Marine Operations - Canada Border Services Agency Processing of Cruise Ships
Memorandum D2-3-7

Ottawa, June 3, 2008

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In Brief

  1. Revisions made to this memorandum are a result of replacing the terminology "Advance Passenger Information (API)" with "Before Arrival Information – Cruise Ship Travellers." These changes are located in the table of contents, in the glossary and in paragraphs 7, 8 and 10.
  2. In addition, this memorandum was updated in order to correct spelling/grammatical errors.

Table of Contents

Guidelines and General Information

1. It is the responsibility of the Marine Policy and Programs Section, Air and Marine Division, People Programs Directorate, Admissibility Branch of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to provide national policies and procedures on the CBSA processing of passengers and crew members, and their goods, arriving in Canada via the marine mode of transportation.

2. The Marine Policy and Programs Section identifies, develops and implements facilitative processes in the travellers' stream that respect the CBSA's security and sterility requirements. In addition, it ensures the application of legislation under the Customs Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Plant Protection Act, the Health of Animals Act, the Customs Tariff, the Excise Act, the Excise Tax Act and other Acts of Parliament.

Purpose and Scope

3. The purpose of this memorandum is to outline the CBSA's policy on the clearance of cruise ships that arrive in Canada at designated cruise ship operation (CSO) sites.

4. The CBSA will provide clearance to cruise ships that arrive in Canada at designated CSO sites unless previous arrangements or agreements have been made with local CBSA officials for clearance at another site. Cost recovery may be applicable in these circumstances. The CSO sites are listed in the "Directory of CBSA Offices" on the CBSA's Web site. A link to the directory is provided in Appendix A. In addition, Appendix E provides a map of CSO sites.

Note: Even where no facilities are available at a CSO (e.g. while waiting for the construction of a facility), CBSA clearance must still take place. As an interim measure, the owner or operator of the vessel must provide a secure and private area on the vessel to allow the CBSA to perform further questioning and/or an examination.


5. For the purpose of this memorandum, the following definitions apply:

Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS)
AMPS provides a range of civil penalties to discourage non-compliance, including a comprehensive list of fines and penalties to address a wide range of program needs such as sanctions for non-revenue infractions. Clients who violate CBSA regulations will be subject to a graduated range of penalties that increase with the frequency and gravity of the infraction. Penalties range from warnings and fines to more severe consequences, such as loss of licences or privileges, and are proportional to a client's CBSA compliance history.
Advance Commercial Information (ACI)
The ACI program introduces effective risk-management processes and tools to identify and intercept cargo and marine conveyances that pose a threat to the health, safety and security of Canadians before the cargo and conveyances arrive in Canada.
Any location on a cruise ship that serves alcoholic beverages. This includes public areas on board a cruise ship that are intended for the use of passengers such as dining rooms, lounges, restaurants, stand-alone bars, etc.
Before Arrival Information
Cruise Ship Travellers — Data that identifies a person, including his or her surname, first name and any middle names, date of birth, gender and citizenship or nationality, as well as travel document type that identifies him or her and the number and country of issue of the travel document. This data is made available to the CBSA by the commercial carrier upon the carrier's departure to Canada from a foreign point of origin.
The contact between arriving or departing cruise ship passengers, who are under the control of the vessel, and other passengers or residents in areas between the vessel and the vessel's controlled areas. (Refer to the Jewett Principles stated in paragraph 90.)
Cruise ship
As defined in Memorandum D3-5-7, Temporary Importation of Vessels, "a passenger vessel having overnight accommodations for at least 100 persons exclusive of crew accommodations, but does not include a ship engaged in scheduled passenger or cargo ferry service." Also, in accordance with section 207.1(4) of the Criminal Code, an "international cruise ship" is identified as "a passenger ship that is suitable for continuous ocean voyages of at least forty-eight hours duration, but does not include such a ship that is used or fitted for the primary purpose of transporting cargo or vehicles."
Cruise ship operation (CSO)
A designated CBSA office that conducts CBSA clearances of cruise ships that arrive in Canada. CSO sites are identified in the "Directory of CBSA Offices" on the CBSA's Web site.
Foreign national
Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident (includes a stateless person).
Gangway monitoring
The observation and monitoring by border services officers of passengers and crew disembarking a vessel on the passenger gangway.
Lottery scheme
As set out in Part VII, paragraph 207(4) of the Criminal Code, a game or any proposal, scheme, plan, means, device, contrivance or operation described in any of paragraphs 206(1)(a) to (g), whether or not it involves betting, pool selling or a pool system of betting other than

  • (a) three-card monte, punch board or coin table;
  • (b) bookmaking, pool selling or the making or recording of bets, including bets made through the agency of a pool; or pari-mutuel system, on any race or fight, or on a single sport event or athletic contest; or
  • (c) for the purposes of paragraphs (1)(b) to (f), a game or proposal, scheme, plan, means, device, contrivance or operation described in any of paragraphs 206(1)(a) to (g) that is operated on or through a computer, video device or slot machine, within the meaning of subsection 198(3), or a dice game.
Marine Facilities Restricted Areas Access Clearance Program
A program that prevents unlawful acts of interference with the marine transportation system by limiting access to specific areas at marine facilities to those individuals who have been granted a transportation security clearance. The intent is to restrict areas at a port or port facilities thereby ensuring maximum security at all ship-port interfaces. For more information, refer to Transport Canada's Web site (a link is provided in Appendix A).
Marine Transportation Security Act
Legislation that applies to all vessels in Canadian waters and to maritime facilities and operators. For more information, refer to Transport Canada's Web site (a link is provided in Appendix A).
Remote area
For the purpose of this memorandum and for CSO sites, each individual CBSA region determines remote areas.
Repatriating crew member
Individuals working aboard a vessel that are ending their work rotation period and disembarking for the final time.
Ships' stores
As outlined in Memorandum D4-2-1, Ships' Stores Regulations, designated goods contained on board an ocean-going vessel that is engaged in international trade and that proceeds outside Canada or proceeds to any port in Canada. Goods stored in ships' stores are identified in Column II in the Schedule of the Regulations. These goods include but are not limited to edible supplies, spirits and wines, ales and beers, tobacco and cigarettes and cigars. Ships' stores must be reported under section 95 of the Customs Act. Further information can be found in sections 68.17 and 70 of the Excise Tax Act.
The physical isolation of cruise ship passengers and crew and their goods arriving into, in transit through or departing from Canada from all other individuals until CBSA clearance is completed.
A person who owns, operates, charters or manages a conveyance or a fleet of conveyances and an agent for that person.

Types of Port of Call Stops

Port of entry
The first Canadian port where a vessel arrives seeking to enter Canada. Admissibility of cruise ship passengers and crew is determined at the first port of entry.
The next or subsequent Canadian port of call (stops) after the port of entry.
Final disembarkation
Where the voyage terminates in Canada and the cruise ship passengers are unloaded for the last time with their baggage.

Note: A port of call visit is a stop or a destination on the cruise itinerary where the passengers and crew may leave the ship for a certain time to visit the port city. The docking period can range from a few hours to overnight. The purpose of the visit is to allow passengers and crew the opportunity to tour, shop, sightsee, etc. Only items of a personal nature required for the day trip are permitted off the vessel.

Cruise Ship Routing Examples

6. The origin, routing and itinerary of cruise ships will vary. For example:

Shipping Agent and Cruise Ship Operator Responsibilities

Before Arrival Information – Cruise Ship Travellers

7. Voluntary compliance with Before Arrival Information – Cruise Ship Travellers will assist in the expeditious processing of crew and passengers.

8. Before Arrival Information – Cruise Ship Travellers will include the following passenger information:

9. In addition, the CBSA may request the following information:

10. Until an automated system is in place for the marine mode, it is essential that the Before Arrival Information – Cruise Ship Travellers be provided as far in advance as possible of the cruise ship's arrival to facilitate the movement of passengers and crew and their goods. Before Arrival Information – Cruise Ship Travellers should be provided a minimum of seven days in advance. An updated/confirmed manifest must be provided as soon as the cruise ship departs the last foreign port before arriving in Canada.

Cruise Ship Pre-Arrival Notice

11. A complete, accurate and legible pre-arrival notice must be submitted to the CBSA a minimum of 96 hours before the cruise ship's arrival. This notice should be sent securely, either electronically or by fax, to the nearest available CBSA office that will provide clearance to the cruise ship.

12. In situations where a voyage is less than 96 hours in duration, the notice must be submitted at the time of departure from the last foreign port. Form BSF136, Cruise Ship Pre-Arrival Notice, must be forwarded securely to the CBSA electronically or by fax. Form BSF136 is available on the CBSA's Web site (see Appendix A).

13. Form BSF136 should include the following information:

Note: Subsection 268.(1) "reporting obligation" of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations states that "A transporter must, without delay, notify an officer at the nearest port of entry of any foreign national who ceases to be a member of the crew for a reason listed in paragraph 3.(1)(b)."

"3.(1)(b) a person ceases to be a member of a crew if

14. The transporter must record the reason as identified in paragraph 3.(1)(b) and provide it in writing at the request of the border services officer. This requirement does not apply if the crew member is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. A foreign national who enters Canada as a member of a crew must leave Canada within 72 hours after he or she ceases to be a member of a crew. This requirement only applies to crew members authorized to enter as temporary residents without work permits.

Remote Areas

15. In the case of remote areas, Form BSF136 must be submitted 10 business days before the cruise ship arrives at the regional CBSA office of arrival. This time is required to allow the CBSA sufficient time to make the necessary operational arrangements to provide CBSA clearance at a remote location (e.g. scheduling border services officers to travel to the remote location).

Distribution of Form E311, CBSA Declaration Card

16. The cruise line operators will distribute a Form E311, CBSA Declaration Card, to all passengers ending their voyage and to repatriating crew members and direct them to complete the form before arrival at the port of disembarkation. As well, passengers and crew members are required to complete Form E311 when they disembark the vessel, at any stop, with items that will remain in Canada. The time and manner of Form E311 distribution is left to the agent and/or cruise ship operator; however, it is mandatory that E311 forms be completed before the forms are presented to the CBSA. Form E311 is available on the CBSA's Web site (see Appendix A).

Cruise Ships Transporting Commercial Cargo

17. A conveyance report as well as cargo reports must be submitted for cruise ships transporting commercial cargo in accordance with Advance Commercial Information (ACI) regulations. Commercial cargo on cruise ships is not excluded from the requirements of ACI. Form A6, General Declaration, must be completed. The cargo must be reported to the CBSA, within the prescribed time frame, on Form A6A, Freight/Cargo Manifest. Form A6A is available on the CBSA's Web site (see Appendix A).

Note: For further information on the ACI program, refer to the CBSA's Web site.

18. For more information on transporting commercial cargo, refer to memoranda D4-2-1, Ships' Stores Regulations, D3-5-1, Vessels in International Service, and D3-5-2, Marine Cargo — Import Movements.

Inward and Outward Report


19. Although the master of the vessel is responsible for the inward report of the vessel, it is acceptable for the ship's purser or other designated ship's officer to meet the CBSA upon arrival to facilitate the clearance process. The CBSA should be provided with the names of the master, the officer-in-charge of passenger clearance and the officer-in- charge of crew clearance.

20. Form A6 must be presented to the CBSA at the time of inward report. At the start of the cruise ship season, the complete vessel itinerary should be attached to Form A6. The itinerary will consist of the vessel's destinations, including arrival and departure information. Form A6 is available on the CBSA's Web site (see Appendix A).

Note: Form A6 inward is to be stamped during the processing of a cruise ship that is fully cleared at the first port of entry, whether as a small cruise ship (250 passengers and crew or less) or as a large cruise ship that is fully cleared at a CSO or under cost recovery.

21. At all subsequent ports of call, including the final port before the vessel exits Canada, a fax of Form A6 inwards and outwards is acceptable. For cruise ships that are fully cleared, and the port of exit is in a remote location in Canada, a fax of Form A6 must be sent to the closest CBSA district office where the cruise ship is exiting Canada.


22. All cruise ships outbound from Canada must file the following documentation at the last Canadian port:

Note: Port warden certificates prove that the ship complies with regulations pertaining to the distribution, content, stowage and securing of cargo; the soundness of the vessel; the stability load line requirements of a specified voyage; and the proper loading of the vessel. In accordance with paragraph 56 of Memorandum D3-5-1, port warden certificates are not normally examined by the CBSA before departure. However, where the CBSA is advised that such a certificate has not been issued or that any duty, fee or penalty payable to the Crown or any agency of the Crown has not been paid, permission to sail will be withheld until the situation is corrected.

23. When a border services officer believes that all non-resident crew members are not on board a vessel at the time that outward clearance is requested, a crew muster may be conducted.

24. A delay in sailing will not necessitate the preparation of a new outward report (Form A6) unless one of the following circumstances applies:

25. For more information on the A6 outward manifest, refer to Memorandum D3-1-8, Cargo — Export Movements.

Vessel Requirements

26. At the time of the vessel's initial arrival for the cruise ship season, the last port clearance must be presented to the CBSA. This document is unique to each issuing country and is not universal in appearance. This document is not required on subsequent voyages.

Bars and Ships' Stores

27. During the voyage between Canadian ports of call, bars and ships' stores (on board the vessel) are allowed to remain open.

28. While a cruise ship is in port, one bar per 1,000 passengers or one bar per deck that provides hospitality services, whichever is greater, may be allowed to remain open. For example, if there are four decks providing hospitality services, four bars may be allowed to remain open. A letter outlining the location of the bars must be presented 96 hours in advance to the local CBSA office where the cruise ship shall be in port. This letter may be submitted by the shipping agent along with the vessel reporting documents such as Form A6. The ship's stores must be closed and secured upon arrival at the Canadian port for the duration of the vessel's stay. Any work that is to be conducted in the ship's stores or bars, such as the removal of inventory, must be reported to the CBSA.

29. In the event that a cruise ship docked in a Canadian port has more bars open than what is stated in the above paragraph, AMPS contravention number C207 is applicable. For more information, consult the AMPS Master Penalty Document, which is available on the CBSA's Web site (see Appendix A).

30. The authority to control ships' stores (including bars) can be found in Memorandum D4-2-0, Ships' Stores Regulations, paragraph 4:

"When a ship arrives at a Canadian port, the master of the ship shall place alcohol, tobacco and other goods for sale on board the ship under lock or seal, and shall keep them there while the ship is in the port, except where otherwise authorized by an officer."

31. The requirements for the control of ships' stores can be found in Memorandum D3-5-1, paragraph 48:

"On-board duty-free shops and bonded stores will be sealed while a cruise ship is in port. However, on request, a reasonable quantity of non-duty paid alcohol and beer may be left unsealed for the use of the passengers and their guests."

32. Form E1, Ship Stores Declaration, or similar documentation from other countries should be filed on the initial arrival and upon subsequent voyages. Form E1 is available on the CBSA's Web site (see Appendix A). The form is used to document cigarettes, alcohol, all meats (except cooked canned meats), live animals, narcotics and drugs, firearms (including ammunition) and pornography on board the vessel. The name and rank of the ship's officer in charge of the ship's stores and the location of the goods should also be noted on the form.

33. Accurate records must be maintained on board the cruise ship to reflect the liquor and tobacco in the ship's bars and bond rooms. The CBSA retains the right to verify these records under the Customs Act.

Receptions on Board

34. Cruise lines that host receptions on board a ship while it is in port must inform the CBSA of the date and time of the event if in-bond liquor stores are to be served. A liquor consumption list should be completed by the hotel manager, or the ship's designated individual responsible for organizing the occasion, for each reception that the ship hosts. An accounting entry must be completed and forwarded by the ship's agent to the CBSA for payment of duties and taxes. The consumption list will also be forwarded to the appropriate liquor control board for the assessment of provincial/territorial fees.

Note: For the purpose of this memorandum, receptions are events that are held on board a cruise ship docked at a Canadian port where guests who are not passengers on board the vessel are invited on board and are served alcoholic beverages for a specific occasion. Regardless of the reason for the reception (inaugural visit, tourism party, etc.) and regardless of the number of people attending the reception, duties and taxes are applicable.

Crew Bars

35. Crew bars are strictly off limits to visiting Canadian residents, cruise ship passengers, cruise line shore staff, stevedoring staff and service company personnel. All slot machines in crew bars must be turned off while the vessel is in port. Alcohol (including wine and beer) is not to be served to anyone other than the ship's crew in the crew mess. Any violation of these conditions regarding the consumption of alcohol by non-crew members will result in crew bars being sealed while the cruise ship is in port.


36. The following legislation governing lottery schemes (casinos) on an international cruise ship is from the Criminal Code:

"207.1(1) Despite any of the provisions of the Part relating to gaming and betting, it is lawful for the owner or operator of an international cruise ship, or their agent, to conduct, manage or operate and for any person to participate in a lottery scheme during a voyage on an international cruise ship when all of the following conditions are satisfied:

37. While the ship is in port, casinos must not be operational and must remain closed.


38. It is the master's responsibility to ensure that no passengers or crew disembark or embark the vessel prior to CBSA clearance. For more information on penalty C018, refer to the AMPS Master Penalty Document (see Appendix A). The CBSA must ensure that the gangway is continuously monitored.

39. Before passengers disembark at a coastwise stop (port of call), it is standard practice for cruise line representatives to notify all passengers of CBSA requirements and to advise them that only personal items required for the day can be taken off the vessel. Non-resident personal goods may be removed from the vessel only if the individual satisfies requirements identified in Memorandum D2-1-1, Temporary Importation of Baggage and Conveyances by Non-Residents. Residents of Canada aboard the ship must meet the requirements in Memorandum D2-3-1, Returning Persons Exemption Regulations, to be entitled to their personal exemptions. Goods imported into Canada that do not meet the requirements listed in either memorandum are subject to full duties and taxes.

40. Even if facilities do not permit the examination of persons and goods (e.g. while waiting for the construction of a facility), CBSA clearance must still take place. As an interim measure, the owner or operator of the vessel must provide a secure and private area on the vessel for further CBSA questioning and/or an examination.

41. Before departure, cruise lines are required to provide a list to the CBSA of all passengers and crew who have not returned to the vessel. This list is required so that the CBSA can respond as soon as possible to any security issues that might surface as outlined in Chapter 17 of Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC) Enforcement Manual. The manual is available on CIC's Web site (see Appendix A).

42. Crew members that are repatriating or ending their contract, as well as crew members that wish to disembark the vessel with items intended to remain in Canada, will be required to complete an E311 declaration card.

43. In accordance with subsection 11.(1) of the Customs Act (Presentation of persons on arrival in Canada), every person arriving in Canada shall enter Canada only at a customs office designated for that purpose that is open for business and without delay, present himself or herself to an officer and answer truthfully any questions asked by the officer in the performance of his or her duties under this or any other Act of Parliament.

44. Subsection 11.(3) of the Customs Act indicates that every person in charge of a conveyance arriving in Canada shall ensure that the passengers and crew are forthwith on arrival in Canada transported to a customs office.

45. For more information, refer to Memorandum D2-5-0, Legislative Requirements for the Presentation of Persons at a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Office.

46. Subsection 18.(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act states that every person seeking to enter Canada must appear for an examination to determine whether that person has a right to enter Canada or is or may become authorized to enter and remain in Canada.

47. When the border services officer is satisfied that all arrival vessel requirements have been met, the vessel will be granted clearance to begin passenger disembarkation. Until vessel clearance has been granted, no one should embark or disembark the vessel without CBSA authorization.

48. Border services officers shall clear the vessel prior to authorizing the passengers or crew to disembark or embark.

49. Border services officers must be present at each passenger gangway or in a shore side area that is dedicated to CBSA clearance facility. Every passenger disembarking the vessel must proceed directly to a border services officer and have one piece of picture ID and his or her cruise ship boarding card available for presentation. Officers may ask any CBSA primary questions deemed necessary. Any items of a personal nature being carried off the vessel may also be subject to examination. This could include, but is not limited to, any handbag or any other items that the traveller is taking off the vessel.

50. Any passenger who requires further processing will be escorted to a dedicated CBSA secondary area. If facilities do not permit this, the cruise line must provide a secure/private area on the vessel for further questioning and/or an examination.

51. While in port, there will be many individuals and groups that will require access to the vessel. It is strongly recommended that the movement of these visitors be controlled to minimize their contact with passengers and crew. A CBSA presence will be maintained the entire time that the vessel is docked, while these individuals are disembarking or embarking, to ensure that the movements of these individuals aboard the vessel are monitored.

52. In instances where a vessel may be anchored for the evening, local CBSA management may discuss with the shipping agent/cruise line the possibility of "windows" or acceptable time frames during which time passengers and crew may leave the vessel. This arrangement should be made prior to the arrival of the vessel in order to notify the passengers and crew.

53. Cruise ships moving coastwise that have not received a full CBSA clearance at the first port of entry (for either a small cruise ship or a larger cruise ship under cost recovery) are subject to CBSA examination at each port of call. With the exception of passengers permanently leaving the vessel or crew taking shore leave, inspection will normally be limited to gangway monitoring of disembarking passengers. Officers are present to ensure inadmissible goods do not enter Canada.

54. For final disembarkation, where possible, the cruise line will prioritize passengers, based on the passenger's time constraints, and release them in colour-coded groups — a common industry practice. The cruise ship operator will help facilitate CBSA processing by streamlining passenger flow and providing direction and assistance when required for presentation to the CBSA and the expedient removal of baggage.

55. Disembarking passengers will claim their luggage and then proceed directly to a border services officer. At that point they will present their completed E311 declaration card, proof of citizenship and picture ID to the officer.

56. The primary border services officer will review the passenger's ID and completed E311 declaration card and ask any questions required to clarify information. If released, the passenger will exit the CBSA area. If referred, the passenger will be directed to the CBSA secondary area for further processing.

Personal Exemptions

57. All goods, other than the personal effects of passengers and repatriating crew, that are to be landed in Canada (regardless of their value) must be reported to the CBSA. A list of goods to be landed must be presented each time a vessel reports inward. The CBSA will determine when a cargo control document will be required for such goods. Examples of goods that would require the completion of a cargo control document include the following:

58. For more information, refer to memoranda D4-2-1, D3-5-1 and D3-5-2.

59. Canadian resident crew members signing off of a ship in a Canadian port will be entitled to claim their personal exemptions under Customs Tariff item No. 98.04 and, if applicable, No. 9805.00.00 for former residents (after a year's absence). For more information, refer to memoranda D2-3-1 and D2-3-2, Former Residents of Canada Tariff Item No. 9805.00.00.

60. Foreign crew signing off of a ship in a Canadian port will be entitled to import personal goods on a temporary basis under Customs Tariff item No. 9803.00.00. When foreign crew will be settling in Canada and the required documentation has been presented, the provisions of tariff item No. 9807.00.00 for settlers would apply. For more information, refer to memoranda D2-1-1 and D2-2-1, Settlers' Effects Tariff Item No. 9807.00.00.

61. A completed Form Y14, Crew's Effects Declaration, should be presented to the CBSA at the time of the vessel's initial inward report. This form lists the crew members' written declaration of all goods in their possession that have been legally acquired while outside Canada. This form provides the officer with a complete primary declaration and acts as the "point of finality" before any secondary examination processing. It may be used to identify goods held or intended for someone else and goods not to be landed in Canada. Form Y14 is available on the CBSA's Web site (see Appendix A). Crew joining the ship on subsequent voyages should also complete this declaration form.

62. Crew members are entitled to personal effects, alcohol (1.14 litres of liquor or 1.5 litres of wine or 24 x 355 millilitre bottles/cans of beer or ale) and tobacco products (200 cigarettes, 50 cigars/cigarillos, 200 tobacco sticks and 200 grams of manufactured tobacco). Any excess liquor or tobacco must be stored in a bond room. Restricted and prohibited goods such as narcotics, weapons and pornography must be reported on Form E1 and are subject to strict control aboard the vessel. Such goods are subject to seizure if found in the possession of crew members.

63. Crew members may bring items ashore without paying duty provided the CBSA is convinced that the items will be exported directly or returned to the vessel. This exemption includes alcohol and/or tobacco products for the crew member's personal use.

Admissibility Requirements at the Port of Entry

64. At the first port of entry into Canada, the CBSA must verify the admissibility requirements of the passengers and crew and any other persons aboard the cruise ship.

65. Even if the passenger is not planning to disembark the vessel at this location, this is the first port of entry, comparable to any other mode of transportation, and accordingly all admissibility requirements must be verified. The captain will still be required to present those passengers that the CBSA requests to see.

66. Passengers, as well as any crew that may be terminating their work rotation (repatriating crew), who are leaving the ship in Canada, are required to present their goods to the CBSA and complete an E311 declaration card.

67. When vessels arrive in Canada, passports for all persons must be presented to the border services officer together with a complete list of all passengers and crew members on Form E63-1, Cruise Vessel/Passenger and Crew Arrivals. See Appendix B for a sample of this form. The officer will review the passenger and crew member list and passports/travel documentation, and request an examination for any passenger, person or crew member where further information is required. Foreign nationals requiring a temporary resident visa to enter Canada are to appear personally for examination by a border services officer. After the examination, the officer will either authorize the passenger to enter Canada as a temporary resident by stamping the passport or refer the passenger for further processing.

Stamping of Passports

68. When authorizing "temporary resident" entry to a foreign national, the border services officer shall stamp the person's passport or travel document. In the case of a temporary resident visa holder, the stamp should be placed, wherever possible, on the page opposite the visa.

69. As a matter of current practice, passports of Canadians and permanent residents are not stamped. However, if requested, border services officers may stamp passports of Canadians and permanent residents.

Passport Stamping Exceptions

U.S. citizens

70. While it is not a requirement, border services officers are encouraged to stamp the passports of U.S. citizens. Stamping of passports and travel documents is a best practice and should be done whenever possible.

Cruise ship passengers

71. In situations where foreign nationals exempt from the requirement for a temporary resident visa are disembarking for a port of call visit and they have been authorized to enter Canada and are immediately returning to the same cruise ship, local management will determine whether border services officers will or will not stamp passports.

72. Passports or travel documents of foreign nationals who require a temporary resident visa must be examined and stamped at the first port of entry where entry is authorized. Visa-exempt foreign nationals other than U.S. citizens who are disembarking the cruise ship, are not returning to the vessel and have been authorized to enter Canada must have their passport or travel document stamped.

Temporary Resident Permit (formerly entitled Minister's Permit)

73. Since April 30, 2005, visa offices no longer issue temporary resident permits on IMM 1442B documents. Visa offices provide the foreign national with a letter of introduction to present to a border services officer upon arrival in Canada. Furthermore, the offices will electronically authorize the issuance and printing of a temporary resident permit at ports of entry.

Foreign Nationals — Work Permits and Coasting Trade

Work permits and coasting trade

74. The coasting trade for the purpose of foreign nationals is the carriage of goods or passengers by ship from any place in Canada to the same place, or to any other place in Canada either directly or by way of a place outside Canada. It includes mariner activity of a commercial nature by a ship in Canada, e.g. tour boats. Foreign ship owners wishing to engage in this activity require coasting trade licences issued by the CBSA in cooperation with the Canadian Transportation Agency.

75. Foreign nationals working as crew members on a vessel seeking entry into Canada to engage in the coasting trade require Human Resources and Social Development Canada confirmation and must obtain a work permit. Foreign nationals not in possession of proper work documentation as required under the legislation may be subject to an inadmissibility report and enforcement action.

76. The Government of Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program allows eligible foreign workers to work in Canada for an authorized period of time if employers can demonstrate that they are unable to find suitable Canadians/permanent residents to fill the jobs and that the entry of these workers will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market.

77. Information on programs designed to facilitate the entry of foreign workers as permanent residents can be found on CIC's Web site (see Appendix A).

Coasting trade licences

78. A vessel wishing to obtain a coasting trade licence should immediately contact the Canadian Transportation Agency to determine if it is required. The Agency is the first point of contact for all foreign vessels. It helps vessels deal with applications to use foreign vessels in Canada and allows foreign equipment to be used when suitable Canadian vessels are not available.

Immigration Requirements

Crew list

79. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) define the master and all other persons employed on a ship to perform duties related to the operation of the vessel or the provision of services to passengers or other members of the crew as "members of the crew." These would include licensed officers and non-licensed crew such as deck crew, engine room crew and kitchen and mess room staff. On a cruise ship, crew members also include the following persons:

80. Under the IRPR, the following persons are not considered to be crew members and therefore should not be included in the crew list:

81. At the beginning of the cruise ship season, the crew list must be presented to the CBSA at the time of initial arrival. In addition, the master of the vessel or ship's agent is responsible for advising the CBSA of changes in the crew on subsequent voyages and for presenting a repatriating crew manifest when applicable.

Stowaways and deserters

82. Section 262 of the IRPR states that "On the arrival of a vessel at its first port of call in Canada, the transporter must notify an officer at the nearest port of entry of the presence of any stowaway and, on request of the officer, must without delay provide a written report concerning the stowaway."

83. The master of the vessel must hold the stowaway in custody aboard the ship until that person is presented to the CBSA for completion of an examination, as per paragraph 148.(1)(b) of IRPA. For further information, refer to CIC's Enforcement Manual, Chapter 17, Section 75.7 (see Appendix A).

84. A marine transportation company that allows a stowaway to disembark at a place other than a designated port of entry faces prosecution under paragraph 124.(1)(a) of IRPA.

85. Where a stowaway has arrived at a port of entry, all pertinent information regarding the occurrence must be immediately forwarded to the local CBSA office for appropriate action.

Other Requirements — Health Canada

86. Effective June 15, 2008, the CBSA, on behalf of Health Canada, will replace the deratification certificate with a ship sanitation control exemption certificate or a ship sanitation control certificate.

87. In the interim, deratification certificates and ship sanitation control certificates will continue to be accepted; however, after June 15, 2008, ship sanitation control certificates will be mandatory. Note that until Form A6 and the electronic data elements are updated to reflect the new certificates, the "derat" field can be used for the reporting of the new certificates. For more information on ship sanitation certificates, please visit Health Canada's Web site (a link is provided in Appendix A).

Facility Owner or Operator Responsibilities

88. Subsection 6.(1) of the Customs Act, in regard to providing the CBSA with adequate facilities, states the following:

"The owner or operator of

A link to the Customs Act is provided in Appendix A.

CBSA Security Requirements

89. CBSA processing is primarily conducted in the arrivals area. However, there are other areas and facilities — including corridors and/or passenger channelling devices on access routes to and from the vessel and international corridors, baggage unloading systems, hold rooms, etc. — that (i) shall be provided and maintained by the marine operator and/or the owner/operator of the dock or wharf in such a way as to satisfy the sterility and security requirements of the CBSA and (ii) should preclude any contact between arriving or departing passengers under the control of the operator to avoid commingling.


90. In accordance with the Jewett Principles that state the Government of Canada's position on commingling, there are two general principles:

91. The CBSA does not support the presence at the primary inspection line (PIL) and the pre-PIL of any areas designed or intended for the use of disembarking passengers and/or crew, including lounges, bathrooms, stores, telephones, etc., that may give rise to issues with sterility/commingling and/or security or non-compliance with legislative requirements.

Customs controlled areas

92. Bill S-23 concerning customs controlled areas was passed on October 23, 2001. Regulations are currently being developed. Upon implementation, the CBSA will have greater control of areas near or adjacent to CBSA operations. Regulations will allow the CBSA to restrict access only to those who have Transport Canada clearance and are required by the CBSA to be there. The objective of customs-controlled areas is to enhance national security at ports of entry by securing the border and its surrounding areas.

Search of persons

93. Subsections 99.2(1) and (2) of the Customs Act state the following:

"An officer may search any person leaving a customs controlled area, other than a prescribed person or a member of a prescribed class of persons who may be searched under subsection (2), if the officer suspects on reasonable grounds that the person has secreted on or about their person anything in respect of which this Act or the regulations have been or might be contravened, anything that would afford evidence with respect to a contravention of this Act or the regulations or any goods the importation or exportation of which is prohibited, controlled or regulated under this or any other Act of Parliament."

"An officer may, in accordance with the regulations, search any prescribed person or member of a prescribed class of persons leaving a customs controlled area."

CBSA Responsibilities

Vessel and Passenger Arrival Requirements

94. Border services officers will board the vessel upon arrival to ensure that the following documentation is submitted:

Final Crew List

95. Section 265.(1) of the IRPR states the following:

"On arrival at the first port of call in Canada of a vessel registered in a foreign country, the transporter must provide an officer at the nearest port of entry with a list of all members of the crew.

Amended crew list
(2) The transporter must maintain on board a current list of all members of the crew while the vessel is in Canada.

Final crew list
(3) Before the vessel's departure from its final port of call in Canada, the transporter must provide an officer with a copy of the list referred to in subsection (1) that includes any changes made while the vessel was in Canada."


96. Border services officers are encouraged to use contraband detection equipment and to make full use of the Integrated Primary Inspection Line (IPIL) system when possible.

97. The CBSA will verify the required safety and inspection certificates at the time of the vessel's initial arrival, noting the expiry dates to ensure that the certificates will remain valid for the duration of the cruise ship season. If any of the required ship's certificates are expired, no outward report number will be issued for the vessel until updated certificates are presented to the CBSA for verification.

98. It is the responsibility of the master of the vessel or the ship's agent to ensure that all certificates are current. For more information regarding safety and crew competency certificates, refer to Memorandum D3-5-1.

99. Border services officers will collect completed E311 declaration cards and ensure that all persons and goods meet the requirements for entry.

100. Applicable duties and taxes will be collected when required.

101. Persons and/or goods not allowed entry are processed in accordance with applicable legislation and regulations outlined in CBSA policies and procedures.

Small Cruise Ship Clearance at CSO Sites

102. The following applies to A6 forms (inwards and outwards reporting) to be used in the cruise ship mode for full clearances of small cruise ships at CSO sites and for cruise ships fully cleared under cost recovery agreements and at remote locations:

103. In instances where the number of passengers and crew is low enough to be physically manageable and the risk has been assessed as low (which will be determined by local CBSA management) at the CSO, a full CBSA clearance may be completed at the first port of entry. This means that in addition to determining the admissibility of the passengers and crew, the reporting of goods will be done using E311 declaration cards. To be considered a small cruise ship, this number has been determined to be 250 passengers and crew or less.

104. It is understood that the passengers will not be required to re-pack their luggage and present it to the CBSA, but rather that the passengers will make their declaration and the CBSA may choose to examine the passengers' luggage in their cabins if a secondary examination is warranted.

105. By clearing both the people and the goods at the first port of entry, the need to monitor the movement of goods at subsequent port of call stops will be reduced. This approach will be most useful in locations where subsequent port of call stops are at remote locations and where it would not be feasible to have staff present at each location.

106. In instances where the complete CBSA clearance process is completed at the first port of entry, it will be the responsibility of local management at that location to notify all the subsequent ports of call that the full clearance of the passengers and the goods has been completed. However, the ship's agent or master of the ship is still required to present appropriate documentation (Form A6 — inwards and outwards reporting) for each subsequent stop. If a subsequent port of call is not a CBSA office, then this form must be sent to the closest CBSA district office.

107. The CBSA reserves the right, when solid grounds exist, to be present at all port of call stops for the purposes of national security.

108. A fax of Form A6 inwards and outwards is acceptable at all subsequent ports of call, including the final port prior to the vessel exiting Canada. For cruise ships that are fully cleared, and the port of exit is in a remote location in Canada, a fax of Form A6 must be sent to the closest CBSA district office where the cruise ship is exiting Canada.

109. Large cruise ships (over 250 passengers and crew) may be fully cleared at a first port of entry if they arrived at a non-CSO site. However, this can only occur if the local CBSA office has the capability to conduct a full clearance, and the client agrees to pay under a cost recovery agreement.

110. The shift superintendent is responsible for notifying all subsequent ports of call (CBSA offices) if a full clearance has been conducted and if the small cruise ship is continuing coastwise. See Appendix C for a sample of Form BSF137. This notice can be sent electronically or by fax.

Note: The CBSA office that completed the full clearance of cruise ships of any size under cost recovery agreements must also notify all subsequent ports using Form BSF137.

Other Requirements

Safety of Border Services Officers

111. As referred to in Memorandum D3-5-1, border services officers shall not board or disembark a vessel in stream unless the vessel is properly stopped and anchored, or disembark a vessel that does not have a secure gangplank. In addition, a border services officer shall not make an attempt to transfer from a vessel to a water taxi while either vessel is underway.

Appendix A – Web Site Links

Appendix B – Form E63-1, Cruise Vessel/Passenger and Crew Arrivals

Example of Form E63-1, Cruise Vessel/Passenger and Crew Arrivals

Appendix C – Form BSF137, Small Cruise Ship Full Clearance Notice

Example of Form BSF137, Small Cruise Ship Full Clearance Notice

Appendix D – Form IMM 0202, Notice of Deserter/Inadmissible Crew Member

Example of Form IMM 0202, Notice of Deserter/Inadmissible Crew Member

Appendix E – Map of Cruise Ship Operation Sites

Map of Cruise Ship Operation Sites

Appendix F – Fax Cover Page

Fax Cover Page


Issuing office:
Air and Marine Division
People Programs Directorate
Admissibility Branch
Headquarters file:
HED 7800-47-1
Legislative references:
Canada Shipping Act, Criminal Code, Customs Act, Customs Tariff, Excise Act, Excise Tax Act, Health of Animals Act, Health of Animals Regulations, Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, Plant Protection Act, Plant Protection Regulations, Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, Quarantine Act, CBSA D memoranda.
Other references:
D2-1-1, D2-3-1, D2-5-0, D3-5-1, D3-5-2, D3-5-7, D4-2-0 and D4-2-1
Superseded memorandum D:
D2-3-7, April 29, 2008
Date modified: