Canada is a signatory to the International Maritime Organization's (IMO's) International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) and the ports of British Columbia comply with the ISPS Code as set out by Transport Canada's Marine Transportation Security Act and the Marine Transportation Security Regulations.



Port of Vancouver Port Pass 

Individuals who are required to access port property located with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority's jurisdiction on a regular basis for legitimate business reasons, are encouraged to apply for a Port Pass.  The Chamber of Shipping is one of five issuing agencies designated by the VFPA to issue Port Passes to ship agents, service providers, ship suppliers, and general contractors servicing the port community at large. 

Please note as per the notice provided by the Port of Vancouver effective July 1, 2016 any valid port passes that are lost will incur a lost port pass fee. 

Marine Transportation Security Clearance (MTSC) Program 

A Marine Transportation Security Clearance (MTSC) is required for every person where section 503 of the Marine Transportation Security Clearance Regulations applies and the applicant must have a valid Port Pass before applying for the MTSC.  Section 503 states that a MTSC applies for those that

  • require access to a restricted area two as defined by the terminal operator

  • are a licensed ship’s pilot referred to in subsection 501(2);

  • are a harbour master or wharfinger appointed under subsection 69(1) of the Canada Marine Act;

  • have security responsibilities, including authorized screening and security guard functions, at the marine facilities and port administrations for the ports referred to in subsection 501(1);

  • take applications for transportation security clearances and the applicants’ fingerprints and facial images, which functions are performed on behalf of the Minister and for the purposes of this Part;

  • have access to a cruise ship that is interfacing with a restricted area two to provide services, supplies or equipment to the cruise ship or a member of the complement of the cruise ship;

  • could cause the failure of a preventive measure, delay the response to a security incident or adversely affect the recovery from a security incident as a result of being assigned or performing any of the following duties, responsibilities or functions:

    • access to security information at the marine facility or port,

    • the supervision of marine facility operations,

    • the creation, alteration, control or maintenance of cargo documentation or crew or passenger lists by a person who

      • is present at the marine facility or port, or

      • has advance access to the documentation or lists, or

    • the planning or directing of the movement of cargo or containers at a container terminal, including their loading and unloading into and from vessels; or

  • are a seafarer who has submitted an application for a Seafarer’s Identification Document.


How to Apply for a MTSC

From July 1, 2016 Transport Canada will require all applicants to complete the new on-line MTSC Application Form available at  Once the application form is completed and submitted electronically, applicants are still required to print the document and have the application signed off by the sponsor, i.e. the office issuing the port pass - the Chamber of Shipping, Cerescorp, BC Maritime Employers Association, BC Trucking Association, or Port of Vancouver.  

For applicants whereby the port passess are issued by the Chamber of Shipping, the following steps are to be followed:

  1. Complete the MTSC Application form on-line at - submit and print a hard copy.
  2. Schedule an appointment with the MTSC - Westguard Office on-line at or call 604-665-9661.
  3. Before going to the Westguard office Part A (Requesting Authority) must be completed by the office (Chamber of Shipping) issuing the port pass. This can be done at the same time as a new port pass issuance otherwise we suggest that you call ahead (tel: 604-681-2351) to ensure that the authorized signatories are available prior to your arrival. 
  4. Proceed to MTSC - Westguard Office for finger-printing and presentation of documents and original identification.
  5. If applicants have not been advised that the MTSC has been approved after three months please contact the Chamber of Shipping offices.  Please note that MTSC approvals can take anywhere from 3 - 9 month for processing.


Security Requirements for Terminal Access

Representatives of shipping lines and agencies are required to submit, at least 24 hours in advance, the names of those individuals requiring access to vessels via the marine terminals using the standard Terminal Security Access Form.  Each terminal has their own security plan and safety requirements that individuals must adhere to.  Download the form by clicking on the link below: