OTTAWA, Sept. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Transport Canada (TC) and the United
States Coast Guard (USCG) are conducting a pilot project for joint Port
State Control inspections on a limited number of non-Canadian and
non-US flagged vessels entering the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway.
Port State Control inspections focus on increasing vessel safety,
security and pollution prevention, and monitoring living and working
conditions for workers on the ships.
"This will make it easier for Canadian and American firms to do
business, with direct benefits for businesses, leading to more jobs and
growth in both Canada and the U.S. while increasing marine safety and
security", said the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities.
"This initiative is in keeping with President Obama's and Prime Minister
Harper's Beyond the Border Perimeter Security Initiative protecting the
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway region, which provides common
access to the heart of North America. Our goal is to make vessel
inspections more efficient and facilitate American and Canadian
business on both sides of our shared border", said Rear Adm. Mike
Parks, Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Ninth District.
On February 4, 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President
Barack Obama announced the creation of the Canada-United States
Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) to better align the regulatory
approaches of the two countries.
Prime Minister Harper and President Obama also announced that Canada and
the United States had agreed to a Joint Action Plan outlining work
plans in four sectors, including transportation. The pilot project
announced today is one initiative under the RCC Joint Action Plan. It
establishes a Canada-United States safety and security framework for
the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway that will align the two countries'
regulatory requirements. This pilot project will look for efficiencies
in order to reduce duplicate inspections and impediments to trade.
The RCC work plan regarding the safety and security framework for the
Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway is available at: Work Plan (Canada) http://actionplan.gc.ca/page/rcc-ccr/regulatory-oversight-regime-great-lakes-st-lawrence-seaway-work-plan Work Plan (United States) www.trade.gov/rcc/documents/St.-Lawrence-Seaway.pdf
Transport Canada and the USCG officials will simultaneously inspect
foreign-flagged vessels entering the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway.
Vessel participation in the pilot project will be voluntary; a vessel
may stop the Coast Guard portion of the exam at any time during the
process since the joint exams will be carried out in Canadian waters.
If the vessel then continues on to a U.S. port, the US Coast Guard will
conduct its normal foreign vessel examination at that time if one is
required. Reasonable efforts will be made to avoid delaying the vessel
beyond the normal time required to conduct a TC inspection.
This pilot project will extend through the fall of 2012. After its
completion, TC and the USCG will make recommendations on forming an
ongoing bi-national foreign vessel inspection program.
SOURCE: Transport Canada
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Ninth District Public Affairs Office
United States Coast Guard
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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