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

Ottawa, August 17 2017

ISSN 2369-2391

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In Brief

Certain procedures and guidelines in Memorandum D2-3-7, dated , are no longer in effect. The Land, Rail & Marine Programs Unit, within the Traveller Program Directorate, has undertaken the process to publish the updated cruise ship clearance policies and procedures online.

As an interim measure, we have updated D2-3-7 to advise stakeholders how to obtain a copy of the CBSA Cruise Ship Handbook.

This memorandum will be cancelled once the information is posted on the CBSA website.


Guidelines and General Information

1. It is the responsibility of the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) Land, Rail & Marine Unit; Traveller Programs Directorate; Programs Branch to provide current national policies and procedures on the CBSA processing of passengers and crew members, and their goods, arriving in Canada on board cruise ships.

2. The Land, Rail & Marine Unit 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.

Cruise Ship Operations

3. The CBSA has ten (10) designated Cruise Ship Operations (CSO) ports for the processing of cruise ships in Canada. Cruise ships are required to report to one of these designated CSO ports as their first port of arrival (FPOA) in Canada before proceeding to any other ports in Canada. Cruise ships, including passengers and crew, are fully cleared by the CBSA at their FPOA. The ship can subsequently navigate freely in Canada and transit foreign and international waters between ports of call in Canada without having to report to the CBSA.

4. To obtain a copy of the CBSA Cruise Ship Handbook, which outlines the procedures for clearing cruise ships arriving in Canada, please send a request to the following e-mail address:

Additional Information

5. For more information, call the Border Information Service within Canada at 1-800-461-9999. From outside Canada, call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long distance charges will apply. Agents are available Monday to Friday (08:00 - 16:00 local time / except holidays). TTY is also available within Canada: 1-866-335-3237.


Issuing office:
Land, Rail & Marine Unit; Program & Policy Management;
Traveller Programs Directorate; Programs Branch
Headquarters file:
Legislative references:

Canadian 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, D3-5-7, D4-2-1
Superseded memorandum D:
D2-3-7 dated
Date modified: