As some of you may know, major changes are occurring at the
Canadian Registry of Vessels ("CRV"). In an attempt to
reduce the deficit through budget cuts, the Federal Government is
consolidating the CRV into one office in Ottawa.
This means that the Port of Vancouver CRV office will
permanently close on January 1, 2013, and move to Ottawa. The
Ottawa office will be secured, meaning that public access for
searches and transactions will no longer be possible.
As a further consequence of these budget cuts, we understand
that the number of active Registrars will be cut in half; and,
registration and verification procedures for Registrars may revert
to pen-and-paper based logs.
The effect of the changes will be significant delays.
It has been suggested that current processing times at the CRV
will double or triple for Vancouver applicants registering new
ships, or transferring ownership for existing ships.
Furthermore, because the new CRV building will be secure, it
will not be possible for any member of the public to attend the CRV
upon closing to exchange a ship's registration for payment, as
has been common in the past.
What is the solution to these impending changes?
We suggest that contracts of purchase and sale for vessels
include holdback amounts and holdback periods which would ideally
account for the expected increase in processing delays at the CRV.
We also suggest that, like the current real estate practice of
mutual undertakings between the vendor's and the
purchaser's solicitors regarding the discharge of mortgages on
the sale of real property, the parties to a ship sale mutually
undertake to hold back appropriate monies and agree to vary or void
a transfer of ownership if the CRV eventually rejects the documents
or does not complete registration within the time agreed to between
Please note that online searches of the CRV should still be
possible in order to determine the registration status of a
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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