New U.S.-Canada
Small-vessel Agreement

Randy Woods Boating Business

After several years of working together to align the regulatory environment for small vessels, the governments of the United States and Canada have both agreed to adopt the standards set by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC).

Yacht in Victoria Inner Harbor

Motoring through Victoria’s inner harbor, en route to the San Juans.

On Oct. 30, Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security (TCMSS) accepted ABYC standards as an “approved alternative method” for small-vessel compliance in Canada.

This joint policy applies to pleasure craft not more than 24 meters in length and vessels, other than pleasure craft, displacing not more than 15 gross metric tons, that are manufactured, built, rebuilt, or imported for use in Canada.

According to ABCY, the new set of standards will “streamline and simplify” efforts to design, certify, and produce boating products in the U.S. and Canada. “Having one set of standards throughout North America is a huge benefit for engineering, manufacturing, and trade for the marine industry,” said Craig Scholten, ABYC’s technical vice president.

TCMSS said it will accept the equivalent standards published by ABYC but added that there will be some minor Canadian modifications. For more details from about these differences, please visit the Transport Canada website.

Scholten also said ABYC will remain active in international compliance support and “continues to broaden the harmonizing of ABYC standards around the world.”

Randy Woods

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