Icebreaking services fees

Learn about icebreaking services fees, rates, ice zones and ice seasons, ice class discounts, invoicing and making a payment.

On this page

About our fees

Icebreaking services fees allow the Canadian Coast Guard to recover some of the costs of providing icebreaking services to commercial ships.

These fees apply to all commercial vessels with a gross tonnage of 200 or more that transit an ice zone during the ice season. “Ice zone” refers to that part of Canada in which icebreaking services are available in support of commercial shipping. “Ice season” means the period of time during which icebreaking services are available in each ice zone.

The fee applies:

  • even if there’s no ice at the beginning or end of the season
  • regardless of whether an icebreaker provides direct route assistance

The fee does not apply:

  • to vessel movements within port boundaries
  • to pleasure craft, fishing vessels and government vessels
  • if a vessel stops at a Canadian port for any of the following sole purposes:
    • to bunker
    • to undertake emergency repairs
    • to respond to a medical emergency
    • to respond to a government department or agency request
    • to make an overnight stop required by the seasonal removal of lighted aids to navigation
  • before the start of the ice season or after it ends, regardless of the presence of ice
  • to transits made by tugs or pilot boats solely to support another self-propelled vessel
  • to a vessel operated by, or on behalf of, the Government of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • to any transit along a route where the only icebreaking services available are ice routing and information services

Rates

Vessels travelling to or from a Canadian port in an ice zone during an ice season are charged a per-transit fee. This fee is payable up to 8 times per year and up to 3 times per 30-day period, per ship.

This rate will be adjusted annually for inflation on the first day of December, based on the Consumer Price Index.

Rate from December 1, 2019 to November 30, 2020

Vessels pay a per-transit fee of $3,168.

Ice zones and seasons

The icebreaking services fee applies to 3 areas in Canadian waters.

Map of areas Icebreaking services fee applies
Description of the map

Area 1

Area 1 covers the northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The ice season of area 1 is from January 15 to May 15.

Area 2

Area 2 covers all waters and estuaries of the:

  • Great Lakes
  • St. Lawrence River
  • Gulf of St. Lawrence

The ice season of area 2 is from December 21 to April 15.

Area 3

Area 3 covers Lake Ontario.

The ice season of area 3 is from December 21 to 24 and April 1 to 15.

Ice class discounts

Vessels that have a certain level of ice navigating ability may be eligible for an ice class discount. 

Ice class refers to a notation assigned by a classification society or a national authority. It denotes the additional level of strengthening and other arrangements that enable a ship to navigate through sea ice. 

Depending on its ice class, a vessel can receive either a 15%, 25% or 35% reduction from the basic icebreaking services fee. 

To be eligible for this discount, vessel operators must submit a valid ice class certificate to the Marine Services Fees Billing Collection and Compliance office (MSFBCC).

Table for ice class discounts
Ice class discounts
  35 % 25 % 15 %
Classification Society Ice Classification
American Bureau of Shipping A1 Ice Strengthening Class AA AMS
or
A1 Ice Strengthening Class 1AA AMS
or
Ice Class A0
A1 Ice Strengthening Class A AMS
or
A1 Ice Strengthening 1A AMS
or
Ice Class B0
A1 Ice Strengthening Class B AMS
or
A1 Ice Strengthening Class 1B AMS
or
Ice Class C0
A1 Ice Strengthening Class C AMS
or
A1 Ice Strengthening Class 1C AMS
or
Ice Class D0
Bureau Veritas 1 A 1 ICE A*
or
1 A 1 ICE 1A*
or
1 3/3 E glace 1-super
or
1 3/3 E Ice Class 1A Super
or
Ice Class 1A Super
1 3/3 E glace 1
or
1 3/3 E Ice Class 1A
or
Ice Class 1A
1 3/3 E glace II
or
1 3/3 E Ice Class 1B
or
Ice Class 1B
1 3/3 E glace III
or
1 3/3 E Ice Class 1C
or
Ice Class 1C
Det Norske Veritas (DNVL) 1 A 1 ICE A*
or
1 A 1 ICE 1A*
or
Ice (1A)
or
ICE-1A
or
E4
1 A 1 ICE A
or
1 A 1 ICE 1A
or
Ice (1A)
or
ICE-1A
or
E3
1 A 1 ICE B
or
1 A 1 ICE 1B
or
Ice (1B)
or
ICE-1B
or
E2
1 A 1 ICE C
or
1 A 1 ICE 1C
or
Ice (1C)
or
ICE-1C
or
E1
German- ischer Lloyd 100 A 4 E 4 MC 100 A 4 E 3 MC 100 A 4 E 2 MC 100 A 4 E 1 MC
Lloyd's Register of Shipping

100 A 1 Ice Class 1* LMC

or

100 A 1 Ice Class 1 A Super LMC

or

Ice Class 1 AS FS (+)

100 A 1 Ice Class 1 LMC

or

100 A 1 Ice Class 1 A LMC or Ice Class 1 A FS (+)

or

Ice Class 1 A FS

100 A 1 Ice Class 2 LMC

or

100 A 1 Ice Class 1 B LMC

or

Ice Class 1 B FS (+)

or

Ice Class 1B FS

100 A 1 Ice Class 3 LMC

or

100 A 1 Ice Class 1 C LMC

or

Ice Class 1 C FS (+)

or

Ice Class 1 C FS

Nippon Kaiji Kyokai NS MNS Class AA 1S
or
NS* (Class 1A Super Ice Strengthening) MNS
or
NS* Class AA IS MNS*
or
NS (Class 1A Super Ice Strengthening)

NS* MNS* Class A 1S
or
NS* (Class 1A Ice Strengthening)

NS* MNS* Class B 1S
or
NS* (Class 1B Ice Strengthening) MNS*
NS* MNS* Class C 1S
or
NS* (Class 1C Ice Strengthening)
Polski Rejestr Statkow *KM YLA
or
*KM YL
or
L1A
*KM L1
or
L1
*KM L2
or
L2
*KM L3
or
L3
Russian Maritime Register of Shipping **KM YΛA
or
*KM YΛ
or
UL or LU5 or Arc5
*KM Λ1
or
L1
or
LU4
or
Arc4
*KMΛ2
or
L2
or
LU3
or
Ice 3
*KM Λ3
or
L3
or
LU2
or
Ice 2
Registro Italiano Navale / RINA Services

100A-1.1 RG 1*

or

100A-1.1 1AS

or

Ice Class 1A Super

100A-1.1 RG 1

or

100A-1.1 1A

or

Ice Class 1A

100A-1.1 RG 2

or

100A-1.1 1B

or

Ice Class 1B

100A-1.1 RG 3

or

100A-1.1 1C

or

Ice Class 1C

Registrul Naval Roman RNR M G 60 CM O
or
RNR M G 50 CM O
RNR M G 40 CM O RNR M G 30 CM O RNR M G 20 CM O
China Classification Society Ice Class B1* Ice Class B1 Ice Class B2 Ice Class B3
Finnish-Swedish Ice Class Rules 1A Super 1A 1B 1C
International Association of Classification Societies PC1 to PC7 - - -
Korean Register of Shipping 1A Super 1A 1B 1C

Taxes

The owner/operator is responsible for establishing the tax status of a vessel with regard to:

  • Quebec sales tax (QST)
  • provincial sales tax (PST)
  • harmonized sales tax (HST)
  • goods and services tax (GST)

Contact the Canada Revenue Agency for information and advice.

The goods and services tax is applied if the owner/operator of either a Canadian or foreign flag vessel is a Canadian resident.

The goods and services tax isn’t payable if the owner/operator of either a Canadian or foreign flag vessel is not a Canadian resident. In this case, shipping agents or responsible entities must submit a goods and services tax declaration form.

Owners/operators may also be eligible for Quebec sales tax exemptions if the owner/operator is not:

  • a resident in the Province of Quebec
  • registered with Revenue Quebec for QST purposes

In this case, shipping agents or responsible entities must submit a Quebec sales tax declaration form.

For information on tax declaration forms, please contact the Marine Services Fees Billing Collection and Compliance office.

Invoicing and payments

Our billing, collection and compliance office identifies and invoices vessels on a per transit basis. The fee is applied to the vessel and is normally payable by the entity that has control of the vessel at the time of transit, such as the:

  • charterer
  • shipping agent
  • ship owner or operator

You must pay the fee within 30 days of the invoice date. Send your fee payment to the accounting hub along with a copy of the invoice either by email, fax or post.

Interest is charged on overdue accounts as of the 31st day after the invoice date. This charge is compounded monthly, at the average Bank of Canada rate for the preceding month, plus 3%.

Vessel operators will receive a statement of account from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada accounting hub on a monthly basis, detailing all related transactions.

Date modified: