August 21, 2020 — Effective immediately

ISSUE: Shore leave and Crew Changes during the COVID-19 pandemic


Nanaimo Port Authority (NPA) is committed to provide timely information and guidance to consider for those working with the Port of Nanaimo. The purpose of this notification is to provide temporary direction and guidance regarding crew changes and shore leave within the NPA jurisdiction until a more unified Canadian Port Authorities protocol is developed nationally.


In order to be proactive and to prevent and minimize the spread of the virus and to contribute to the health and safety of those working within the City and the Port of Nanaimo – NPA intends to provide the following temporary direction and guidance based on best practices and recommendations developed by the Transport Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the World Health Organization.


In order to contribute to the health and safety of those who work and support the business within NPA, and to reduce and/or eliminate the risk of spreading of the Coronavirus within the Port of Nanaimo jurisdiction, the following is implemented on a temporary basis:


At present, a controlled shore leave is permitted within the NPA jurisdiction for the asymptomatic marine sector workers or healthy workers (HW) for a period of up to four hours, in a designated area on Port grounds. During the four-hour period, the port will have positive control on the activities of the HW, and he/she would be expected to:

  1. follow Port specific COVID-19 protocols;
  2. follow Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) recommendations – PHAC recommendations regarding COVID-19 prevention, including proper hand hygiene, physical distancing, and cough/sneeze etiquette;
  3. minimize contact with local workers at a destination;
  4. closely self-monitor; and
  5. self-isolate and contact the local public health authority should they exhibit any symptoms.

If HW are to access local stores (e.g. for pharmaceuticals, urgent personal care products, etc.) or interact with health support services, they must follow PHAC advice as per above, any advice of local health officials, and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

HW onboard Canadian domestic vessels should follow the advice of their employer, local health officials, and CBSA.


International and domestic crew changes for the asymptomatic HW are allowed within NPA jurisdiction. An exemption is provided to the marine sector workers or HW, as they are critical to ensure the flow of marine trade, pursuant to the:

  1. Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Countrv other than the United States) (applicable section 3(1)(d)); and
  2. Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COV/D-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entrv into Canada from the United States).

HW must not have a fever and a cough, a fever and difficulty breathing, or have reasonable grounds to suspect they have these symptoms. They are exempted from mandatory isolation provisions for COVID-19 pursuant to the Quarantine Act. These HW in the trade and transportation sector are important for the movement of goods and people and include the crew on any marine ship that cross the Canadian border for the purpose of performing their duties.

Within NPA jurisdiction crew changes will be allowed when Harbour Master’s office has confirmation that CBSA has attended the ship and cleared the marine worker. The onus is upon the Master of a ship or the ship’s agent to contact CBSA in order to facilitate the crew changes within the NPA jurisdiction.

As CBSA enforces more than 90 acts and regulations that keep our country and Canadians safe, they are an important partner of the NPA. CBSA supports NPA in keeping the Nanaimo Port community safe. The Master of a ship or the ship’s agent are encouraged to contact the Harbour Master’s office directly to facilitate contact with the CBSA, if required.


  1. Foreign flagged ships are to ensure that all required components of the 96-hour and 24-hour Pre-Arrival Inspection Report (PAIR) are completed in accordance with section 221 of the Marine Transportation Security Regulations (MTSR);
  2. Ship Masters with crew members and passengers symptomatic of the Coronavirus are to advise NPA Harbour Master’s office immediately at 250-753-4146 ext. 231. TC Marine Safety and Security should also be informed;
  3. On ships with symptomatic crew members or passengers, TC Marine Security Inspectors will advise PHAC Officials, who will follow up directly with the ship;
  4. Based on the information provided in ‘3’ above, PHAC will provide follow-on directions;
  5. In the event that PHAC determines that a crew member or passenger onboard a vessel to be at risk, TC Marine Safety and Security, in coordination with PHAC, will provide notification to others on a required basis (including but not limited to Nanaimo Port Authority, CCG, Pilotage Authorities, TC Marine Safety, CBSA, etc)


  1. The above procedures will not apply to Canadian Registered Vessels;
  2. Domestic ships should report passengers and crew who are symptomatic of the Coronavirus to provincial and local health authorities; and
  3. If a case of Coronavirus is suspected, Masters of Canadian ships are to advise Transport Canada and supporting agencies, i.e. Nanaimo Port Authority and Pilots prior to others boarding or coming into contact with passengers from the vessel.


All requests for shore leave and crew changes will be subject to vetting and approval by the Harbour Master’s office.

NPA will make every effort to work cooperatively with the various agencies to ensure that the fair administration of regulatory guidelines is adhered. The Port Authority will work collaboratively with its Port partners to minimize the impact on shippers, agents, terminal operators, and the greater community.

If there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 250-753-4146 ext. 231.

Yours truly,

Captain Satinder Singh MMM, MM

VP Marine Operations and Harbour Master