Ship Inspection

Ocean Ships

All inbound ocean ships are subject to the following Ship Inspection program.  Inspections are conducted jointly by the SLSMC (Canada) and the GLS (U.S.) to ensure that ships meet all requirements set out in the Seaway Handbook including requirements concerning Ballast Water Management.

  • Enhanced Ship Inspections (ESI – physical ship inspection) by Seaway Ship Inspectors will be carried out once every two navigation seasons
  • A self-inspection may be permitted in the interim navigation season, subject to satisfactory performance
  • Passenger ships will be subject to an annual ship inspection
  • The ESI or self-inspection is required on the first transit of the navigation season

The following outlines the inspection process:

    1. Agents must provide to the Seaway Ship Inspectors by email (email: [email protected] and to [email protected]) an initial notice of inspection of 120 hours (5 days) prior to the ship’s arrival at CIP 2.
    2. Subject to satisfactory performance, a Ship Self-Inspection may be permitted in the interim season. Seaway Ship Inspectors will inform the ship’s agent whether an ESI or a self-inspection is required.
    3. For an Enhanced Ship Inspection (ESI – physical ship inspection):
      1. Once confirmed that an ESI is required the Ship’s agent is to provide a 24 hour notice on ship arrival to the Seaway Ship Inspectors (e-mail: [email protected] and to [email protected]) for inspection purposes.
      2. Ship’s agent to provide a 2 hour confirmation to SLSMC OCC (ext. 2232).
      3. ESI will be conducted between 06:00 and 22:00
      4. Inspections for Quebec City will be based on Ship Inspector availability.
      5. ESI for new ships will be done during daylight only hours.
    4. For Self-Inspections:
      1. Ship to complete a Ship Self-Inspection Report and submit electronically to [email protected] and to [email protected]. (Report and directions to complete report are on website, under Forms)
      2. The Ship Self-Inspection Report form must be filled out and returned to SLSMC 96 hours prior to arrival at CIP 2. Upon successful review of the self-inspection report, the ship will be granted direct entry into St-Lambert Lock.
      3. For foreign ships subject to self-inspection and direct entry only, ballast water inspections will still occur, however they will either take place between St. Lambert Lock and Cote St. Catherine Lock, between Snell Lock and Eisenhower Lock, or through other administrative measures.
      4. Ships equipped with landing booms and intending to use them shall send the following information together with the completed self-inspection report:
        1. Confirmation that ship’s crew is adequately trained in the use of landing booms
        2. Latest load test certificate
        3. Copy of landing booms record of maintenance
      5. In addition, ships with deck cargo shall provide stowage plan showing maximum height of deck cargo and visibility calculations confirming visibility meets IMO/SOLAS regulations.

A ship can also be subject to inspection by special request from the owner, operator or shipyard, to ensure compliance with Seaway Handbook requirements. Please consult the schedule below for a list of applicable fees.

All inbound foreign flagged ships that will be transiting the U.S. locks (Snell and Eisenhower) must also submit pre-entry information at least 96 hours prior to westbound entry of the St. Lawrence Seaway at C.I.P 2 in Montreal. More information on this requirement can be obtained by contacting the U.S. Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation’s Operations Supervisor at (315) 764-3292, and by consulting our Seaway Notices.

Inland Ships

Inland ships that are:

  • ISM certified; and
  • Operated by a company having achieved both ISM and ISO certification (or having met other quality management standards acceptable to the SLSMC and GLS) are eligible to participate in the Seaway Inland Self-Inspection Program.

More details on Ship Inspection requirements can be found in Section 79 in the Practices & Procedures of the Seaway Handbook.


Schedule of Fees

A – Ocean Ships
Normal working hours (Weekdays 0815 to 1630 hours) No Charge
Outside normal working hours:
First visit $600
Second & subsequent visits (during the same transit upon which the first inspection took place) $300
Ship’s staff completes a self-inspection report in the interim navigation season and submits the report to the SLSMC. The SLSMC will review the report during normal working hours to verify the information submitted No Charge


B – Inland Ships
Ships that are ISO/ISM certified: Ship’s staff completes a self-inspection report once every two years and submits the form to the SLSMC. The SLSMC will review the report during normal working hours to verify the information submitted. No Charge
Ships not ISO/ISM certified: Ship will require a mandatory inspection prior to its first transit once every two years. The inspection fee will be charged as follows:
Normal working hours (Weekdays 0815 to 1630 hours) No Charge
Outside normal working hours $600


C – Inland/Ocean Ship Inspection Outside the Normal Area
The charges for this service will be based on a per diem rate for each day that the inspector is out of the office, plus all travel expenses, as noted below:
Per day (including travel time) $750
All expenses at cost

For further details, contact:

Marine Services
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation
202 Pitt Street
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada K6J 3P7
Tel: 905-641-1932, ext. 5282