Compulsory Insurance Regulations for Vessels Carrying Passengers
Background on the Marine Liability Act
- The Marine Liability Act came into force in 2001, and
was amended in 2009.
- The Marine Liability Act is a comprehensive Act
dealing with the liability of marine operators in
relation to passengers, cargo, pollution and property
- Passenger liability provisions are based on the 1974
Athens Convention and its 1990 Protocol.
- Operator’s limit of liability under the MLA is
approximately $300,000 per passenger.
- “True North II” incident in Georgian Bay (June 2000)
resulted in the drowning of two children. The operator had
- Ministerial commitment was made to introduce
compulsory insurance regulations.
- Initial consultations were held across Canada in 2002/03
- Following consultations, the Marine Liability Act was
amended in June 2009 to:
- exclude adventure tourism operations;
- introduce enforcement provisions.
- Proposed regulations would apply to:
- all commercial and public vessels that engage in the
domestic carriage of passengers.
- Proposed regulations would NOT apply to:
- adventure tourism activities (37.1(1) of the MLA);
- passenger vessels used solely in international carriage;
- Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessels, but only when engaged in
Search and Rescue Operations;
- Government owned vessels operated by the Government
of Canada or a provincial/territorial Government, including
federal, provincial or territorial Crown Corporation.
- Vessels engaged in the domestic carriage of
passengers would be required to carry liability
insurance in the amount of:
- approx. $300,000 X number of passengers.
- Proof of Insurance:
- Vessel owners would be required to show
proof of insurance on demand and have it
onboard the vessel and placed in a visible
- Section 126 of the Act gives the power to
designate enforcement officers.
- Failure to produce, on demand, the proper
insurance coverage could result in:
- Vessel detention;
- On summary conviction, to a fine not
Preliminary Discussions with Stakeholders
- Transport Canada held preliminary discussions
with operators and marine insurers across
Canada in fall 2010 and winter 2011.
- Transport Canada will take stakeholders’
comments into account when drafting a
- Review Comments and
Proceed with Legal Drafting
- Fall 2011
- Consult on Proposed
- Winter 2012
- Pre-publication in the
Canada Gazette, Part I
- Spring 2012
- Publication in the Canada
Gazette, Part II
- Summer/Fall 2012
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