What is fee modernization?

    “Fee modernization” is a term for Transport Canada’s project to update existing service fees and introduce new ones. We’re doing this so we can:

    • make sure that those who benefit from our services pay a bigger share of the costs
    • continue to support innovation and modern technologies
    • provide excellent services for Canadian businesses, jobs and recreation

    Why is Transport Canada introducing a fee for pleasure craft licensing services?

    We haven’t been charging for the program’s services, so they’ve been paid for by taxpayers. We’d like to change things so that the people who benefit the most from the services, namely those who hold pleasure craft licences, pay a share of the costs. To do this, we need to start charging fees.

    How much is the new fee?

    We’d like to set a fee of $15 to process an application for a new card, or to renew, transfer, or copy an existing card.

    How was the fee design and pricing structure set?

    We set the fee design and pricing structure by looking at a number of things.

    First, we estimated all direct and indirect costs for delivering the pleasure craft licensing services, including:

    • employee salaries
    • operating and maintenance costs
    • amortization of capital assets
    • program support
    • internal services
    • centrally managed costs like employee benefits
    • services provided by other departments, like office space

    The direct and indirect costs is upper limit of a service fee and were our starting point for fees. 

    We then considered other factors, like what other countries charge for similar services and how these fees would impact the people and groups that use the services.

    When will Transport Canada start charging a fee for pleasure craft licensing services?

    We expect that the new fee will come into effect in 2022.

    Why does Transport Canada want to change the Small Vessel Regulations?

    We want to change the Small Vessel Regulations so we can improve our ability to identify vessel owners through our Pleasure Craft Electronic Licensing System.

    When vessels are resold, new owners don’t always know that the regulations require them to transfer the boat into their name. This means that the information in our system isn’t always up-to-date.

    Improving the accuracy of our Pleasure Craft Electronic Licensing System will help search and rescue agencies help in an emergency, and help police enforce regulations. It will also help make sure that we can easily identify the owner of an abandoned and wrecked vessel, and make them pay to remove their vessel and clean-up any damage it caused.

    How will these changes affect people who have pleasure craft licences?

    Under the current system, licences issued before 2010 have no expiration date, and licenses issued after 2010 are valid for ten years. 

    We’d like to make changes so that anyone who holds a pleasure craft license will need to renew it every five years. This will help keep the information in our Pleasure Craft Electronic Licensing System up-to-date.

    We’d also like to make a change so that the Small Vessel Regulations will also apply to: 

    • pleasure craft with a motor of 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts) or more, including personal watercraft which are usually maintained or operated in Canada
    • all pleasure craft (including all power-driven and sail-alone vessels) 6 meters or longer, except human-powered boats (like a kayak)

    Pleasure craft licence holders will also need to notify Transport Canada of a name or address change within 30 days. Anyone who buys a pleasure craft will also need to licence the pleasure craft in their name within 30 days of buying a boat. This will help make sure that the information in our Pleasure Craft Electronic Licensing System is up-to-date.

    How can I submit feedback?

    As we begin introducing these fees, we want your feedback!

    You can read our fee proposal and submit your comments on the Let’s Talk Pleasure Craft website. We’ll record your comments and consider them as we develop the regulations. 

    We’ll also publish the proposed regulations in the Canada Gazette before they come into effect.

    Why consult now?

    Since it’s an outdoor activity, recreational boating is on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. This may also be why we’ve recently seen twice the normal number of people applying for a Pleasure Craft Operator Card.