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

To request a document, please see Contact Us.

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.

Ship Sanitation Inspection requests are received during normal business hours, Monday – Friday, 0800 - 1600 local time. Any requests submitted outside of normal business hours will be received at the start of the next business day.

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

Ship Sanitation Inspection Request form

Ship Sanitation Inspection Request

Invoicing Information

Vessel Details

Service Request

For Canadian Coast Guard add:

Authorized Ports

Under the International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR 2005), Canada is required to send to the World Health Organization (WHO) a list of all ports authorized to issue Ship Sanitation Certificates and Extensions to the Ship Sanitation Certificates. For a list of all ports authorized to issue Ship Sanitation Certificates, please visit: Minimizing health risks at airports, ports and ground crossings (who.int)

Standard Ports

The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified seven authorized Canadian ports at which Ship Sanitation Inspections and certificates are available during daylight hours seven days a week.  These are referred to as ‘standard ports’. The Ship Sanitation Control Certificates are available at any port, identified by the Public Health Agency of Canada as standard and listed by the World Health Organization. Ships can choose the port to obtain a certificate at any time within the six month period. The issuance of a certificate requires a full inspection of the ship by a qualified EHO.

For weekday service one (1) business day’s notice is required. For weekend and statutory holiday service two (2) business days’ notice is required. Requests for inspections that are received without the minimum advanced notification time may still be completed, if resources are available.  A 25% surcharge will be added to the fee for inspections conducted on short notice.

The seven standard ports are,

  • St. John's, Newfoundland
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Saint John, New Brunswick
  • Quebec, Quebec
  • Montreal, Quebec (including. Sorel)
  • Toronto, Ontario (including Hamilton)
  • Vancouver, British Columbia

Non-Standard Ports

All other authorized Canadian ports will continue to be categorized as non-standard and may provide inspections and certificates if resources are available during daylight hours seven days a week, 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.

Three (3) business days’ notice is requested for any inspections at non-standard ports in order to accommodate resourcing and travel requirements. A 25% surcharge will be added to the fee for inspections conducted on short notice.

PHAC commits to providing a cost estimate to the requestor (e.g. a ship’s master or maritime shipping agent) within 1 business day of receiving the weekday request and 2 business days of receiving a weekend request for inspections at non-standard seaports.

Extensions

According to the Handbook for the inspection of ships and issuance of ship sanitation certificates (World Health Organization, 2011), Ship Sanitation Certificates are valid for a maximum of six months. This period may be extended by one month if the inspection or control measures required cannot be accomplished at the port. The ship's master or maritime shipping agent may request a 30 day extension to an existing ship sanitation certificate. If the extension certificate can be issued, it will be issued within 1 business day of the request.

An extension may be granted up to 30 days before the expiry date of the existing Ship Sanitation Certificate. However, the Ship Sanitation Certificate cannot be extended for longer than 30 days after the expiry date.

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 certificate upon completion of inspection
Service standard
PHAC commits to providing a ship sanitation certificate for ship sanitation inspections within 1 business day of the inspection completion time for all standard and non-standard inspections.
Performance indicator
The indicator is % of certificates provided within the service standard.
Performance target
The target for achieving this standard is set at 90%.
Performance results for 2020-2021
In Fiscal Year 2020-2021 (April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021), PHAC provided certificates for 100% of ship sanitation inspections within the service standard.
2. Service standard for providing an invoice for services rendered
Service standard
PHAC commits to sending the invoice for ship sanitation inspections within 20 business days of the inspection date for all standard and non-standard inspections.
Performance indicator
The indicator is % of invoices sent within the service standard.
Performance target
The target for achieving this standard is set at 90%.
Performance results for 2020-2021
In Fiscal Year 2020-2021 (April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021), PHAC sent 92% of invoices within the service standard.
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 2020-2021
In Fiscal Year 2020-2021 (April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021), PHAC issued 100% of 30 day extension certificates requested.

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 2020-21
Fee amount
2021-22
Fee amount
2022-23
Adjusted fee amount Footnote 1
Ship Sanitation Certificate - Standard Port $782.34 $780.78 $807.33
Ship Sanitation Certificate -
Non-standard Port
$782.34
plus overtime and travel
$780.78
plus overtime and travel
$807.33 plus overtime and travel
Ship Sanitation Certificate - standard Port - Short-Notice $977.16 $975.21 $1,008.37
Ship Sanitation Certificate -
Non-standard Port - Short-Notice
$977.16
plus overtime and travel
$975.21
plus overtime and travel
$1,008. 37
plus overtime and travel
Ship Sanitation Certificate - Extension of Existing Certificate $160.14 $159.82 $165.25
Footnote a

The "Adjusted fee amount" is the new amount of the fee in 2022-23, 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 1 referrer

Public Health Agency of Canada Ship Sanitation Inspection Remission Policy

Remissions for Service Fees

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, under the Traveling Public Program (TPP). These inspections are conducted on request, and on a cost recovery basis. In accordance with the Service Fees Act, and the Treasury Board Directive on Charging and Special Financial Authorities, each of these fees are subject to achievement of stated service standards for which remissions are to be made to fee-payers where the service standards are not fully achieved under normal circumstances.

Yearly performance results are available in the PHAC annual Fees Report that can be found at the following link: Fees Reports - Canada.ca

This policy explains how PHAC refunds fees when service standards are not met.

This document is to be read in conjunction with Health Canada's Remission Policy for Missed Service Standards pursuant to the Service Fees Act.

On this page

  1. Effective date
  2. Application
  3. Service Standards
  4. Remission criteria
  5. Notification and issuance of remissions
  6. Exclusions
  7. Role of the fee-payer
  8. Dispute resolution
  9. Periodic review
  10. Glossary of terms
  11. Appendix I – Service standard 2 and remission calculations
  12. Appendix II – Service standards 1 and 3 and remission calculations in hours

1. Effective date

  • 1.1 The Public Health Agency of Canada Travelling Public Program Remission Policy takes effect on 1 April 2022.
  • 1.2 This policy applies to a request for service received on or after 1 April 2022.

2. Application

  • 2.1 This policy applies to fees administered by PHAC that are subject to section 7 of the Service Fees Act, which are fixed pursuant to subsection 6(1) of the Department of Health Act.
  • 2.2 This policy applies to the reimbursement ("remission") to a fee-payer of the portion of a fee paid in respect of a service for which PHAC determines the service standard was not met.
  • 2.3 For all standard and non-standard port inspection service fees, this policy applies only after the inspection has been completed.
  • 2.4 For extension service fees, this policy applies only after all relevant information are received by PHAC TPP, and all requirements for an extension are met.

3. Service Standards

Service standards publicly state the level of performance that can reasonably be expected under normal circumstances. Service standards allow PHAC to clarify expectations related to the service prior to undertaking work. For more information on service standards please see the Travelling Public Program home page. The following is a list of categories of our service standards for Ship Sanitation Control Certificates and extensions to valid certificates:

1. Service standard for providing a certificate upon completion of inspection
Service standard
PHAC commits to providing a ship sanitation certificate for ship sanitation inspections within 1 business day of the inspection completion time for all standard and non-standard inspections.
2. Service standard for providing an invoice for services rendered
Service standard
PHAC commits to sending the invoice for ship sanitation inspections within 20 business days of the inspection date for all standard and non-standard inspections.
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.

4. Remission criteria

PHAC uses the following criteria to determine whether a remission is to be issued to a fee-payer, and if so, in what amount. This amount is based on the proportion by which the standard has not been met:

  • 4.1 A remission may be triggered when the service standard is missed by at least 10%.
  • 4.2 When a remission is triggered, the remission rate will be determined by a formula equal to the percentage by which the service standard was missed, to a maximum of 25%.
  • 4.3 The remission amount will be calculated by multiplying the remission rate by the total fee for the affected service.
  • 4.4 Remission amounts will be rounded down to the nearest dollar.

Refer to Appendix I and II for details on service standards, remission rates and sample remission amount calculations.

5. Notification and issuance of remissions

  • 5.1 When a service standard in relation to a fee is not met under normal circumstances, the fee-payer is eligible for a remission and PHAC will undertake a reasonable effort to notify the fee-payer.
  • 5.2 Fee payers who may be entitled to a remission are not required to apply. Processing times for the service standard are tracked by PHAC.
  • 5.3 Once the remission amount for the affected service is known, PHAC will automatically remit that amount to the fee-payer, in the form of a credit, no later than July 1 of the following fiscal year.
  • 5.4 Fee-payers reserve the right to decline any remissions to which they are eligible. If a fee-payer wishes to exercise this right, they must do so in writing to the Director of the Office of Conveyances, Centre for Border and Travel Health, at tpp-ppv@phac-aspc.gc.ca specifying whether they wish to decline a particular remission and/or any potential future remissions.
  • 5.5 As per section 4.2.4.3 of the Treasury Board Directive on Charging and Special Financial Authorities and Health Canada's Remission Policy, interest will not be applied or paid for remissions made.

6. Exclusions

In the following circumstances, PHAC reserves the right (as per section 4.2.4.1 of the Treasury Board Directive on Charging and Special Financial Authorities) to rescind or reduce a remission:

  • 6.1 When service standards are not met due to unforeseen or extraordinary circumstances beyond PHAC's control such as acts of nature that require the removal of personnel or prevent personnel from accessing their workplace (e.g. floods, power failures, etc.) or disruptions that prevent the delivery of services.
  • 6.2 When service standards for ship sanitation inspection requests are not met due to reasons beyond PHAC's control such as delays with shipping agents or a ship's captain in completing their portion of the work. Any delays within the fee payer's control that result in not meeting a service standard constitute ineligibility for a remission. Examples include:
    • Incorrect billing information provided by the fee payer
    • Inaccurate or incomplete information provided by the fee payer

7. Role of the fee-payer

  • 7.1 Fee-payers must notify PHAC TPP officials of any changes in contact and/or billing information to ensure timely service delivery and the issuance of remissions.

8. Dispute resolution

  • 8.1 If a fee-payer wishes to dispute any aspect of a requested service as it relates to this policy, then the fee-payer can submit their claim, in writing, to the Director of the Office of Conveyances, Centre for Border and Travel Health at tpp-ppv@phac-aspc.gc.ca. The fee-payer shall include a summary of the reasons for their claim and any other relevant supporting documentation.
  • 8.2 The Director of PHAC TPP shall conduct an internal review of the claim, and will communicate the final decision to the fee-payer, in writing, no later than 20 business days after the claim is received.

9. Periodic review

  • 9.1 In accordance with the requirements of subsection 4.2.7 of the Treasury Board Directive on Charging and Special Financial Authorities, PHAC will periodically review this remission policy in conjunction with the review of its associated service standards.

10. Glossary of terms

  • 10.1 Business Day: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and does not include days on which general holidays designated in the Canada Labour Code fall. For a list of general holidays in Canada, see General holidays.
  • 10.2 Fee-Payer: The fee-payer is the "affected person who paid the fee" referred to in section 7.1 of the Service Fees Act.
  • 10.3 Fiscal Year: The period beginning on April 1 in one year and ending on March 31 in the next year.
  • 10.4 Service Standard: A public commitment to provide a service, product, or conferral of rights and privileges in a way that is measurable and relevant to the fee-payer under normal circumstances. The "performance standard" referred to in the Service Fees Act is the equivalent of a service standard.
  • 10.5 Total Fee: The fee calculated by PHAC in relation to a service MINUS any portion of that fee returned to the fee-payer due to services not rendered. In the case of a fee where a tax is applied and collected the total fee refers to the pre-tax amount.

11. Appendix I – Service standard 2 and remission calculations

The following table lists the minimum number of additional days in excess of the service standard for providing an invoice for services needed to trigger a remission (as per section 4.1), the applicable minimum remission rate, and the total number of additional days in excess of the service standard needed to reach the remission maximum.

10 Appendix I – Service standards and remission calculations
Service Standard
("…within # business days")
# Additional Days Needed to Trigger a RemissionTable 1, Footnote 1 Minimum Remission Rate # Additional Days Needed to Reach 25% Remission Maximum
20 2 (22 Days total) 10% 5 (25 Days total)
Footnote 1

Please note that service standards are always measured as "whole" business days. Therefore, when applying the 10% minimum threshold, the "# Additional Days Needed to Trigger a Remission" is always rounded up to the nearest whole number.

Return to table 1, footnote 1 referrer

Sample Calculations: The service standard to send an invoice for a Ship Sanitation Certificate is 20 business days. In fiscal year 2020-2021, the cost for a Ship Sanitation Certificate – Standard Port – Short Notice is $977.16.

  • A remission will not be triggered until the actual number of business days used by PHAC to review the affected service reaches 22 business days (20 business days + 10%).
  • Based on the above table, the minimum remission amount for this type of service is 10% of $977.16, or $97.00 ($97.72 rounded down to the nearest dollar).
  • The remission amount will reach its maximum when the actual number of days used by PHAC to review the affected servicereaches 25 business days or more (20 days + 25%). The maximum remission amount will be 25% of $977.16 = $244.00 ($244.29 rounded down to the nearest dollar).
  • When the actual number of days used by PHAC to review the affected service is between the minimum and the maximum, the following formula will be used to determine the remission rate:

[(Actual Number of Days - Service Standard) / Service Standard] x 100

  • In order to simplify remission amount calculations, the remission rate resulting from the above formula will always be rounded up to the nearest whole percentage.
  • Applying this to the above example, if the 20 business days service standard is missed by 3 business days (23 total business days), then the remission rate will be [(23 days – 20 days)/20 days] x100 = 15%. The remission amount is 15% of $977.16 = $147.00 ($147.57 rounded down to the nearest dollar).

12. Appendix II – Service standards 1 and 3 and remission calculations in hours

The following table lists the minimum number of additional hours in excess of the service standard for providing a certificate upon completion of inspection and for providing extensions to existing certificates needed to trigger a remission (as per section 4.1), the applicable minimum remission rate, and the total number of additional days in excess of a service standard needed to reach the remission maximum.
10 Appendix II – Service standards 1 and 3 and remission calculations
Service Standard
("…within 1 business day")
# Additional Hours Needed to Trigger a RemissionTable 2, Footnote 1 Minimum Remission RateTable 2, Footnote 2 # Additional Hours Needed to Reach 25% Remission Maximum
24 Hours 3 (27 Hours total) 13% 6 (30 Hours total)
Variable/Negotiated To be calculated on an service by service basis
Footnote 1

Please note that service standards are always measured as "whole" days or "whole" hours. Therefore, when applying the 10% minimum threshold, the "# Additional Hours Needed to Trigger a Remission" is always rounded up to the nearest hour (for example, 10% of 24 hours is 2.4 hours, rounded up to 3 hours).

Return to table 2, footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Depending upon the service standard, rounding up to the nearest hour may cause the actual minimum remission rate to be greater than 10%. In these cases, the minimum remission rate is rounded up to the nearest whole number in order to simplify remission amount calculations.

Return to table 2, footnote 2 referrer

Sample Calculations: The service standard for issuing a Ship Sanitation Certificate - Extension of Existing Certificate is 1 business day or 24 hours. In fiscal year 2020-2021, the cost for this service is $160.14.

  • A remission will not be triggered until the actual number of hours used by PHAC to review the affected service reaches 27 hours (24 hours + 10% rounded up to the nearest hour). 27 hours is equal to 12.5% {[(27-24)/24] x 100} over the missed service standard. This is rounded up to the nearest whole percentage of 13% to determine the minimum remission rate.
  • Based on the above table, the minimum remission amount for this type of service is 13% of $160.14 = $20.00 ($20.82 rounded down to the nearest dollar).
  • The remission amount will reach its maximum when the actual number of days used by PHAC to review the affected service reaches 30 hours (24 hours + 25%).
  • The maximum remission amount will be 25% of $160.14 = $40.00 ($40.04 rounded down to the nearest dollar).
  • When the actual number of hours used by PHAC to provide a certificate upon completion of inspection or to provide an extension to an existing certificate is between the minimum and the maximum, the following formula will be used to determine the remission rate:

[(Actual Number of Hours - Service Standard) / Service Standard] x 100

  • In order to simplify remission amount calculations, the remission rate resulting from the above formula will always be rounded up to the nearest whole percentage.
  • Applying this to the above example, if the 24 hour service standard is missed by 5 hours (29 total hours), then the remission rate will be [(29 hours – 24 hours)/24 hours] x 100 = 21% (20.833% rounded up to the nearest whole percentage). The remission amount is 21% of $160.14 = $33.00 ($33.63 rounded down to the nearest dollar).

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.

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. For information related to travel and border restrictions please visit: to COVID-19 travel please visit: COVID-19 Travel: Checklists for requirements and exemptions.

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

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