Mr. Speaker, the Coasting Trade Act is intended to protect the domestic marine sector by reserving coasting trade to Canadian registered and duty-paid vessels. The act includes a licensing process for the temporary importation of foreign vessels into the Canadian marine sector when a suitable Canadian vessel is not available.
The Minister of Transport has not provided any exemptions given that there is no authority under the act for the minister to issue a general exemption from the licensing requirement. However, the act does include exclusions for foreign vessels to engage in a number of specific coasting trade activities. Responsibility rests with vessel owners to ensure they are eligible to undertake the excluded activities and remain in compliance with the act. These exclusions constitute deregulated activities and are therefore not subject to licensing requirements.