All vessels that are used and operated in Canadian waters are required to be registered or licensed. The Canada Shipping Act of 2001 calls for all waterborne craft to be registered by the Canadian Register of Vessels, an agency under the umbrella of Transport Canada. It is a legal obligation that enables the owner of the vessel to use and operate their vessel in both Canadian and international waters. To do this you have to apply for a certificate of registry in Canada.
This can be done through the Canadian Register of Vessels, which is overseen by the Canadian Coast Guard. The government websites can be a bit overwhelming. Often you get lost in a sea of words, and there’s not always help readily available. There are alternatives, such as Canadian Vessel Registry who have streamlined the process and made it easier.
On receiving the certificate, you will have legal coverage as long as you don’t infringe on any of its rules and regulations.
Certificate of Registry in Canada : What That Means
A certificate of registry gives you proof of legal ownership. It gives you the right to choose a unique name for your craft, assuming that the same name hasn’t already been registered by another person. Your vessel can also be identified as being under the protection of the Canadian government by having the right to fly the national flag. Because of its legal status, your vessel can now be used as financial collateral, if applying for a loan.
Some vessels are obligated to apply for a certificate of registry if they carry a mortgage. That stipulation may be part of a marine loan. This is a legal device to protect the lenders. If your craft is a commercial vessel, there isn’t any getting around this as it is a legal obligation. On the other hand, pleasure craft owners can operate their boats by applying for a license instead of the certificate. There are advantages to obtaining a certificate of registry in Canada that are better investigated by consulting maritime documentation experts.
Obtaining the Certificate of Registry in Canada
It is easy enough to apply for a certificate online, but some of the forms can be sent through the postal service, if you prefer to fill out the forms by hand. It advisable to enquire first to the appropriate authority, such as the Canadian Coast Guard, because of the government’s search for greater efficiency and cost cutting, many forms are now only available online.
Because there are different kinds of registration and licences and subsequently different documentation and details to present, it is imperative to understand and decide what use you wish to use your craft for.
The first step is to choose between commercial or pleasure use. If you register your vessel as a pleasure craft it application process is fairly straightforward. All the documentation and details necessary should already be on the paperwork when you buy your craft, whether or not it is a second-hand vessel or a new build. It should be understood that once you have chosen what type of registration you want, you cannot use your craft for anything other than its stated purpose. If you do, you are acting illegally and your certification can be revoked, plus be liable to prosecution, depending on the offence. A simple example of this is using your craft under a pleasure boat licence and occasionally hiring it out to others. Once money has been exchanged for a service it becomes a commercial enterprise and breaks the rules under which your craft has been registered.
First Time Buyer?
For the seasoned nautical owner or commercial operator, the intricate mysteries of vessel registration may be old hat, but for many of us they are a headache. To ensure a smooth application process, without hitches, it is essential to have all the required details and documentation to hand, and then fill in the applications correctly.
Most of us view form filling, either by hand or online, with horror. We all know that one small mistake can abort any kind of application. Maritime applications are just the same and as strict in this sense. Size, use, and where purchased are just some of the factors that determine how and what a way to register your boat. Foreign built or bought vessels come under special attention from the various maritime acts.
Wading through the information is a headache. As nowadays applications of any kind are done remotely, whether online or by post, there isn’t anyone to consult face to face, if you have doubts or queries while filling out your forms. Applying for a certificate of registry in Canada is no different, but fortunately there is a solution to the problem. You can consult and hire companies that are professionals at dealing with all the maritime rules and regulations. Just give them the details that they require and they will take the stressful and time consuming task of vessel documentation off your hands to ensure a smooth and easy process.