Ferry Sector Welcomes TPP, Calls for Immediate Action on Passenger Vessel Tariffs

October 6, 2015 – Today, the Canadian Ferry Association CFA) welcomed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in principle as a step in the right direction, but reminded policy makers that action needs to be taken now to support ferry operators' efforts to renew their fleet and deliver consistent, timely and safe services to Canadians.

Currently, a 25% tariff applies on the importation of passenger vessels under 129m, despite this same tariff being lifted on nearly all other types of vessels in 2010.

“The fact is, that while this tariff will be removed eventually for countries in the TPP trade zone over a number of years, some ferry operators need to replace outdated vessels in the short-term,” said CFA’s CEO Serge Buy.  “Keeping this tariff in place drives the cost up for passengers and taxpayers.”

According to officials from Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, this tariff will be phased out within five years.

Initially, this tariff was intended to protect the Canadian shipbuilding industry.  However, even Stephen Harper noted just a few weeks ago that, “All of our shipyards are up to their eyeballs in work,” referring to the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

This underscores the very reason that ferry operators in Canada are forced to go to foreign shipyards for their new vessels: shipyards in Canada lack the capacity.

“What is comes down to, is that shipyards in Canada aren’t able to meet the demand, so operators are forced to look overseas.  This limits competition and stifles innovation,” added Mr. Buy.

About CFA
The Canadian Ferry Association is the national voice of ferries in Canada.  Our members operate with the highest professional and operational standards and promote the safe operation of ferry services in Canada.  With over 55 million passengers, 19 million vehicles and billions of dollars of goods transported annually, the ferry sector is a crucial part of Canada’s infrastructure.

Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @cdnferry.

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For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Kristin Baldwin, Director of Communications