Travellers
CBSA Cruise Ship Clearance Procedures

This document is also available in PDF (1 Mb) [help with PDF files]

Table of Contents

Overview

This document outlines the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) procedures for clearing cruise ships arriving in Canada. Cruise ships, including passengers and crew, are fully cleared by the CBSA at their first port of arrival (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.

If you have questions about these procedures, please contact any of the Superintendents at the FPOA.

Compliments, Comments and Complaints

Your feedback is important to us. It has a direct influence on the development and review of CBSA policies and programs. We welcome your comments about any of our programs or the service you received.

We encourage cruise ship personnel, agents, passengers and crew to provide feedback by speaking with the Superintendent on duty at FPOA, or writing by using our online feedback form, which can be found on the Compliments, Comments and Complaints page of our website.

Designated Cruise Ship Operations Ports

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 FPOA before proceeding to any other ports in Canada. CBSA clearance is free of charge during core business hours at these ports:

  1. Halifax, Nova Scotia;
  2. Sydney, Nova Scotia;
  3. Yarmouth, Nova Scotia;
  4. Saint John, New Brunswick;
  5. St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador;
  6. Toronto Harbour, Pier 51 and Pier 52, Ontario;
  7. Thunder Bay, Prince Arthur’s Landing, Ontario;
  8. Port of Vancouver, Canada Place, British Columbia;
  9. Victoria, Ogden Point, Pier A and Pier B, British Columbia; and
  10. Prince Rupert, Northland Terminal, British Columbia.

The listing of all designated CSO ports, including their business hours, may be found in the Directory of CBSA Offices and Services.

Core Services and Cost Recovery

Services provided at designated CSO ports before or after core business hours of operation, or anytime at non-designated CSO locations, are subject to cost-recovery charges.

When cost recovery is required, the CBSA charges for all costs to provide service. Cost-recovery fees are determined on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on the services required, estimated hours it takes to provide the service, the number of officers required, and the distance from the CBSA office providing the service to the location where the service is required (to calculate travel, mileage, salary, overtime, meals, accommodations, and other costs). With any cost-recovery agreement, a detailed summary of costs will be provided to the client.

All cruise ships must make their initial arrival into Canada at a designated CSO marine port unless prior arrangements and a cost-recovery agreement for FPOA clearance at a non-designated CSO port have been approved by the CBSA. If, due to logistical or operational reasons, the CBSA is unable to approve a request to provide FPOA clearance at a non-designated CSO port, the cruise ship will need to report to a designated CSO port for FPOA clearance prior to proceeding to a non-designated CSO port.

Requests for FPOA clearance at non-designated CSO locations are to be directed to the appropriate CBSA contact closest to that location.

Clearance of Vessels Arriving in the Canadian Arctic

There are no designated CSO ports in the Canadian Arctic. Cruise lines requiring FPOA clearance in the Northwest Territories or Nunavut must make cost-recovery arrangements with the CBSA in advance of arrival.

CBSA Contact List

National Targeting Centre M3330200ADG@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Designated CSO Ports
Atlantic Region Halifax, Nova Scotia ATL_CBSA-ASFC_Regional_Vessel_Targeting_Unit-G@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Tel.: 902-426-5738
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Saint John, New Brunswick
St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador
Greater Toronto Area Region Toronto Harbour, Pier 51 and Pier 52, Ontario Superintendents.TCCA@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Tel.: 416-973-2618
Northern Ontario Region Thunder Bay, Prince Arthur’s Landing, Ontario CBSA-ASFC_ThunderBay@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Pacific Region Vancouver, Canada Place, British Columbia PAC-Vancouver_Cruise_Ships@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Victoria, Ogden Point, Pier A and Pier B, British Columbia PAC-DIST_Victoria_CSOPs@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Prince Rupert, Northland Terminal, British Columbia Fairview.PrinceRupert@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Shared.PrinceRupert@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Non-Designated CSO Locations
Prairie Region (responsible for the Canadian Arctic in Northwest Territories) Northwest Territories NWTClearance@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Northern Ontario Region (responsible for the Canadian Arctic in Nunavut) Nunavut Nunavut_Clearance@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Fax : 613-991-6912
Quebec Region Montréal, Quebec Que_Montreal_SMF@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Tel.: 514-283-7449 (Dispatch)
Québec, Quebec CBSA.MarineQuebecMain-MaritimeQuebecCentre.ASFC@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

Pre-Arrival Information

Passenger and Crew Manifests

Cruise lines are encouraged to voluntarily submit the Passenger and Crew Manifests in advance of the cruise ship’s arrival in Canada to facilitate the processing of passengers, crew, and their goods. The manifests (one for passengers and one for crew) must be submitted in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format to both the CBSA National Targeting Centre (NTC) and to the FPOA (CSO port or other) by email to the appropriate inboxes a minimum of 96 hours in advance of the ship’s arrival or when the vessel departs the last foreign port.

Both the Passenger Manifest and the Crew Manifest should include the following information, in separate fields:

  1. Full Name (in separate fields, surname then given name);
  2. Date of Birth in the yyyy/mm/dd format;
  3. Gender;
  4. Country that issued the travel document;
  5. Travel Document Number and Type of Document; and
  6. Citizenship or Nationality.

The CBSA may also request the following additional information:

Non-paying passengers are to be included in the Passenger Manifest. If there are changes or additions to the initial Passenger Manifest or Crew Manifest, the CBSA requires the updated information a minimum of 48 hours before the vessel’s arrival in Canada or as soon as the ship departs the last foreign port. Only the updated/new data elements need to be submitted.

Electronic copies of the manifest templates can be requested by emailing the NTC. Any specific questions and concerns related to the clearance process can be directed to the appropriate FPOA email addresses.

Cruise Ship Pre-Arrival Notice

A complete, accurate and legible Pre-Arrival Notice (PAN) (Form BSF136, Cruise Ship Pre-Arrival Notice) must be submitted by email to both the CBSA NTC and to the CBSA at the FPOA, a minimum of 96 hours before the cruise ship’s arrival. This notice should be sent securely and electronically.

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.

The PAN form should include the following information:

  1. Name and call sign of the cruise ship;
  2. Name of the agent representing the cruise ship;
  3. Total number of passengers and crew;
  4. Total number of repatriating crew;
  5. Date and time of arrival and departure;
  6. Expiry dates of the ship’s certificates;
  7. Last port of call; and
  8. Any additional port-specific information required to facilitate clearance such as passenger breakdown into number of Canadian, United States (U.S.) and other nationals, number of passengers using Direct-to-Bus YVR or Direct-to-Bus SEA (Vancouver), etc.

Remote Areas and Non-Designated CSO Locations

For areas where clearance is provided under cost-recovery provisions, Form BSF136 must be submitted to the CBSA office responsible for the port where the cruise ship is expected at least 10 business days prior to arrival to allow the CBSA sufficient time to make the necessary operational arrangements to provide clearance (e.g., scheduling border services officers to travel to the remote location).

Clearance Procedures

Upon arrival in port at the FPOA, only the captain and crew/staff performing duties needed to dock and clear the vessel may embark/disembark prior to CBSA-granted clearance. Everyone else on board will be required to remain on the vessel.

Passenger and crew clearance will be granted once the CBSA officer is satisfied that all requirements have been met at the FPOA. Until clearance has been granted, no one shall embark or disembark the vessel without CBSA authorization. No person other than a CBSA officer may grant clearance and clearance is not to be assumed even if all immigration requirements have been met.

Since the 2013 cruise season, all passengers, crew and their goods have been cleared at the FPOA, including clearance for any subsequent crew changes during the voyage in Canada. It is important to note that all passengers must be prepared to make their declaration at the FPOA by way of Form E311, CBSA Declaration Card.

The cruise ship will present all required documentation at the FPOA. Cruise ships must keep on board copies of documents from the FPOA in the event CBSA officials at subsequent ports request to see them.

Upon boarding the vessel at the FPOA, the CBSA will request an interview with the captain and/or the chief of security. This interview will consist of several questions about the ship, passengers, crew, and ship’s policies. At this time, CBSA officers will provide any additional information about the clearance procedures.

Pre-Arrival Process

All documentation must be submitted by email to both the NTC and to the CBSA at the FPOA.

Personal exemptions for residents of Canada and duty-free allowances for visitors to Canada are listed in the Instructions section of Form E311. It is the responsibility of the traveller to truthfully and correctly answer all questions with respect to imported goods on the Form E311.

Arrival Process

Once the cruise ship has arrived, the CBSA will:

  1. Board the vessel and meet the ship’s agent, or other ship delegate, in a designated area.
  2. Receive paperwork for admissibility of passengers, crew and vessel.
  3. Review the Form E311 to determine if any passengers who have not yet been mustered are required for further processing.
  4. Notify the purser of requirement to secure passengers/crew as required.
  5. Give permission to open the gangway and conduct any additional immigration, customs and rummage activities aboard the ship.
  6. Meet the mustered passengers who require immigration processing or duty and taxes collection.
    • Note: If facilities permit, passengers who have exceeded their personal exemptions or duty-free allowances, or who require their TRVs validated, may be processed in the CBSA facilities upon disembarking the ship. In order to expedite clearance, the purser may wish to identify to the CBSA those disembarking passengers who have planned excursions so that they may be interviewed first.
  7. Meet the mustered crew members who are scheduled for repatriation (at the FPOA or at a subsequent port of call in Canada) for processing.

Clearance Process

The CBSA:

Examinations

The admissibility of all passengers and crew and their goods will be determined at the FPOA in Canada. The CBSA has the authority to examine all persons and goods on board the vessel including those passengers who are not planning to disembark at the FPOA. The captain is required to present those individuals should the CBSA request to see them.

The CBSA will make every effort to advise the port agent as soon as possible, prior to the ship’s arrival, of any passengers or crew who are required for interview. This will ensure that the ship has ample time to locate and inform the passengers and crew that they must speak to the CBSA upon arrival and will facilitate processing by mustering them into a designated area.

Although the CBSA will endeavour not to interrupt preparations for disembarking passengers and sailing, its presence may result in minor disruptions. The cooperation of all crew and officers is appreciated.

Note: All references to a “designated area on board” pertain to locations where port facilities do not exist. Where port facilities do not exist, the transporter must provide a place on board the vessel that is suitable for the examination of passengers and crew members. Conference rooms and dining areas are generally suitable for examination purposes.

The CBSA may conduct cabin examinations with the assistance of the chief of security, unless the timeliness of doing so interferes with the ability to conduct an effective examination. In the event of a cabin exam/baggage exam, the cruise ship will be responsible for designating suitable space on board for completing these examinations in private.

Foreign nationals requiring a TRV to enter Canada are to appear personally for examination. 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. More information on TRVs, including single-entry visas, may be found in the Temporary Resident Visas and Other Required Documents section of this handbook.

CBSA officers will give permission to the cruise ship to open the gangway when they are satisfied that all passengers and crew who were selected for an examination are mustered. Other passengers and crew may disembark the ship and leave the port unless instructed otherwise by a CBSA officer.

Transporter Obligations

All transporters must familiarize themselves with the CBSA’s Guide for Transporters. The Guide clearly outlines all transporter obligations under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and its Regulations.

Transporter obligations include:

Documents to be Presented to the CBSA at FPOA

All ship’s documentation must be presented to the boarding CBSA officer at the FPOA. In addition, the ship’s agent or the purser must present a repatriating crew list so that preparations to facilitate immigration clearance can be made.

Form BSF136, Cruise Ship Pre-Arrival Notice

A paper copy of Form BSF136, Cruise Ship Pre-Arrival Notice that was submitted to the NTC 96 hours before the cruise ship’s arrival must be presented to the CBSA at FPOA.

Form A6, General Declaration

The CBSA requires an inward Form A6, General Declaration at the CBSA FPOA. Form A6 is no longer required at the subsequent ports of call as long as all subsequent ports of call in Canada are clearly listed on the initial inward Form A6. If the itinerary changes after the inward Form A6 is submitted to the CBSA at FPOA, the cruise ship is required to submit, to the nearest CBSA office, inward and outward Form A6s for the additional ports of call. If the additional port of call is in a remote location in Canada, a fax of Form A6 must be sent to the closest CBSA district office for inward and outward reporting.

An outward Form A6 must be submitted from the last port of call and must list all ports of call visited while in Canada. Ships’ agents may bring these documents to the local CBSA office.

The CBSA will monitor the expiry dates of the ship’s certificates throughout the season. If any of the required certificates are expired, no outward number will be issued until updated certificates are presented to the CBSA for verification. Please note that it is the ship’s master’s or agent’s responsibility to ensure that all of the ship’s certificates are current.

Carrier Code: Cruise ships that do not have individual carrier codes, and which are not bringing cargo into Canada, may use the generic 9ITN carrier code on Form A6. However, cruise ships that are also importing cargo must obtain their own carrier code and submit advance commercial information (ACI) to the CBSA prior to arrival. Additional information about carrier codes and ACI can be found in Memorandum D3-5-1, Marine Pre-load/Pre-arrival and Reporting Requirements.

E311, Declaration Card

Form E311, Declaration Card must be provided to all passengers for completion prior to the CBSA clearance. It is mandatory for all passengers to complete the Form E311, including those who have no intention of disembarking at the FPOA or subsequent ports of call. Personal exemptions for residents of Canada and duty-free allowances for visitors to Canada are listed in the Instructions section of the Form E311. All alcohol and tobacco products intended as gifts are subject to full duty and taxes regardless of the value. It is the responsibility of the traveller to truthfully and correctly answer all questions with respect to imported goods on the Form E311.

Failure to declare the food, plants, animals or related products entering Canada can result in Agriculture and Agri-food Administrative Monetary Penalties (AAAMPs) ranging from $500 to $1,300.

A family member or fellow traveller may complete Form E311 for children or disabled persons. The Form E311 allows travellers to list up to four family members living at the same address on one form. It is suggested that the form be distributed the night before the ship’s arrival.

Repatriating crew members are also required to complete a Form E311. This must be done by the crew member, not the crew purser, although the crew purser may provide assistance to the crew member, particularly if there are language barriers. For assistance with other languages, please refer to the CE311, Translation of the CBSA Declaration Card.

For all other locations, prior to arrival, the purser will collect and sort all Form E311. Forms belonging to those passengers who have exceeded their personal exemption, or marked ‘yes’ to any of the questions, will be filed separately. The boarding officers will collect and review these cards and determine if an interview and/or assessment process is required. If yes, the passengers will be requested to appear. All other passengers who have completed their Form E311 are free to disembark.

Cruise lines may order forms, including a supply of Form E311 free of charge by emailing:
forms-formulaires@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.

Currency Reports

There are no restrictions on the amount of money (currency and monetary instruments) that travellers can bring into or take out of Canada, nor is it illegal to do so. However, all travellers and transporters are required to report to the CBSA amounts totalling Can$10,000 or more that are being imported into or exported out of Canada.

There is an exception to reporting for cruise ships provided that the currency or monetary instruments are not destined for Canada and that they remain on board the conveyance. If any amount of currency or monetary instruments is removed from the ship, the entire amount that arrived in Canada aboard the ship (including the amount that is removed from the ship and the amount that remains on board) must be declared to the CBSA, and the following documentation must be completed and presented to the CBSA:

Note:

Passengers and crew disembarking with currency or monetary instruments totalling Can$10,000 or more are required to declare and report the amount on Form E677.

Repatriating crew members disembarking from the cruise ship and leaving Canada either through a land border, airport, or by other means, must present Form E677 to the CBSA at their port of entry as well as at their port of departure. For example, if a crew member is disembarking a cruise ship at Pier 21 in Halifax and then proceeding to Halifax Stanfield International Airport for a flight, a Form E677 must be presented to the CBSA at both Pier 21 and at the CBSA office at the airport.

The reporting requirements for passengers, merchants, and crew members are an individual responsibility. There is no liability on behalf of the cruise ship. Failure to report import or export of currency and monetary instruments totalling Can$10,000 or more may result in seizure and an assessment of penalties. Penalties range from Can$250 to Can$5,000, and may include forfeiture.

Once the CBSA receives currency information, the completed forms are sent to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) in Ottawa for assessment and analysis. The information provided on these currency reporting forms is subject to the general provisions of the Privacy Act and is collected under the authority of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act. For further information on FINTRAC, please see www.fintrac.gc.ca.

Last Port of Clearance Documents

At the time of the vessel’s arrival for the first time in the cruise season, the last port of clearance paperwork must be presented to the CBSA at the FPOA. This document is unique to each issuing country and is not universal in appearance. This document is not required on subsequent voyages to Canada during the same cruise season.

Form E1, Ship Stores Declaration

Form E1, Ship Stores Declaration must be filed with the CBSA on every visit to Canada. It is used to document tobacco products, 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 officer(s) in charge of stores and the location of the goods should also be noted on the form. Any person found in possession of improperly declared prohibited/restricted items is subject to arrest and prosecution. Any inaccuracy in the information on the E1 may result in an enforcement action. The CBSA retains the right to verify these records, under the Customs Act, at any time while the ship is in Canada.

Additional information on ships’ stores can be found in Memorandum D4-2-1, Ships’ Stores Regulations.

Form BSF552, Crew’s Effects Declaration

Form BSF552, Crew’s Effects Declaration (formerly known as Y14) must be submitted upon the ship’s arrival at the CBSA FPOA. A copy should also be available on board should the CBSA require it during crew’s quarters searches. All crew effects which are subject to duty and taxes or subject to prohibitions or restrictions must be identified on the Form BSF552 by each crew member. Goods to be listed include tobacco and alcohol products, currency, firearms/weapons, and other articles. Each crew member must be listed on the form.

Crew members are entitled to personal effects, alcoholic beverages (1.14 litres of liquor, or 1.5 litres of wine, or 24 - 355 ml bottles/cans of beer), and tobacco products (200 cigarettes, 50 cigars/cigarillos, 200 tobacco sticks, and 200g manufactured tobacco). Alcohol and tobacco products may be located in the crew member’s cabin or on their person. Excess alcohol and/or tobacco must be stored in a bond room. Illegal items, including certain types of narcotics, firearms/weapons, and pornography, may be seized and criminal charges may be laid.

Form BSF800, Goods to be Landed List

All goods off-loaded in Canada (other than personal effects accompanying travellers and repatriating crew members) must be declared on Form 800, Goods to be Landed List at the FPOA. An amended Form BSF800 must be provided to the CBSA FPOA office if there are any changes from the original list or if any additional goods are off-loaded. The CBSA will determine which items on the Form BSF800 require Form A8A-B, Cargo Control Document.

Note: All items on Form BSF800 require a monetary value, weight, reason for landing (e.g., removal for repair, transfer to another ship, etc.), transport company, and destination of goods (with address and phone number). In addition, a copy of the landing order(s) must be included. If proper documentation is not submitted, permission will not be given to off-load the goods.

Any goods off-loaded without permission or unaccounted for on the Form BSF800 may be subject to seizure and/or administrative monetary penalties. All goods off-loaded from the ship may require Form A8A-B. The CBSA considers the following goods to require Form A8A-B:

Note: Cruise ships that are also importing cargo must submit ACI to the CBSA prior to arrival. Additional information about ACI can be found in Memorandum D3-5-1, Marine Pre-load/Pre-arrival and Reporting Requirements.

Passenger Disembarkation Manifest

A complete list of disembarking passengers must be emailed 96 hours in advance, to the CBSA office where the disembarkation will take place, and must include the following:

Emergency disembarkation: If a passenger must leave the ship prior to arriving at the scheduled final port of disembarkation (e.g., family emergency), the cruise ship must immediately notify the CBSA at the FPOA and provide a disembarkation manifest for the passenger. If the passenger made any purchases in the duty-free shops after FPOA clearance, this information must also be provided to the CBSA. If required, officers from the CBSA office closest to the port where the unscheduled disembarkation is taking place will attend the ship to process the passenger. If the place of the unscheduled disembarkation is not designated as a CSO, cost-recovery charges may be assessed.

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

A breakdown of passengers and crew by citizenship/nationality is to be submitted with the ship’s documentation at the CBSA FPOA.

Repatriating Crew List

A list of all repatriating crew members including name, citizenship/nationality, position, port of repatriation, and reason for leaving the vessel is to be submitted with the ship’s documentation at the CBSA FPOA.

Joining Crew List

A list documenting any additions to the crew from the previous visit is to be submitted to the CBSA with the ship’s documentation at the FPOA, as well as sent by email.

Crew List

A crew list documenting all crew members is to be submitted to the CBSA upon arrival at FPOA, and must include the following information:

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) FAL Form 5, Crew List will be used for this purpose.

Inward Paperwork Recapitulation

The following documents must be submitted in hard copy to the CBSA at the FPOA each time the vessel arrives in Canada (with the exception of the Last Port of Clearance Documents, which is only required for the initial voyage of the season):

Document Number of Copies Required by the CBSA
96 Hour Pre-Arrival Notice 1 copy (plus emailed to the NTC and FPOA)
A6, General Declaration Inward Report 1 original plus 2 copies
Last Port Clearance (for the initial voyage of the season only) 1 copy
E1, Ship’s Stores Declaration 1 copy
BSF552, Crew’s Effects Declaration 2 copies
BSF800, Goods to Be Landed List 3 copies
Passenger Disembarkation Manifest 1 copy (plus emailed to the FPOA)
Crew List (IMO FAL 5) 1 copy (plus emailed to the FPOA)
Repatriating Crew List 1 copy
Joining Crew List 1 copy (plus emailed to the FPOA)
E63-1, Cruise Vessel/ Passenger and Crew Arrivals 1 copy
Letters of Permission (e.g., bars open during port call) 1 copy
E667/E668, Cross Border Currency Reporting or Monetary Instruments Reports (as required) 1 copy

Note: The ship’s operator or agent may request that extra copies of the above documents be stamped by the CBSA for the ship records, with the exception of the currency report.

Duty-Free Shops and Sales

Duty-Free Shops While in Port

Duty-free shops must be closed and locked while the ship is in port. Appropriate signs must be placed on all shop entrances indicating that they are closed and off-limits. A letter requesting permission to work in duty-free shops (e.g., stocking, inventory) while the ship is in port should be submitted to the CBSA at the beginning of the cruise ship season. This letter, suitably endorsed by the CBSA, will act as permission to conduct incidental work in duty-free shops while in port for the entire season.

All passengers and crew must declare duty-free purchases on their Form E311, Declaration Card at the FPOA. Officers will review the declaration cards collected from the travellers by the purser and refer anyone deemed necessary to appear for further processing. Any goods that do not qualify under the travellers’ personal exemptions may be subject to applicable duty and taxes. CBSA officers will complete a Form BSF715, Casual Goods Accounting Document (formerly known as Form B15) for the goods as required and provide the client with a stamped copy.

Duty-Free Shops after FPOA

Once the ship departs the FPOA, the ship may re-open its duty-free stores and make items available for purchase to passengers. After the FPOA clearance, all duty-free purchases that will remain in Canada will be subject to the payment of duty and taxes.

Collection of Duty and Taxes at the Last Port of Disembarkation

To ensure that duty and taxes are collected on duty-free store purchases, the cruise ship must forward a list containing details on persons and goods purchased after the FPOA clearance and prior to arriving at the final Canadian port of disembarkation. This information is normally obtained when the shops close for the final time in their voyage and prepare their customers’ accounts. The cruise line is required to submit this list to the CBSA at least eight hours prior to their arrival at the Canadian port of final disembarkation.

The list must include the following information:

  1. The name of the port where the final disembarkation will take place;
  2. Full name of the passenger and passenger ID number;
  3. Folio and associated cabin/berth numbers;
  4. Country of residence; and
  5. Amount spent post-FPOA clearance.

This information is to be submitted in the MS Excel spreadsheet format to the CBSA name and contact information provided to the ship’s representative at the FPOA.

The CBSA will advise the cruise ship of any passengers that are required for an interview and/or payment of duty and taxes. The cruise ship will ensure every person identified by the CBSA is mustered on arrival at the final port of disembarkation.

CBSA officers will attend the vessel to collect duty and taxes on their purchases. This service will be provided on a cost-recovery basis unless the final port of disembarkation is also designated as a CSO location. If a passenger refuses to pay the assessed duty and taxes, normal procedures for the abandonment of goods to the Crown will be initiated.

The cruise line will be responsible for the payment of duty and taxes on any differences between the inventory count and the recorded sales.

In-Port Requirements

Casinos

Casino operations are to be shut down and deactivated while the ship is in port. Signs must be posted on casino doors indicating that the machines are not operational. A letter requesting permission for casino staff to complete maintenance work inside casinos should be submitted to the FPOA inbox when the ship is in port for the first time each season. This letter, suitably endorsed by the CBSA, will act as permission for casino maintenance work while at port for the entire season.

Receptions On Board (Liquor Consumption Entries)

Cruise lines hosting receptions on board a ship while in port must inform the CBSA by written advance notice of the date and time bonded liquor will be served. The CBSA will require the guests’ information in an email sent to the FPOA. A liquor consumption list should be completed by the bar/hotel manager for each party/reception the ship hosts. An accounting entry must be completed and forwarded by the ship’s agent for payment of duty and taxes to the CBSA office at the FPOA. The ship’s agent will be responsible for submitting a Form B3-3, Canada Customs Coding Form “V”-type voluntary entry, along with a cheque for payment. The liquor consumption list will also be forwarded to the appropriate liquor control board for the assessment of provincial fees.

Food, Plants, Animals and Related Products

In order to protect Canada’s environment and agricultural base, please inform passengers and crew not to remove from the vessel any:

Passengers and crew are reminded that they must check the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) for import requirements before bringing with them any food, plants, animals or related products.

Removal of food, plants, animals or related products from the vessel can result in Agriculture and Agri-food Administrative Monetary Penalties (AAAMPs) ranging from $500 to $1,300.

Additional information can be found in Memorandum D19-1-1, Food, Plants, Animals and Related Products and Memorandum D19-7-1, Interpretation of the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Liquor Outlets and Bars

Liquor outlets and bars must be closed while in port. Under no circumstances should liquor be given or sold to visiting Canadian residents, shore personnel, or stevedoring personnel while the ship is in port.

While 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 requesting permission to open bars must be submitted to the FPOA inbox at the beginning of the season. This letter must include the bar location, the time it will be open, and, once suitably endorsed by the CBSA, will act as standing authority to open these bars, while in port, for the entire season. For any amendments to the original request, or if special circumstances exist that require additional bars to be open, another letter must be submitted to the CBSA.

The CBSA will conduct spot checks to ensure compliance and this privilege will be revoked if any bar is open without permission or if any Canadian resident visitor, shore personnel, or stevedoring personnel is served in a bar. In addition, monetary penalties may be assessed to the cruise line.

Shore Staff and Visitors to Ship

Cruise line representatives, port agents, contractors, stevedoring, or longshore staff and anyone else who has access to the ship, including friends and family members of onboard passengers, are subject to examination by the CBSA and must be prepared to open any bags/boxes of goods if requested to do so by an officer. Gifts received from crew or passengers may be subject to duty and taxes and must be declared to the CBSA. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products are not eligible as gifts, are subject to full duty and taxes, and will be seized if not declared to the CBSA. There will be no liquor consumption on board the ship unless attending an official ship function.

It is recommended that the Notice to Contractors and Notice to Shore Staff and Visitors to Ship contained in the appendices be distributed accordingly by the cruise lines.

Note: When a cruise ship picks up and discharges passengers (visitors, agents) between Canadian ports, the ship is performing “coasting trade” and the provisions of the Coasting Trade Act apply. The ship must apply for a coasting trade license to be able to carry these passengers between points in Canada. Additional information on Coasting Trade Licences can be found in Memorandum D3-5-7, Temporary Importation of Vessels.

If an agent is carried as part of the crew or staff under contract or engaged on the business of the ship, then he/she is not considered a passenger and the Coasting Trade Act would not apply for this circumstance. In the absence of such a contract, the agent is considered a passenger and a coasting trade licence would be required.

Crew

Notice to Crew

The Notice to Crew contained in the appendices provides guidelines to crew members regarding Canadian regulations and CBSA procedures.

All crew must be prepared to give a truthful and complete declaration at the FPOA. A Form E311, Declaration Card must be completed, in addition to Form BSF552, Crew’s Effects Declaration, by all repatriating crew. To prevent delays in passenger processing and clearance, all crew members must remain on board until an officer has authorized their disembarkation. It is recommended that the Notice to Crew be distributed accordingly by the cruise lines.

Members of Crew and Immigration Requirements

Spouses/family of officers/crew are not considered to be crew members unless they have a specific function directly related to the running of the ship. Spouses/family must be indicated on the Passenger Manifest and must fulfill the same immigration requirements as any other passenger (obtain applicable visas, etc.) for entry to Canada.

Members of the crew who will be going ashore and will be providing services on Canadian soil (e.g., tour guides, lecturers, expedition leaders, staff members who attend on shore excursions to provide passenger assistance) may require Labour Market Impact Assessments and/or work permits. It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that they are properly documented prior to seeking entry to Canada. Being improperly documented could result in being found inadmissible to Canada.

Note: Even if a passenger or crew member does not intend to go ashore while the vessel is in port, they are still required to comply with applicable visa, document and passport requirements.

Repatriation

The vessel will provide the CBSA with a list of all repatriating crew prior to or upon arrival at the FPOA.

Note: Repatriating crew may not disembark during passenger disembarkation unless prior permission has been received from the CBSA (e.g., early flight out of Canada).

All crew that is repatriating at the FPOA, or will repatriate at subsequent Canadian ports, must complete a Form E311, Declaration Card and present themselves to a CBSA officer at the FPOA. Upon presentation to an officer, repatriating crew members must have with them their Form E311, passport and/or Seaman’s Book, and flight confirmation (ticket, electronic confirmation).

Note: In instances where the crew repatriation takes place at a port of call subsequent to the FPOA, the CBSA may request that the repatriating crew members present themselves to an officer when they disembark the ship.

All repatriating crew members must leave Canada by the end of the prescribed period. A CBSA officer will interview crew members requesting a longer stay. Extensions are not guaranteed and will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Early notification of an extension request is essential. The transporter must record all crew repatriation information and provide it in writing on the request of the officer. The repatriating crew members have 72 hours to leave Canada from the moment they cease to be members of the crew.

Crew members must leave Canada within 72 hours of being discharged, otherwise they may be considered as having deserted. Cruise lines will be liable to pay a Can$25,000 security deposit for each crew deserter. An administration fee of Can$3,200 will be assessed against the cruise line and deducted from the security. The remainder of the security will be held until the crew member is either removed or admitted to Canada. Additional information can be found in ENF 17 - Maritimes Procedures.

Emergency repatriations: If an unscheduled (e.g., family emergency) crew repatriation is to take place at a subsequent Canadian port of call, the cruise ship must immediately notify the CBSA at the FPOA and the CBSA office closest to the port where the repatriation will take place. Arrangements must be made for the CBSA to process the repatriating crew member. If the place where the unscheduled repatriation takes place is not designated as a CSO, cost-recovery charges may be assessed.

Hospitalization / Medical Leave

A crew member leaving the vessel for medical reasons has 72 hours after release from hospital to return to the vessel or leave Canada. The master needs to report only those crew members whose hospitalization will continue after the vessel’s departure. This information is to be sent to the CBSA at the FPOA and to the nearest CBSA office if the hospitalization takes place at a subsequent port of call. Transporters are liable for the medical and hospital costs incurred with respect to their crew members.

Crew Transfers

If crew members are being transferred to another vessel in Canada, they must do so within 48 hours of arriving in Canada. Longer stays must be pre-arranged with the CBSA. If, for any reason, a crew member is unable to join a vessel in Canada within 48 hours or leave Canada within 72 hours, the port agent must notify the CBSA at the FPOA.

Joining Crew

Crew joining the ship at the FPOA may board the vessel only after CBSA personnel have granted clearance and the boarding CBSA officers have disembarked the vessel.

Crew Bars

Crew bars are strictly off-limits to visiting Canadian residents, cruise line shore staff, stevedoring staff, and service company personnel. As well, all slot machines in crew bars must have their power shut off while the ship is in port. Alcoholic beverages (including wine and beer) are not to be served to anyone other than ship’s crew in crew bars. Any violation of these conditions will result in monetary penalties as well as crew bars being sealed while in port.

Shore Leave

Crew members may disembark any time after vessel clearance has been granted. Crew must present their ship identification to the CBSA and be aware that every time they disembark the ship they are subject to examination. Any crew member without proper identification (poor picture, using another crew member’s ID) will be asked to return to the ship and will have their shore leave cancelled. Any items to be left in Canada (gifts, etc.) including goods to be repaired in Canada must be declared to the CBSA. Failure to declare such items may result in seizure action.

If any crew member does not return to the vessel prior to departure, the ship/agent must immediately inform the CBSA at the FPOA and the nearest CBSA office if the shore leave took place at a subsequent port of call.

General Information

Health Concerns

Any health problems on board must be reported to the Canadian Coast Guard 48 hours in advance of the ship’s arrival as well as to the local port agent. The ship’s agent is responsible for notifying the CBSA of any illnesses and/or deaths on board the ship.

Emergency Hospitalization/Medical Leave of Passengers

When a passenger requires emergency disembarkation from the vessel prior to the FPOA to be transported to a Canadian hospital, the ship’s agent or cruise ship operator must immediately notify the nearest CBSA office and the CBSA at the expected FPOA.

When a passenger is disembarked from the vessel after the FPOA and transported to a Canadian hospital, the ship’s agent or cruise ship operator must notify the CBSA office at the last port of call in Canada if the passenger has not rejoined the vessel by that time.

General Disembarkation Procedures

It is essential that the ship organize the disembarkation of passengers in an orderly and efficient manner. It is suggested that disembarkation be staggered to prevent congestion on the gangway.

Note: It is the responsibility of port agents and shore representatives to ensure that the exits from the CBSA area are kept clear at all times. Failure to do so may, in turn, delay the clearance of passengers.

Foreign National Passenger Clearance

The following persons do not require a passport to enter Canada; however, they must provide sufficient documentation to establish their identity and citizenship:

Foreign nationals from any other country are required to have a valid passport.

Temporary Resident Visas and Other Required Documents

Foreign nationals from specified countries require a TRV to travel to Canada.

TRVs may be issued for a single entry to Canada or for multiple entries. All visa applicants are now automatically considered for a multiple-entry visa. The visa officer reviewing the visa application may issue a multiple-entry TRV even if the application is for a single-entry visa. TRVs are issued only at Canadian visa offices outside of Canada. Foreign nationals who require a TRV must apply for the TRV and any other required documents (e.g. work permit) at a visa office abroad. They should apply to the visa office that serves their country of nationality or the country where they have been legally admitted for at least one year, well in advance of their travel dates.

When requested by an officer, every person seeking to enter Canada must appear for an examination. Foreign nationals requiring a TRV to travel to Canada are to appear personally for examination if requested by an 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. Any crew members requiring a work permit must also appear for examination by the CBSA. If all the necessary admissibility and eligibility requirements are met, the work permit will be issued at the FPOA.

Single-Entry TRVs: Foreign nationals who enter Canada on a single-entry TRV will have their visa validated on entry. Single-entry TRVs remain valid for re-entry into Canada if the traveller visited the territory or territorial waters of the U.S. or the islands of St. Pierre et Miquelon. Single-entry TRV holders on cruise ships touring or transiting U.S. or St. Pierre et Miquelon waters will not be required to obtain a new TRV to re-enter Canada, even if there is incidental transit through international waters.

To expedite the entry of large numbers of passengers, the cruise ship’s official and/or ship’s agent will collect the passports/travel documents of all TRV-required foreign nationals. When the vessel arrives in Canada, these documents will be presented to the CBSA officer for examination. The officer will review the passports/travel documents, and may request to see any passenger or crew member for examination when further information is required.

Foreign nationals who will be working while in Canada may require additional documents (e.g. work permit) that could involve a separate application and additional processing time. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (updated weekly) provides information on the application processing times (by visa office) for temporary residence documents, including work permits. Be advised that processing times are subject to change.

Note: Even if a passenger does not intend to go ashore while the vessel is in port, they are still required to comply with applicable visa, document and passport requirements.

All individuals seeking to enter Canada are required to remain on board the vessel until CBSA processing is complete.

As U.S. and Canadian admissibility requirements differ, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website should be consulted to obtain information pertaining to U.S. entry requirements.

International Waste Inspections

The CBSA is responsible for controlling and monitoring the disposal of international waste at all Canadian seaports in accordance with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) International Waste Directive. Cruise ships are subject to inspection fees for international waste inspections performed by the CBSA which are collected in accordance with the CBSA’s Schedule of Inspection Fees.

Cruise ships are permitted to discharge waste at all CFIA-approved marine ports in Canada. If the port is not also designated as a CSO, ship’s representatives must contact the local CBSA operation to obtain permission to discharge waste at a non-CSO-designated marine port.

The following procedures for the disposal of waste from cruise vessels apply to arrivals in Canada.

For cruise ships that sail exclusively Canadian and continental U.S. waters for the season:

Upon first arrival in Canada, all cruise ships will be presumed to be carrying international waste regardless of their locker and galley contents. CBSA officers at the FPOA will conduct an initial inspection to assess the vessel’s compliance with CFIA regulations. After examination, a Notice of Inspection will be provided to the vessel stating what the risk level will be for its next entry into Canada. If the vessel is deemed low risk, waste can be treated as domestic upon its next arrival. However, if the vessel continues to be deemed high risk for non-compliance, CBSA officers will board again on the next visit to verify that compliance has been met. Until compliance is met, the vessel’s waste will be treated as high risk. Once the cruise ship's waste is considered domestic, the CBSA will issue a letter to that effect for the ship.

To ensure verification is conducted on board vessels, agents may make prior arrangements with local CBSA management to schedule international waste inspections.

For all other cruise ships:

All cruise ships will be considered to be carrying international waste upon their arrival in Canada and are subject to inspection by the CBSA. Cruise ships intending to offload international waste must advise the appropriate CBSA inbox in advance and will require authorization from the CBSA prior to discharge. This authorization will be granted at the FPOA. The CBSA PAN has been modified to allow marine vessel operators to request advance permission to offload international waste.

International waste may only be offloaded with the authorization of a CBSA officer and where CFIA-approved routes and disposal facilities exist. The following ports in Canada are approved to accept international waste:

Atlantic Region

Quebec Region

Northern Ontario Region

Pacific Region

Waste may not be removed from ships at any other port in Canada, except for those ships that have been deemed low risk. If you have any questions or would like to book an inspection, please contact the CBSA Marine Superintendent.

Administrative Monetary Penalty System

The Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) sets out monetary penalties for contraventions of, or failure to comply with, the Customs Act, Customs Tariff, and any regulations under these Acts including contraventions of the terms and conditions of licensing agreements and undertakings. AMPS is a sanction regime that authorizes the CBSA to issue civil monetary penalties for the violation of CBSA’s trade and border legislation in the commercial stream. The purpose of AMPS is to provide the CBSA with a means to deter non-compliance by its clients.

This penalty system largely replaces the use of seizure and forfeiture provisions for technical infractions. Seizure and ascertained forfeiture will only be used for the most serious offences. This penalty system imposes monetary penalties in proportion to the type, frequency, and severity of the infraction. Most penalties are graduated and will take the compliance history of the client into consideration.

Service Animals

The CBSA inspects certificates for service animals on board cruise ships, and approves their entry into Canada. Additional information can be found in Travelling with animals.

Weather Notifications

The cruise ship’s Agent must notify the CBSA of any weather-related delays and cancellations at the earliest opportunity.

Outward Paperwork Recapitulation

Document Number of Hard Copies Required by the CBSA
A6, General Declaration Outward Report 1 original plus 2 copies
E1, Ship Stores Declaration 1 copy
E667/E668, Cross Border Currency Reporting or Monetary Instruments Reports (as required) 1 copy

Note: The ship’s operator or agent may request that extra copies of the above documents be stamped by the CBSA for the ship’s records, with the exception of the currency report.

List of Forms and Publications

Transportation Company Obligations
A6, General Declaration
A6A, Freight/Cargo Manifest
A8A-B, Cargo Control Document
B3-3, Canada Customs Coding Form
BSF136, Cruise Ship Pre-Arrival Notice
BSF552, Crew’s Effects Declaration
BSF800, Goods to be Landed List
C47, Application for Vessel Temporary Admission to the Coasting Trade of Canada
CE311, Translation of the CBSA Declaration Card
D3-5-1, Marine Pre-load/Pre-arrival and Reporting Requirements
D3-5-7, Temporary Importation of Vessels
E1, Ship Stores Declaration
E63-1, Cruise Vessel Passenger and Crew Arrivals
E311, Declaration Card
E667, Cross-Border Currency or Monetary Instruments Report — General
E677, Cross Border Currency or Monetary Instruments Report – Individual
E668, Cross Border Currency or Monetary Instruments Report Made by Person in Charge of Conveyance
IMO FAL 5, Crew List

Notice to Crew

This document is also available in PDF (474 Kb) [help with PDF files]

Welcome to Canada

You are responsible for making yourself aware of all rules/laws when entering Canada. More detailed information can be found on the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Web site at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.

Please be advised that the following regulations are in effect while you are in port:

If you have any questions about CBSA regulations, please feel free to ask a CBSA officer for assistance.

Notice to Contractors

This document is also available in PDF (474 Kb) [help with PDF files]

All persons who provide service to the cruise ships in port must adhere to the following Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) procedures:

If you have any questions or require special arrangements to provide your services to the ships, please do not hesitate to contact the CBSA Superintendent in charge.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Notice to Shore Staff and Visitors to Ship

This document is also available in PDF (349 Kb) [help with PDF files]

Please be advised that the following Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) procedures are in effect while the ships are in port:

Shore staff

Visitors

If you have any questions about these procedures, please feel free to consult the CBSA Superintendent in charge.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Date modified: