required Test Results;
(c) the standards set out for that equipment in column 2 of Schedule 3; and
(d) the standards set out for that equipment in column 3 or 4 of Schedule 3.
Marginal note:Exception — equivalent standard
(2) The equipment may be type approved by a competent authority as meeting a standard that provides a level of safety that is equivalent to or higher than that provided by the standards referred to in paragraph (1)(c) or (d) instead of the standards referred to paragraph (1)(c) or (d), as the case may be.
Marginal note:Exception — VHF radio installation capable of DSC
(3) The VHF radio installation capable of DSC on board a vessel referred to in paragraph 207(1)(b) may meet either of the following standards instead of the standards referred to in paragraphs (1)(c) and (d):
(a) the testing standards set out in IEC 62238, Maritime Navigation and Radiocommunication Equipment and Systems – VHF Radiotelephone Equipment Incorporating Class “D” Digital Selective Calling (DSC) – Methods of Testing and Required Test Results; or
(b) the testing standards set out in EN 301 025: VHF Radiotelephone Equipment for General Communications and Associated Equipment for Class “D” Digital Selective Calling (DSC); Harmonised Standard Covering the Essential Requirements of Articles 3.2 and 3.3(g) of the Directive 2014/53/EU.
Marginal note:Type Approval
(4) The type approval must be evidenced by a label or document issued by the competent authority.
Marginal note:Placement of document or label
(5) The type approval must be
(a) if it is evidenced by a label, securely affixed to the equipment in a readily visible location; and
(b) if it is evidenced by a document, kept in a readily accessible location on board the vessel.
Marginal note:English or French translation
(6) If the label or document is written in a language other than English or French, it must be accompanied by an English or French translation.
Marginal note:Portable VHF handheld radio with DSC
223 (1) A portable VHF handheld radio capable of DSC must
(a) be capable of transmitting and receiving distress and safety alerts using DSC on frequency 156.525 MHz (channel 70);
(b) be capable of transmitting and receiving radiotelephony on
(i) the distress and safety frequency of 156.8 MHz (channel 16),
(ii) the primary inter-vessel safety communication frequency of 156.3 MHz (channel 6),
(iii) the bridge-to-bridge communication frequency of 156.65 MHz (channel 13),
(iv) the public correspondence frequency specifically assigned for the area in which the vessel is navigating, and
(v) any other VHF frequencies that are necessary for safety purposes in the area in which the vessel is navigating;
(c) be capable of receiving communications on
(i) a VHF frequency specifically assigned for the transmission of maritime safety information in the area in which the vessel is navigating, or
(ii) if no frequency is specifically assigned in the area in which the vessel is navigating, any other frequency used for transmitting maritime safety information;
(d) be certified as waterproof by the manufacturer;
(e) not be unduly affected by exposure to seawater, oil or the sun;
(f) be of robust mechanical construction;
(g) have an internal GNSS receiver capable of providing an accurate position within 90 seconds of being switched on, when provided with an unobstructed view of the sky; and
(h) be capable of six hours of operation, with a duty cycle of 10% transmitting, 10% receiving above squelch level and 80% receiving below squelch level.
Marginal note:Rechargeable battery
(2) A portable VHF handheld radio capable of DSC that is powered by a rechargeable battery must be accompanied by a device capable of fully charging the battery from empty within 10 hours.
Marginal note:Supplementary VHF radio
224 (1) Any supplementary VHF radio installation that a vessel is fitted with under section 205 must be functionally independent from the VHF radio installation required under section 204.
Marginal note:Source of energy
(2) The VHF radio installations referred to in subsection (1) may be connected to the main source of energy for the vessel, but one of them must have another source of energy that is located in the upper part of the vessel.
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