Proposal for Mandatory Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) on St. Lawrence Seaway

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) and the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) of Canada jointly publish and presently administer the St Lawrence Seaway Regulations and Rules in their respective jurisdictions.

Under the agreement with the SLMC the SLSDC has proposed to require use of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) for all vessels requiring pre-clearance and in excess of 300 gross tons operating on Seaway waters from St. Lambert, Quebec to Long Point on Lake Erie from the beginning of the 2003 navigation season. The proposed regulation can be downloaded from the United States Printing Office.

Any Comments should be submitted by January 27, 2003. 67 Fed. Reg. 70897

In a letter dated 8 January 2003 to the USCG INTERTANKO stated that it disagrees with the SLSDC proposal as it is not in accordance with International IMO agreements to which the USA is a signatory. This proposal intends to make mandatory the use of AIS in this area three months ahead of the current International implementation date of 1 July 2003 agreed in IMO for tankers and passenger ships.

INTERTANKO recommends that in the event of a tanker not being able to retro-fit AIS by the SLSDC introductory date, such vessels should be granted an exemption and not be penalised.

This letter can be downloaded from INTERTANKO’s web site

Contact: Howard Snaith