ARCHIVED – Backgrounder — Tougher Penalties for Ship Owners and Operators who Fail to Comply with Canada’s Marine Security Legislation

The Marine Transportation Security Act (MTSA) provides the Minister of Transport with the authority to put in place measures to protect the security of the marine transportation system. As part of the overall approach to combat human smuggling, the Government of Canada has amended the MTSA.

Under the pre-existing MTSA, certain type and size vessels bound for Canada had to file pre-arrival information at a certain time before entering Canadian waters.

The MTSA now includes increased penalties for failing to provide pre-arrival information before a vessel enters Canadian waters. These measures also increase penalties for failing to comply with ministerial directions and for persons who provide false or misleading information.

As well, the MTSA currently provides the Minister of Transport with the authority to direct any vessel to remain outside Canadian waters, to proceed out of Canada or to proceed to a place as specified by the Minister when there are reasonable grounds to believe the vessel may pose a security threat. The Act now provides stiffer penalties for individuals and corporations who fail to comply with a Ministerial direction. The new legislation also introduces the concept of subsequent offences. In other words, repeat offenders will be subject to higher fines.

The changes also authorize the making of regulations that will enhance the Department of Transport’s ability to share information on vessels of interest with federal departments and agencies that have mandates to ensure the safety or security of Canada or Canadians.

Marine security is an important component of overall transportation security. The Government of Canada is committed to working with its partners, to ensure that Canada’s marine transportation system remains one of the safest and most secure in the world.

Enhanced Penalties and Information Sharing under the Marine Transportation Security Act

The table below outlines the changes to the MTSA as part of the action surrounding the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act.

Failure to File Pre-Arrival Information

 

Under the previous regime

Under the new legislation

On conviction of indictment:

Individual

N/A

A fine not exceeding $75,000 and/or a prison term not exceeding one year

On summary conviction:

Individual

A fine not exceeding $5,000 and/or a prison term not exceeding six months

A fine not exceeding $50,000 and/or a prison term not exceeding six months

Failure to Comply with Ministerial Direction

 

Under the previous regime

Under the new legislation

On conviction of indictment:

Individual

A fine not exceeding $10,000 and/or to a prison term not exceeding one year

A fine not exceeding $200,000 and/or a prison term not exceeding one year, and for any subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $500,000 and/or imprisonment for a term of not more than two years

Corporation

A fine not exceeding $200,000

A fine not exceeding $500,000, and for any subsequent offence, a fine of not more than $1,000,000

On summary conviction:

Individual

A fine not exceeding $5,000 and/or to imprisonment not exceeding six months

A fine up to $100,000 and/or a prison term not exceeding six months, and for any subsequent offence, a fine of up to $200,000 and/or imprisonment for a term of not more than one year

Corporation

A fine not exceeding $100,000

A fine not exceeding $250,000 and for any subsequent offence, a fine of up to $500,000.

Vessel

N/A

A fine not exceeding $100,000, and for any subsequent offence to a fine of not more than $200,000

Providing False or Misleading Information

 

Under the previous regime

Under the new legislation

On conviction of indictment:

Individual

A fine up to $10,000 and/or up to a year in jail

A fine up to $200,000 and/or up to one year in jail and a fine up to $500,000 and/or up to two years in jail for any subsequent offences

Corporation

A fine up to $200,000

A fine up to $500,000 and a fine up to $1,000,000 for any subsequent offences

On summary conviction:

Individual

A fine up to $5,000 and/or up to 6 months in jail

A fine up to $100,000 and/or up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to $200,000 and/or up to a year in jail for any subsequent offences

Corporation

A fine up to $100,000

A fine up to $250,000 and up to $500,000 fine for any subsequent offences

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