Modernizing fees for the Vessel Registry

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Consultation has concluded

Transport Canada’s Vessel Registry includes information on more than 46,000 vessels in the Large Vessel Register and over 25,000 vessels in the Small Vessel Register.

As we continue modernizing our services, we want your feedback on changes we’re proposing for our vessel registry services in 2023.

Transport Canada’s vessel registration services

We offer about 30 vessel registry services. Unless they’re exempt, Canadian commercial and government-owned vessels must be registered.

Registering a vessel gives owners:

  • a proof of ownership (legal title)
  • the right to fly the Canadian flag
  • a unique vessel name, official number, port of registry
  • the right to use a vessel as security for a marine mortgage

Find out if you need to register or license you vessel

Learn how we set the proposed fees and why we want to make these changes

The changes we’re proposing

We want to make changes so that vessel owners are required to renew or update their vessel registry information every few years. This will make it easier for us to track down the owners of vessels that have been wrecked or abandoned, and help first responders in emergencies.

As well, most of the fees have been the same for 20 years. Our proposal will change things so that the people who receive our services pay a bigger share of the costs, instead of taxpayers. The proposed fees range from $20 to $470.The new fees are expected to come into effect in winter 2023.

Large Vessel Register

Vessels should be registered in the Large Vessel Register if they:

  • are commercial or government-owned and more than 15 gross tonnage
  • have marine mortgages registered with Transport Canada and/or an approved vessel name
  • are under construction and owners want to temporarily record them in the register

You can register pleasure craft to have an approved vessel name, official number and port of registry, or to make international travel easier.

We want to:

  • change the renewal process for the Large Vessel Register to:
    1. require users to proactively renew their registrations, instead of Transport Canada automatically renewing registrations
    2. extend the amount of time a registration is valid, from three years to five years
    3. add a fee to renew registrations
  • add fees for some services that are currently free
  • increase existing fees for some services
  • in some cases, lower or eliminate fees
  • adjust fees every year on April 1, based on the Consumer Price Index
  • update our service standards

Small Vessel Register

Vessels should be registered in the Small Vessel Register if they:

  • are not a pleasure craft
  • have a gross tonnage of 15 or less and are powered by a motor of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more
  • don’t have a mortgage or approved name with Transport Canada
  • are a commercial or government-owned vessel, barge, or river raft

We want to:

  • add fees for some services that are currently free
  • increase existing fees for some services
  • maintain a discount for registering groups of vessels and fleets of vessels but increase the fees
  • adjust fees every year on April 1, based on the Consumer Price Index
  • update our service standards

We want to hear from you

  1. Read the Vessel Registry Fee Proposal to learn more about the changes we’d like to make
  2. Choose “Register” at the top of the page, and join the discussion under the “Have Your Say” tab
  3. You can also submit your comments in a Word or PDF document through the “Submissions” tab. You can upload more than one document

Transport Canada’s Vessel Registry includes information on more than 46,000 vessels in the Large Vessel Register and over 25,000 vessels in the Small Vessel Register.

As we continue modernizing our services, we want your feedback on changes we’re proposing for our vessel registry services in 2023.

Transport Canada’s vessel registration services

We offer about 30 vessel registry services. Unless they’re exempt, Canadian commercial and government-owned vessels must be registered.

Registering a vessel gives owners:

  • a proof of ownership (legal title)
  • the right to fly the Canadian flag
  • a unique vessel name, official number, port of registry
  • the right to use a vessel as security for a marine mortgage

Find out if you need to register or license you vessel

Learn how we set the proposed fees and why we want to make these changes

The changes we’re proposing

We want to make changes so that vessel owners are required to renew or update their vessel registry information every few years. This will make it easier for us to track down the owners of vessels that have been wrecked or abandoned, and help first responders in emergencies.

As well, most of the fees have been the same for 20 years. Our proposal will change things so that the people who receive our services pay a bigger share of the costs, instead of taxpayers. The proposed fees range from $20 to $470.The new fees are expected to come into effect in winter 2023.

Large Vessel Register

Vessels should be registered in the Large Vessel Register if they:

  • are commercial or government-owned and more than 15 gross tonnage
  • have marine mortgages registered with Transport Canada and/or an approved vessel name
  • are under construction and owners want to temporarily record them in the register

You can register pleasure craft to have an approved vessel name, official number and port of registry, or to make international travel easier.

We want to:

  • change the renewal process for the Large Vessel Register to:
    1. require users to proactively renew their registrations, instead of Transport Canada automatically renewing registrations
    2. extend the amount of time a registration is valid, from three years to five years
    3. add a fee to renew registrations
  • add fees for some services that are currently free
  • increase existing fees for some services
  • in some cases, lower or eliminate fees
  • adjust fees every year on April 1, based on the Consumer Price Index
  • update our service standards

Small Vessel Register

Vessels should be registered in the Small Vessel Register if they:

  • are not a pleasure craft
  • have a gross tonnage of 15 or less and are powered by a motor of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more
  • don’t have a mortgage or approved name with Transport Canada
  • are a commercial or government-owned vessel, barge, or river raft

We want to:

  • add fees for some services that are currently free
  • increase existing fees for some services
  • maintain a discount for registering groups of vessels and fleets of vessels but increase the fees
  • adjust fees every year on April 1, based on the Consumer Price Index
  • update our service standards

We want to hear from you

  1. Read the Vessel Registry Fee Proposal to learn more about the changes we’d like to make
  2. Choose “Register” at the top of the page, and join the discussion under the “Have Your Say” tab
  3. You can also submit your comments in a Word or PDF document through the “Submissions” tab. You can upload more than one document

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