Firm News

Gary Wharton Successfully Represents Vessel Owner in Bareboat Charter Case

February 7th, 2012

Bernard LLP lawyer W. Gary Wharton successfully represented a vessel owner in a recent case before the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada (TATC).

Under the Canada Shipping Act 2001, the owner of a pleasure vessel can charter its vessel on a bareboat basis without compromising the vessel’s status as a pleasure vessel.  If the vessel is not a pleasure vessel,  the vessel  is subjected to the regulatory requirements of a passenger carrying vessel which, with respect to manning and certification, are substantially more onerous.

Transport Canada instituted a policy which deemed a pleasure vessel, bareboat chartered to another, but then operated by the owner under a separate service agreement, to be a time charter resulting in the vessel being subject to regulation as a passenger vessel. One such owner was issued a Notice of Violation and administrative penalties in excess of $20,000.

In 0782855 BC Ltd v Canada (Minister of Transport), 2012 TATCE 4 (Review), Mr. Wharton represented the vessel owner and took the matter to review before the TATC, which determined that such a charter arrangement and services agreement by the owner did not compromise the bareboat charter relationship, effectively overturning the Transport Canada policy.

Filed Under: Announcements