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Please be advised that there will be changes to the Office of Boating Safety (OBS) program. OBS will focus on core regulatory programs and will continue to provide support to and promote boating safety through our various partners. As a result of these changes, OBS staff may not have the opportunity to visit your location this year. However, we do recognize that yacht clubs and marinas are an important partner and source of information for the public. Therefore, we would like to highlight some important boating safety information that is relevant to your membership:

  • Please be advised that as of May 2012, the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemical Regulations came into force and are now law. These regulations apply to all vessels in Canadian waters and require all vessels fitted with a toilet to be equipped with a holding tank and/or an approved marine sanitation device. New prohibitions restrict all vessels from discharging untreated sewage in inland waters and within 3 NM from land in coastal waters, with some exceptions. Discharge of untreated sewage is not permitted in areas where reception facilities (i.e. pump outs) exist.

  • A reminder that proof of competency is required to operate pleasure craft that are fitted with any type of motor. Proof of competency can be in the form of:

  1. A Pleasure Craft Operator Card;

  2. Proof of having passed a boating safety course in Canada before April 1, 1999;

  3. A specified marine certificate from the List of Certificates of Competency, Training Certificates and other Equivalencies accepted as Proof of Competency when Operating a Pleasure Craft;

  4. A completed rental-boat safety checklist - valid only for the rental period.


  • A list of accredited course providers who offer boating safety courses and tests is available on our website:

  • Boaters are reminded that if their boat is powered by one or more motors adding up to 10 hp (7.5 KW) then it must be licensed, unless it is registered. In addition to displaying the licence number on both side of the bow, boaters are reminded to also keep a copy of their licence documentation onboard their vessel. The pleasure craft licensing process is a mail-in process and application forms are available for download on our website ( or by contacting our office at 1-800-387-4999.

  • For those vessels operating in harbours, please note that we have had reports of pleasure craft impeding traffic of larger container ships. Please remember the rules of road as outlined in the Collision Regulations and keep in mind that larger ships are often not able to see smaller craft, or stop in time to prevent an incident.


The Office of Boating Safety website ( contains useful information for boaters, including links to the Safe Boating Guide and other publications. Our office also has a limited quantity of printed publications that can be made available to our partners. Please find attached a publication order form that can be submitted to our office if you would like to order any of our publications. Also, please find attached an electronic copy of our Question and Answer document. This document is designed to help answer some of the common questions about boating safety.


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