Laws and Regulations that Apply to Pleasure Craft

1)     The requirement to carry proof of competency

The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations (COPCR) applies to all pleasure craft fitted with a motor and that are operated for recreational purposes in Canadian waters, other than the waters of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

No person shall operate a pleasure craft unless the person is competent to operate the pleasure craft in accordance with section 4 of (COPCR)

1) has received a mark of at least 75 per cent on a test and has been issued a Pleasure Craft Operator Card or

2) has successfully completed a boating safety course in Canada before April 1, 1999 and has a Boating Safety Course Completion Card or other written proof of that completion

3)    in the case of a rented pleasure craft – (for the rental period only) if both the person who makes the pleasure craft available for rent and the person who will operate the pleasure craft complete and sign before the pleasure craft is operated, a rental boat safety checklist

All pleasure craft operators must have proof of competency on board. – examples of proof of competency includes the following:

Pleasure Craft Operator Card, a Boating Safety Course Completion Card, a rental boat safety checklist, proof of the successful completion of a boating safety course, or a certificate or other document pertaining to boating safety knowledge.

Certificates of Competency, Training Certificates and other Equivalencies accepted as Proof of Competency may include but not be limited to: Bridge Watchkeeping, Small Craft Operator – Basic, Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP), Fishing Mate, Master Mariner, etc. For a complete list contact Marine Safety – Transport Canada. If you hold any certificate on this list, you just need to make sure you carry your certificate on board. You may carry the original documentation or a copy of the certificate.

The original Pleasure Craft Operator Card ( PCOC ) must be carried on board at all times by the operator of the vessel.

As for non-residents

The COPCR apply if:

1)    they operate their pleasure craft in Canadian waters for more than 45 consecutive days or,

2)    they operate a pleasure craft that is licensed or registered in Canada (including rented or chartered boats)

Note* proof of residence will be required on board at all times. Proof of Competency for non-residents

A Canadian-issued pleasure craft operator card or,

A completed boat rental safety check-list (for power-driven rental boats) or,

An operator card or equivalent that meets the requirements of their state or country.

For more info more about boating safety; to get a list of recognized certificates; to find out about how to take a boating safety course and get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, please contact Service Canada or visit the Office of Boating Safety at www.boatingsafety.gc.caor call the National Boating Safety Infoline at 1-800-267-6687.