Government of Canada Introduces regulations to require voyage data recorders on large Canadian vessels

OTTAWA, Nov. 3, 2011 /CNW/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that under new regulations, certain large passenger and cargo vessels will be required to have voyage data recorders. Similar to an airplane's black box, the equipment captures critical information to help investigations into accidents at sea.

"The safety of vessels is a priority for our government and we are committed to making continuous enhancements in marine safety," said Minister Lebel. "Should an accident occur, information from a vessel's voyage data recorder can be used to help investigators learn more quickly and more thoroughly the cause and what can be done to help prevent a reoccurrence."

The Voyage Data Recorder Regulations will require, as of January 1, 2012, that new passenger vessels of 500 gross tonnage or more and new cargo vessels of 3,000 gross tonnage or more not engaged on an international voyage be fitted with voyage data recorders. Owners of existing passenger vessels have until July 1, 2015, to install the equipment, depending on their inspection schedule. The new safety measure addresses a Transportation Safety Board recommendation highlighted in its Watchlist earlier this year.

The regulations also implement the voyage data recorder requirements under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974 for Canadian vessels engaged on international voyages.

Transport Canada inspectors will monitor and enforce compliance with the regulations, including mandatory use, maintenance and testing of voyage data recorders, through regular inspections of Canadian vessels.

The Voyage Data Recorder Regulations were pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on November 6, 2010. After allowing time for comments, the regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on October 12, 2011.

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SOURCE Transport Canada

For further information:

Contacts: Vanessa Schneider
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure
and Communities, Ottawa
Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa



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