Travelling Public Program

The Travelling Public Program (TPP) protects the health of people travelling into and out of Canada by overseeing the provision of safe food and potable water, and maintenance of appropriate sanitation levels on passenger conveyances.

Environmental Health Officers work from seven locations across Canada (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton, Halifax, and St. John's). They conduct public health inspections, assessments and outreach activities for passenger conveyances (airplanes, cruise ships, ferries, buses and trains) and ancillary services (flight kitchens, food caterers, supply depots and terminals); and provide training to partners and conveyance operators carrying persons and cargo.

The TPP oversees water quality on conveyances through the Potable Water on Board Trains, Vessels, Aircraft and Buses Regulations, and oversees food safety on conveyances and in ancillary service facilities through the Food and Drugs Act, on behalf of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Under the Quarantine Act, Environmental Health Officers also have the authority to issue orders to carry out measures to prevent the introduction or spread of a communicable disease on board conveyances entering or departing Canada.

Cruise Ships

Unannounced compliance inspections are conducted on cruise ships entering or departing Canadian waters. The scoring system is based on 41 inspection items with a satisfactory score of 86 points out of a possible 100 points. A score of 85 or lower is considered unsatisfactory and requires a re-inspection within the following month. The need for re-inspection does not mean that the travelling public is exposed to an imminent risk to their health.

Inspection results are available by company:

TPP also administers a gastrointestinal illness (GI) surveillance system for cruise ships entering Canadian waters. If illness onboard is widespread and above key public health thresholds, TPP will respond, investigate the outbreak, and work with the vessel owner and operator to bring the outbreak under control.

Service Standards

TPP is committed to providing services in a prompt, reliable, courteous, and fair manner.

1. Availability

The provision of effective emergency response and public health services is the core of our business. TPP will:

  • provide service during regular business hours, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time in the following Regions:
  • provide emergency response services 24 hours per day, 7 days per week through the Central Notification System (CNS) Emergency Response Line;
  • communicate in the official language of the client's choice; and
  • provide information, upon request, in multiple formats such as audio, E-text and large print to accommodate persons with disabilities.

2. Promptness

Depending on the nature of the enquiry, response times will vary. To ensure prompt service, TPP will strive to:

  • return a phone call to the Central Notification System (CNS) Emergency Response Line within 1 hour if it is not answered immediately;
  • return a non-emergency phone call within 1 business day of receipt;
  • acknowledge receipt or answer an e-mail within 2 business days, and receipt of a letter received by mail or fax within 5 business days;
  • provide a verbal report upon completion of an audit or inspection, and a final report within 5 business days of the audit or inspection;
  • provide the results of a water sample within 10 business days of the sampling event, and the results of an adverse sample immediately; and
  • fill basic public health information requests and orders for readily available documents within 2 business days of receipt, and requests for custom products or services within a mutually agreed-upon time.

Inspection Guidelines and Other Documents

TPP inspection guidelines and other documents detailed below are available upon request:

Conveyances

Ancillary Services

  • Audit and Inspection Guidelines for Terminals
  • Inspection Guidelines for Flight Kitchens
  • Inspection Guidelines for Food Caterers
  • Inspection Guidelines for Supply Depots

Other Documents

  • A Guide to Developing Management Plans for Conveyances
  • Guidelines for Ready-to-Eat Foods on Conveyances
  • Guidelines for Time and Temperature Requirements for Potentially Hazardous Foods on Conveyances

Contact Us

The TPP is committed to working with conveyance operators and the public in a prompt, reliable, courteous and fair manner as detailed in the service standards.

The TPP responds to public health complaints and reports of illness on conveyances and ancillary services, and works with industry, government and international partners to investigate where appropriate.

To request information or documents, or submit your concerns about the public health conditions on a conveyance, please contact the TPP at tpp-ppv@phac-aspc.gc.ca.

Ship Sanitation Inspections (SSI)

As a signatory to the World Health Organization International Health Regulations (2005), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) conducts inspections of international maritime vessels and issues Ship Sanitation Control Certificates and Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificates. These inspections are conducted on request, and on a cost recovery basis.

Maritime shipping agents may request a Ship Sanitation Inspection by completing the following form:

Service standards publicly state the level of performance that can reasonably be expected to encounter under normal circumstances. Service standards allow PHAC to clarify expectations related to the cost of the service prior to undertaking work, and any changes in service costs and rationale for these changes.

The following is a list of categories of our service standards for Ship Sanitation Control Certificates and Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificates:

1. Service standard for providing a cost estimate for requests
Service standard
PHAC commits to providing a cost estimate to the requestor (e.g. a ship's master or maritime shipping agent) within 24 hours of receiving a weekday request and 48 hours of receiving a weekend request for services
Performance indicator
The indicator is % of requests responded to within the service standard
Performance target
The target for achieving this standard is set at 90%
Performance results for 2017-2018
In Fiscal Year 2017-2018 (April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018), PHAC provided cost estimates to 100% of requestors within the service standard
2. Service standard for providing inspections at sea ports in Canada
Service standard
PHAC commits to conducting inspections, depending on availability of resources, during daylight hours at the following standard sea ports in Canada (St. John's, Halifax, Saint John, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and Vancouver). PHAC will also offer services at non-standard sea ports, subject to availability of a PHAC Environmental Health Officer. Extra costs incurred for this service (e.g. overtime and travel) will be added to the standard fee.
Performance indicator
The indicator is % of completed inspections (x inspections completed / requests at ports of entry in Canada)
Performance target
The target for achieving this standard is set at 90%
Performance results for 2017-2018
In Fiscal Year 2017-2018 (April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018), PHAC completed 100% of inspections requested at ports of entry in Canada (x at standard ports and y at non-standard ports).
3. Service standard for providing extensions to existing certificates
Service standard
PHAC commits to issuing a 30 day extension to an existing ship sanitation control certificate, if the inspection or control measures can not be accomplished at the port requested. If the extension certificate can be issued, it will be issued within 1 business day of the request.
Performance indicator
The indicator is % of completed inspections (x extension certificates issued/requests)
Performance target
The target for achieving this standard is set at 90%
Performance results for 2017-2018
In Fiscal Year 2017-2018 (April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018), PHAC issued 100% of 30 day extension certificates requested (x in total).

Fees

Ship Sanitation Inspection Fees are updated annually on April 1st to reflect adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index. The fee schedule is published in the Public Health Agency of Canada Fees Report.

Fees reflect the cost to issue a new certificate or extend an existing one. The cost of travel, overtime and other expenses for inspections at non-standard ports are additional to the published fees on a case-by-case basis. A cost estimate is provided before work commences.

Fee amounts in Canadian dollars
Name of fee 2019-20
Fee amount
2020-21
Fee amount
2021-22
Adjusted fee amount Footnote a
Future fee
amount and
fiscal year Footnote b
Ship Sanitation Certificate - Standard Port $767.00 $782.34 $780.78 Not Applicable
Ship Sanitation Certificate -
Non-Standard Port
$767.00
plus overtime and travel
$782.34
plus overtime and travel
$780.78
plus overtime and travel
Not Applicable
Ship Sanitation Certificate - Standard Port - Short-Notice $958.00 $977.16 $975.21 Not Applicable
Ship Sanitation Certificate -
Non-Standard Port - Short-Notice
$958.50
plus overtime and travel
$977.16
plus overtime and travel
$975.21
plus overtime and travel
Not Applicable
Ship Sanitation Certificate - Extension of Existing Certificate $157.00 $160.14 $159.82 Not Applicable
Footnote a

The "Adjusted fee amount" is the new amount of the fee in 2021-22, adjusted either by the Consumer Price Index rate or by a predetermined rate, in accordance with the authority in legislation or regulation.

Return to footnote a referrer

Footnote b

The "Future fee amount and fiscal year" is the new amount of the fee, in a future fiscal year other than 2021-22, adjusted by a predetermined rate, in accordance with the authority in legislation or regulation.

Return to footnote b referrer

Access to Information

The Access to Information Act provides a right of access to information contained in the federal government record (that is not of a personal nature).

The Privacy Act provides individuals with a right of access to personal information about themselves held by a government institution.

An official request under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act can be directed to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) by submitting an online request, or by mail using the following address:

Public Health Agency of Canada
Access to Information and Privacy Division
Holland Cross, Tower B
7th Floor, Suite 700, Room 741
1600 Scott Street, Address locator: 3107A
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9

Feedback

We accept suggestions, compliments and complaints regarding service delivery. The feedback will help identify service issues and trends, which will ensure professional, consistent and standardized service delivery. If you have any feedback, or have reason to believe that standards have not been adhered to, you are encouraged to contact:

Director, Conveyances, Centre for Border and Travel Health
Public Health Agency of Canada
100 Colonnade Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

E-mail: tpp-ppv@phac-aspc.gc.ca attention Director, Conveyances

We will respond to feedback to investigate complaints within three business days of receipt.

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