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Technical Information

Technical Information

Vessel Traffic Service

Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) for ships en route to St. John’s is determined by the size, type, nationality, and status of the vessel:

  1. 500 GRT or more receives two levels of service;
    1. offshore VTS (ECAREG)
    2. high-level VTS (St. John's Traffic)
    3. Tankers receive special attention to ensure compliance with special regulations for vessels of that type
    4. Foreign ships, in some instances, will be subject to an External Affairs Clearance and, in all cases except with pleasure craft less than 200 GRT, the vessel will be subject to pilotage requirements in St. John's Harbour
  2. Ships of 500 GRT or vessels transporting pollutants or dangerous cargo, must apply 24 hours prior to entering Canadian waters. Specified in that application are items such as:
    1. Vessel's Name
    2. Call Sign
    3. Master
    4. Destination
    5. ETA
    6. Last Port
    7. Draft
    8. Cargo
    9. Vessel status for conditions that may affect safe passage into Canadian waters
  3. ECAREG CANADA determines if requirements met
  4. When vessel cleared then arrival information passed to St. John's Traffic
  5. Vessel approaching St. John's Traffic Zone Limits is cleared into the zone and brought into a regulating pattern that requires VHF reporting procedures at designated calling-in points
  6. Pilot is dispatched to board vessels subject to compulsory pilotage on the approach to St. John's
  7. Any vessels not subject to the ECAREG Regulations, but which is 20 meters or more in length, must comply with high-level VTS Regulations

Harbour Master

All vessels in waters of the Port of St. John’s shall comply with the practices and procedures of the St. John’s Port Authority (SJPA).  The Port Authority has designated the Harbour Master and its authorized delegates to be the persons responsible for ensuring the adherence to these Practices and Procedures.  Instructions to vessels may be made directly to the vessel by the Harbour Master or through the Canadian Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS), “St. John’s Traffic Centre” on VHF channel 11.

Marine Charts and Publications Regulations

All vessels must have the appropriate package of documents on board to enter any Canadian port. Vessels arriving in Canadian waters without the necessary charts and publications on board may order the appropriate package of charts, etc. in advance through the Pilot Boarding Station of the Port of St. John’s. The package may then be obtained from the Pilot Station upon arrival in port.

Appropriate charts and publications include:

1. Charts  
2. Sailing Directions
3. Tide and Current Tables
4. List of Lights, Buoys, and Fog Signals 
5. Radio Aids to Navigation 
6. Annual Edition of Notices to Mariners 
7. Code of Navigation Practices and Procedures 
8. Catalogue of Nautical Charts and Related Publications

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