Reminder: Coasting Trade Filing Requirements


This notice is to remind all coasting trade licence applicants and offerors of Canadian-registered ships of important steps to follow when filing coasting trade licence applications and related submissions with the Canadian Transportation Agency (the Agency).

Minimum advance notice requirements

  • 30 business days: For all applications – except those proposing to operate oil tankers
  • 8 business days: For applications proposing to operate oil tankers

Why is advance notice for an application important?

Applications should always be filed with the Agency as far in advance as possible of the proposed activity's start date, especially if the case is complex or you anticipate offers from operators of Canadian-registered ships. These minimum advance notice periods:

  • are in accordance with the Coasting Trade Act, which permits foreign ships to temporarily engage in coasting trade in Canadian waters only if no suitable Canadian ship or non-duty paid ship is available to perform the activity described in the application;
  • allow an offeror a reasonably adequate period of time to review the requirements of the application and make an offer of a Canadian-registered ship; and
  • relate to the Agency's process only and do not take into account the process time of other federal departments or agencies to carry out their obligations.

Don't forget to plan for timelines required by other government authorities

Remember to take into account the time required for other relevant federal government authorities to carry out their coasting trade application processes. Information about other key federal agencies and departments that are involved in the coasting trade licence application process, along with their approximate timelines, are found in section 4.6 of the Guidelines Respecting Coasting Trade Licence Applications (the Guidelines). Also be aware that other action may be required to comply with other government laws or regulations that apply to foreign vessels operating in Canadian waters.

Make sure your application or offer are complete and accurate before filing

The Agency has created the Guidelines to help you provide the information you need to include in an application and in the offers. Please refer to these Guidelines to ensure that your submissions are complete and accurate before filing them with the Agency.

Please note: Applications not filed in accordance with the instructions included in the Guidelines may result in processing delays; applications being returned as incomplete; or, if not respecting the minimum advance notice periods, being processed in accordance with the timeframes associated with the minimum advance notice period of 30 days.

Fast-track applications ‒ exceptional circumstances only

The Agency may accept a fast-track application for unforeseen short-term situations where the economic consequences of not performing the activity would have a negative impact on a business or a community. Additional information as detailed in the Guidelines would be required, including:

  • relevant statements from representatives of communities that are or would be negatively impacted as a result of this unforeseen short-term situation; and
  • the names of the operators of Canadian-registered ships who have been contacted before the filing of the application and the results of that communication in terms of potential offers, including suitability and availability of Canadian-registered ships.

Please note: The fast-track application process cannot be used when an applicant has failed to properly plan for an activity that would typically have a longer advance notice period.

Sign up to receive email notification

To receive email notification of when a coasting trade application has been posted on the Agency's website, you are invited to complete a simple online form on the Agency's website by providing your name, organization and email address. You can unsubscribe or change your email contact information at any time.

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The Agency thanks you for your cooperation. If you have any questions or seek a clarification, please contact us at

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