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Timber deck lashings: regulations

In Canada, the securing of log and lumber cargoes on the decks of deepsea vessels is governed by Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations SOR/2007-128, issued by Transport CanadaThis document sets the standards for the manner in which a vessel's deck cargo should be loaded and lashed.  It also specifies the quality of the individual lashing components, as well as reference to testing, tagging and certification.  

A brief history


In the 1970's there were a number of incidents involving vessels that had sailed from BC ports, where timber deck cargoes had subsequently shifted.  Some of those events were catastrophic and led to vessel loss.  Transport Canada responded by undertaking a thorough review of deck lashing practices and then creating a comprehensive set of regulations named  TP2534E Canadian Code of Safe Practice for Ships Carrying Timber Deck Cargoes.  It was written in January 1992 and fully came into effect on May 1, 1995.  In particular, Chapter 4 and Annex E were the sections of the code that specified quality requirements of lashing components, also standards for testing, tagging and certificates. Much of the deck lashings in use at the time did not meet these guidelines.  Vessels encountered significant delays and expense bringing their gear up to standard. 


TP2534 was largely written by Transport Canada experts in Vancouver, and was adopted as the IMO safety standard for all vessels worldwide.  Accordingly, the enforcement of these regulations by Transport Canada in British Columbia is carried out more strictly than anywhere else in the world.

In March 2017, the Canadian government adopted a new code which consolidated a number of existing regulations, including TP2534E.  This is entitled Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations SOR/2007-128.  It retains all of the requirements of the previous code.  All new certification must reflect the change of the code's name.

The practice of BC ports

Before commencement of cargo operations, the vessel must undergo an inspection by a Transport Canada Port Warden, during which stability calculations are checked, and all of the deck lashing materials are examined in order to ensure they meet Canadian standards.

Lashing gear that is excessively worn, damaged or rusted is rejected.  More importantly, if each individual component (including chains, shackles, turnbuckles and lashing wires) do not have proper certificates and identification tags which positively identify each item to a valid certificate, then the lashing gear will be rejected, and the Port Warden will issue a citation.  Loading will not be permitted to commence unless appropriate action been taken, as described on the citation.   This could involve testing and recertification of the lashings, or total replacement of all non-compliant components.  Once all outstanding items are addressed, the Port Warden will issue a "Readiness to Load" certificate.  Without that, the cargo operation cannot commence.

After the completion of the cargo loading and lashing operation, the Port Warden will again attend the vessel in order to verify that the loaded state of the vessel matches the initial stability calculations.  He will also inspect the lashings to ensure everything is in good order. Only then will he issue a "Fitness to Proceed" certificate, and the vessel be permitted to depart from the load port.

What we can do for you

  • We sell only the highest quality deck lashing components including chains, shackles, turnbuckles, wires, snatch blocks, wire rope clips and much more.  Everything we supply comes with tags and certificates as required.

  • We can do testing and recertification of existing gear. Everything is done to the strict standards as per Transport Canada regulations.  We will recommend the most expedient way to test large quantities of lashings, whether it is onboard or in our shop.

  • Fully operational deck cranes are essential to loading forest products.  A-1 has a long history of excellence in timely crane repairs, everything from adjusting brakes and limit switches to major repairs, up to complete replacement of the crane jib.

  • We have the West Coast's largest inventory of hoisting and luffing wires in stock at all times.  We also stock heavy duty lifting shackles, especially 70mm (3") size.

  • We sell many of the smaller items related to loading forest product cargoes, including Korker boots for the ship's crew and longshoremen.

  • Our staff are experts in this field, having been involved in this business before 1995, when TP2534 was introduced.  Working closely with Transport Canada, we pioneered many of the testing procedures that are now industry standard practice.  We have extensive knowledge of lashing materials and procedures, and often are called upon to explain the complicated regulatory environment to vessel's officers, ship managers and owners.

  • A-1 maintains an impeccable reputation regarding the standards to which we carry out our testing and certification.  It's the only way that we will do business.

A-1 Marine is British Columbia's leading specialist for timber deck lashing testing and supply

Lashing Testing and Certification

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