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Safety Management Systems

Contact us to discuss creating and implementing your SMS

The new Marine Safety Management Systems Regulations (MSMSR) are expected to come into force February 2024 with compliance required by no later than the 2026 operating season. This means subject operators must have an approved SMS and supporting certifications in place by 2026. An estimated timeline for creating, testing, implementing, and certifying your SMS is below.

Creating your SMS

Developing and implementing your company SMS will involve risk assessments, collecting details of your vessel or vessels, reviewing and documenting your SOPs, emergency procedures, maintenance processes, crew training, and supporting administrative activities. When this process is complete, the 12-part draft SMS can be created and a trial implementation begun.


When revisions are complete and the final SMS is ready it may be submitted to TCMSS for review and approval. Once approved, Transport Canada will issue a Canadian Document of Compliance (CDOC) and a Canadian Safety Management Certificate (CSMC). These certificates will then be reviewed by your Transport Canada or Class inspector during your annual inspection to verify you are operating with an approved SMS.

Implementation & Approval Timeline

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Case Studies

Niagara Falls Catamarans

Operating in the high-risk and isolated environment of the Niagara Gorge, the plan for these two 700 passenger vessels required very comprehensive emergency procedures, and a self-recovery rescue protocol.

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Halifax Harbour Amphibious Tour Vessels

Amphibious vessels have a unique set of challenges. This SMS required strictly defined operating parameters to guide the crew and support staff of a five vessel fleet.

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