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CCG/6102 National Standard Operating Procedure (NSOP)
517 COVID-19 - Responding to Requests for Ship Radio Inspections during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Original: 2020-05-28 Revised: 2021-06-01 Approved by Sam Ryan, Director General, Integrated Technical Services on June 1, 2021.


The purpose of this national standard operating procedure (NSOP) is to inform Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) personnel who are responsible for ship radio inspections (SRIs), on behalf of Transport Canada, of the procedures to follow when responding to requests for SRIs.


Procedure for responding to requests for SRIs during the COVID-19 pandemic
Step Procedures
  1. Evaluate risk of in-person inspection
    1. 1.1. The CCG ship radio inspector must work with the regional SRI coordinator to determine the overall risk of conducting an in-person inspection, both to the inspector and the client. The regional SRI coordinator must consult with the local area supervisor or production manager before a final determination of an in-person inspection is made.
    2. 1.2. Consider the location of the requested inspection, the location of the inspectors regular workplace and the public health alert levels in those areas. Verify the latest public health directives (municipal, provincial, federal) in both work area and area of inspection, as well as CCG COVID policies for your work area.
    3. 1.3 Only schedule the inspection with the CCG ship radio inspector if travel is permitted from the inspector's place of work to the requested inspection location. For instance, an inspector working in a "Red" or "High Alert" zone should not travel to complete an inspection in a "Yellow" or "Low Alert" zone and vice versa.
  1. Verify priority
    1. 1.1. Verify with the vessel representative that the vessel is currently permitted to operate commercially. Transport Canada has placed restrictions on some passenger vessels and cruise ships during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please consult the Transport Canada Ship Safety Bulletins website for the most up to date information.
  1. Schedule an inspection
    1. 1.1. If travel to the vessel is permitted and the vessel is not prohibited from operating by Transport Canada, a physical SRI should be carried out if it has been deemed safe to do so. Normally only one ship radio inspector will attend, but a second inspector can attend for training purposes in areas where management has determined the risk is acceptable. A second inspector should only be sent if the client agrees. When scheduling the SRI, a CCG ship radio inspector must:
      1. avoid repeat visits to the vessel by ensuring that the vessel is prepared for the inspection by:
        1. providing the Ship Radio Inspection – Preparation of Inspection Checklist (FP-0057-E) form to the vessel representative (FP-0057-E) at least 1 day in advance
        2. obtaining confirmation from the vessel representative that the vessel is prepared for the inspection
        3. communicating clearly to the vessel representative that, due to the current situation, repeat inspection visits will not be made, except in very extenuating circumstances, which are unavoidable by the vessel representative
        4. communicating clearly to the vessel representative that if the inspector observes that COVID-19 health and safety protocols are not being adhered to, such as proper mask use, the CCG ship radio inspector may leave the vessel and cancel the inspection
      2. if an SRI trainee is attending the inspection, obtain the vessel owner's permission at time of scheduling the inspection
      3. have the vessel representative complete the screening questions in the "COVID-19 Pre-inspection Screening" (FP-0059-E) form to identify if the vessel has been exposed to COVID-19:
        1. If the vessel representative answers "yes" to any of the screening questions, do not visit the vessel. Schedule the inspection after the 14 day window has elapsed and the vessel representative answers no to all screening questions.
        2. If the vessel representative answers "no" to all screening questions, proceed with the inspection as scheduled.
        3. Review and follow NSOP 514 COVID-19 – Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) Personnel Working at Non-CCG Shore Sites or Vessels.
        4. To avoid handling, instruct the vessel representative to have all documents/items out and ready for viewing.
        5. Remind the vessel representative that a distance of 2 metres is to be maintained between themselves and the inspector.
        6. Only one representative per vessel is required on the bridge or in any area of the vessel where the inspector will need to access.
    2. 1.2 In the case where, despite all efforts taken as per procedure 3.1 a), step 1, deficiencies must be issued following the initial SRI, CCG ship radio inspectors should, wherever possible, confirm resolution of deficiencies remotely. This might be achieved by obtaining from the vessel representative:
      • a purchase receipt or picture
      • written declaration
      • measurement readings from another service provider
      • etc.
  1. Exceptional cases – Remote inspection
    1. 1.1 If it is deemed unsafe to visit the vessel to perform a physical inspection after thoroughly evaluating all options, the CCG ship radio inspector may be authorized to carry-out a remote inspection. In this case, the following process is to be followed:
      1. Submit request to the regional SRI coordinator outlining why a physical inspection of the vessel is impossible. Outline what steps have already been taken to mitigate safety or travel concerns.
      2. The regional SRI coordinator will consult with the local CCG Electronics & Informatics (E&I) area supervisor or the CCG E&I production manager. If no solution can be found, permission to conduct a remote inspection and to issue a temporary certificate may be granted.
      3. In order to obtain a temporary certificate the vessel must demonstrate that it meets all requirements by supplying:
        1. copies of required documents
        2. photographs of required equipment
        3. written confirmation that all equipment functional tests have been carried out by way of completed “Ship Radio Inspection - Remote Inspection Functional Test Attestation” (FP-0058-E) form. Functional tests must include:
          1. built in self-tests for equipment fitted with that function as per manufacturer manual instructions
          2. on air communication test for all means of voice communications (VHF, MF, satellite phone, cell phone)
          3. operational checks of all other equipment required by the Navigation Safety Regulations, 2020
      4. If the vessel representative is able to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the CCG ship radio inspector, that the requirements of the remote inspection have been met, the CCG ship radio inspector may then grant a temporary certificate for a period of no more than 12 months. This must be thoroughly documented in the Radio Inspection Database Management System (RIDMS) as an inspection, justifying that the vessel meets the requirements to be given a temporary certificate via remote inspection.
      5. Issue a temporary certificate to the vessel using Transport Canada Certificate Template 83-003 (04-01)Footnote 1. In the "Conditions" block, include the following text:
        “Temporary certificate issued remotely due to extenuating circumstances of COVID-19 pandemic.”



Enquiries regarding this procedure should be directed to:

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