VHF Radiotelephone Practices and Procedures Regulations (SOR/81-364)

Regulations are current to 2019-08-28 and last amended on 2007-07-01. Previous Versions

VHF Radiotelephone Practices and Procedures Regulations

SOR/81-364

CANADA SHIPPING ACT, 2001

Registration 1981-05-07

Regulations Prescribing Practices and Procedures to be Followed by Persons on Board Ships in Respect of Bridge-To-Bridge VHF Radiotelephones to Ensure Safe Navigation

P.C. 1981-1217 1981-05-07

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, pursuant to section 635 and 730 of the Canada Shipping Act, is pleased hereby to make the annexed Regulations prescribing practices and procedures to be followed by persons on board ships in respect of bridge-to-bridge VHF radiotelephones to ensure safe navigation, effective September 1, 1981.

Short Title

 These Regulations may be cited as the VHF Radiotelephone Practices and Procedures Regulations.

Interpretation

 In these Regulations,

appropriate

appropriate means, with respect to a VHF channel, the channel specified in notices to mariners or in any law of Canada or of any country other than Canada for use in a traffic zone, or part thereof, for vessel traffic management purposes; (appropriée)

appropriate Seaway channel

appropriate Seaway channel means the channel set out in section 63 of the Seaway Regulations for a control sector; (voie appropriée à la voie maritime)

complement

complement means the number of persons comprising the master and crew of a ship; (effectif)

deck watch

deck watch means that part of the complement that is required for the purpose of attending to the navigation or security of a ship; (quart à la passerelle)

Great Lakes Basin

Great Lakes Basin means Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron (including Georgian Bay), Michigan and Superior, their connecting and tributary waters and the St. Lawrence River as far east as the lower exit of the St. Lambert Lock; (bassin des Grands lacs)

master

master includes every person having command or charge of any ship, but does not include a pilot; (capitaine)

person in charge of the deck watch

person in charge of the deck watch includes every person who has immediate charge of the navigation or security of a ship, but does not include a pilot; (responsable du quart à la passerelle)

Prince Rupert Traffic Zone

Prince Rupert Traffic Zone[Revoked, SOR/86-94, s. 1]

qualified in the use of the radiotelephone

qualified in the use of the radiotelephone means that a person is capable of making effective use of the radiotelephone for communications in accordance with international procedures; (qualifié en radiotéléphonie)

restricted in its ability to manoeuvre

restricted in its ability to manoeuvre, in respect of a ship, means that from the nature of its work the ship is restricted in its ability to manoeuvre as required by the Collision Regulations and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another ship; (restreint dans sa capacité de manoeuvrer)

routing system

routing system has the meaning assigned by the Collision Regulations; (système d’organisation du trafic)

ship

ship includes every description of vessel used in navigation and not propelled by oars; (navire)

traffic centre

traffic centre means a centre established by a government for the purpose of regulating marine traffic within a traffic zone; (centre de gestion du trafic)

traffic zone

traffic zone means an area within the VHF coverage of a traffic centre

  • (a) described in notices to mariners or in any law of Canada or of any country other than Canada,

  • (b) established for the purpose of regulating vessel traffic,

  • (c) in which vessels are to use a VHF channel other than Channel 16 (156.8 MHz) for vessel traffic management purposes, and

  • (d) in respect of which a continuous listening watch on Channel 16 (156.8 MHz) is maintained for ships by that traffic centre or by a coast station that can establish effective communications with a traffic centre without delay; (zone de gestion du trafic)

underway

underway means, in respect of a ship, that the ship is not at anchor, made fast to the shore or aground. (faisant route)

  • SOR/86-94, s. 1
  • SOR/89-87, s. 1

Application

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), these Regulations apply to every ship that is required by the Ship Station Radio Regulations to be fitted with a bridge-to-bridge VHF radio-telephone installation where it is located

    • (a) in the case of a ship other than a Canadian ship, within

      • (i) Canadian waters, or

      • (ii) fishing zones of Canada described in section 16 of the Oceans Act and prescribed in regulations made under paragraph 25(b) of that Act; and

    • (b) in the case of a Canadian ship, within any waters.

  • (2) In the event of any inconsistency between these Regulations and the laws of a country other than Canada that are applicable to a Canadian ship within its territorial or internal waters or fishing zones, the laws of that country prevail to the extent of the inconsistency in respect of such a Canadian ship.

  • (3) [Revoked, SOR/84-914, s. 1]

  • SOR/84-914, s. 1
  • SOR/89-87, s. 2
  • SOR/99-215, s. 7

General

 Where, at any time, a radio transmission required to be made by these Regulations is prohibited by any other law or may cause a fire or an explosion, the transmission shall be made as soon as it is permitted by that law or is not likely to cause a fire or an explosion.

  •  (1) The master or a person authorized by him to maintain a listening watch or to make a navigation safety call required by these Regulations shall be qualified in the use of the radiotelephone.

  • (2) Where any person maintaining a listening watch or making a navigation safety call required by these Regulations is not in charge of the deck watch, he shall, as soon as possible, inform the person in charge of the deck watch of

    • (a) any information he receives, and

    • (b) any navigation safety call he makes

    that is likely to affect the safe navigation of the ship.

  • (3) Any person maintaining a listening watch or making a navigation safety call required by these Regulations shall do so in accordance with these Regulations.

  • SOR/89-87, s. 3

 Nothing in these Regulations shall be construed as

  • (a) relieving a ship of its obligation to sound the appropriate whistle signals required by, or

  • (b) permitting a ship to carry out manoeuvres that contravene the provisions of the steering and sailing Rules of,

the Collision Regulations that apply in the area being navigated by the ship.

 The master and the person in charge of the deck watch shall ensure that these Regulations are complied with.

Listening Watch

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (3), on every ship a listening watch on a VHF radiotelephone receiver shall be maintained continuously during the period commencing 15 minutes before the ship is underway and terminating when the ship is

    • (a) securely anchored, moored or made fast to the shore or secured by any means to the bottom; and

    • (b) in a place where its presence does not constitute a hazard to passing ships.

  • (2) A VHF radiotelephone receiver, referred to in subsection (1), on a ship described in Column I of an item of the schedule shall be set to the channel set out in Column II of that item and shall operate with sufficient gain to permit it to receive normal communications on that channel if other radio transmissions do not block out those communications by capture or override.

  • (2.1) [Revoked, SOR/89-87, s. 4]

  • (3) Where a ship is not fitted with an additional or built-in facility that permits continuous or sequential monitoring of Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), the listening watch required by subsection (1) may be interrupted for short periods while the radiotelephone installation is being used to transmit or receive communications on another channel authorized in the licence for that installation.

  • SOR/86-94, s. 2
  • SOR/89-87, s. 4

Navigation Safety Call

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (3), every ship described in Column I of an item of the schedule, other than a dredge or floating plant, and maintaining a listening watch pursuant to section 8 shall make a navigation safety call on the channel set out in Column III of that item

    • (a) when risk of collision with another ship is deemed to exist under those provisions of the Collision Regulations that apply in the area being navigated by the ship;

    • (b) when the navigation safety call of another ship indicates that a close quarters situation may develop;

    • (c) when the ship is in a narrow channel or fairway and is about to

      • (i) overtake another ship,

      • (ii) be overtaken by another ship and agrees or objects to being overtaken;

    • (d) when doubt exists as to the actions or the intentions of another ship;

    • (e) when the ship is nearing a bend in a river, channel or fairway or an obstruction around which an approaching ship cannot adequately be seen;

    • (f) when the ship is approaching, in restricted visibility,

      • (i) a charted route, including a ferry route, or

      • (ii) a concentration of vessels;

    • (g) before the ship commences a manoeuvre that will impede the safe navigation of other ships;

    • (h) when a ship is engaged in fishing with nets, lines, trawls, trolling lines or other apparatus, or restricted in its ability to manoeuvre in or near a routing system and is being approached by another ship, other than a ship engaged in fishing;

    • (i) when the ship is approaching a dredge or floating plant in or near a river, channel or fairway;

    • (j) 15 minutes before and again immediately before the ship departs from any berth, anchorage, mooring area, booming ground, dredge or floating plant; and

    • (k) at any other time when a navigation safety call may contribute to the safe navigation of the ship or any other ship.

  • (2) A navigation safety call referred to in subsection (1) shall

    • (a) contain only information that is essential for safe navigation and not exceed one minute in duration;

    • (b) so far as is practicable, indicate, in the following sequence,

      • (i) the identity of the ship,

      • (ii) the location of the ship, and

      • (iii) the intended course of action; and

    • (c) be followed, if necessary, in the following sequence, by indications as to

      • (i) the present course and speed of the ship, and

      • (ii) whether the ship is

        • (A) towing or pushing,

        • (B) not under command,

        • (C) restricted in its ability to manoeuvre,

        • (D) engaged in fishing, other than trolling,

        • (E) severely restricted in its ability to deviate from the course it is following because of its draft in relation to the available depth of water,

        • (F) engaged in pilotage duty,

        • (G) at anchor, or

        • (H) aground.

  • (3) A navigation safety call referred to in subsection (1) is not required to be made by a ship

    • (a) that, while engaged in a towing operation, is manoeuvring in or around any berth, anchorage, mooring area, booming ground, dredge or floating plant if the ship

      • (i) manoeuvres in such a manner that it will not impede the safe navigation of other vessels, and

      • (ii) makes a navigation safety call 15 minutes before its final departure from such berth, anchorage, mooring area, booming ground, dredge or floating plant, or

    • (b) that is reporting to a traffic centre

    unless any of the circumstances described in paragraphs (1)(a) to (h) or (k) occurs.

  • (4) Subject to subsection (5), navigation safety calls within the Great Lakes Basin on Channel 13 shall be limited to a transmission power of one watt or less.

  • (5) A transmission power of calls referred to in subsection (4) that is greater than one watt, but not greater than 25 watts, may be used in the case of

    • (a) an emergency;

    • (b) a failure on the part of the vessel being called to respond to a second call at a transmission power of one watt or less; or

    • (c) a broadcast in blind situations such as where the vessel is rounding a bend in a channel.

  • SOR/89-87, s. 5
  • SOR/92-599, s. 2(E)

Dredges and Floating Plants

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (3), every dredge or floating plant described in Column I of an item of the schedule and maintaining a listening watch pursuant to section 8 shall make a navigation safety call on the channel set out in Column III of that item

    • (a) when approached by another ship not engaged in an operation related to the dredge or floating plant;

    • (b) when requested to do so by another ship; and

    • (c) at any other time when a navigation safety call may contribute to the safety of the dredge or floating plant or the safe navigation of any other ship.

  • (2) A navigation safety call referred to in subsection (1) shall

    • (a) contain only information that is essential for safe navigation and not exceed one minute in duration; and

    • (b) so far as is practicable, indicate in the following sequence

      • (i) the identity and location of the dredge or floating plant, and

      • (ii) whether or not any part of the river, channel or fairway is obstructed and, if so, the side on which

        • (A) the obstruction exists, and

        • (B) another ship may pass.

  • (3) A navigation safety call is not required to be made by a dredge or floating plant under the circumstances described in paragraph (1)(a) if the dredge or floating plant is reporting to a traffic centre unless any of the circumstances described in paragraph (1)(b) or (c) occurs.

  • SOR/89-87, s. 6

SCHEDULE(Sections 8, 9 and 10)

VHF RADIOTELEPHONE CHANNELS FOR LISTENING WATCHES AND NAVIGATION SAFETY CALLS

ItemColumn IColumn IIColumn III
Description of shipChannel for listening watchChannel for navigation safety calls
1A Canadian ship that is in waters beyond Canadian jurisdictionChannel 16 or channel required by country of jurisdictionChannel 16 or channel required by country of jurisdiction
2A ship that is in waters within Canadian jurisdiction, other than the Great Lakes Basin, and that is
  • (a) outside a traffic zone; or

Channel 16Channel 16
  • (b) inside a traffic zone

Appropriate VHF channelAppropriate VHF channel
3A ship that is in waters within the Great Lakes Basin, other than a ship referred to in item 4, that is
  • (a) outside a traffic zone and that

  • (i) is required pursuant to the Ship Station Radio Regulations to be fitted with at least one bridge-to-bridge VHF radiotelephone installation, or

Channel 16Channel 16
  • (ii) is required pursuant to the Ship Station Radio Regulations to be fitted with at least two bridge-to-bridge VHF radiotelephone installations; or

Channel 13 and Channel 16Channel 13
  • (b) inside a traffic zone and that

  • (i) is required pursuant to the Ship Station Radio Regulations to be fitted with at least one bridge-to-bridge VHF radiotelephone installation, or

Appropriate VHF channelAppropriate VHF channel
  • (ii) is required pursuant to the Ship Station Radio Regulations to be fitted with at least two bridge-to-bridge VHF radiotelephone installations

Channel 13 and appropriate VHF channelChannel 13
4A ship that is between the lower exit of the St. Lambert Lock and Crossover Island or between calling-in points Nos. 15 and 16 in the Welland Canal and that
  • (a) is required pursuant to the Ship Station Radio Regulations to be fitted with at least one bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone installation; or

Appropriate Seaway channelAppropriate Seaway channel
  • (b) is required pursuant to the Ship Station Radio Regulations to be fitted with at least two bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone installations

Appropriate Seaway channel and Channel 16Appropriate Seaway channel
  • SOR/89-87, s. 7
Date modified: