A study on Pilotage Exemption Certificates prepared by PwC and Panteia for the European Commission, Directorate-Generalfor Mobility and Transport, provides a comprehensive picture of the procedures and legal requirementsfor issuing PECs across the EU, Croatia and Norway.
In addition, information and opinions were gathered from arange of stakeholders and a comparative analysis of accidents was undertaken, to better understand the impactsassociated with PECs.
The study was intended to provide a baseline of information and data that can be further used to assess the needfor a EU policy initiative on PECs.The data gathered during this Study has enabled the compilation of a comprehensive picture of what is happeningacross the EU, Croatia and Norway with regard to the issuance and usage of PECs.
In addition, a wealth of opinion has been gathered from a considerable cross-section of stakeholders, which isinvaluable in terms of understanding how PECs are perceived and how their presence impacts on stakeholders.
The definition of pilotage in national legislation varies considerably
From the discussions held with stakeholders and responses obtained through the survey, it is clear that there aremany areas where perceptions and definitions vary between countries.
Pilotage is defined in national legislations in many different ways: in some cases the definition is fairly generalapplying to all types of pilotage, while in others it is specifically defined and/or categorized. In most instancespilotage is defined as either 'port' or 'harbour' pilotage.
However, it is the case that the nature of pilotage variesbetween countries and local circumstances - and therefore not all types of pilotage exist in one country.The definition and perception of shore-based pilotage can also vary between countries - in some countries advicefrom a pilot on board another vessel or pilot boat is classed as shore-based pilotage, while in others it is not.
The pilot advises the Master and the Master generally has legal authority on board
Generally the pilot acts as advisor to the Master or Captain regarding the route into (or out of) the port, berthingand un-berthing, drawing on his experience and knowledge of the local maritime area.
In many countries the requirements of the pilot while on board are set out in the pilotage rules or regulationsregarding the advice that he can give, the relationship between the pilot and Master and his duties with regard toreporting of the pilotage mission.In Norway, the pilot can be authorized to give orders with regard to pilotage, rather than advice only - while thismay be the case in other countries it was only stated in the response from Norway.
At the time of pilotage the Master generally has legal authority on board. Responses suggest that only in Greeceand Poland does the pilot have legal authority on board. There are also several instances where other entities,such as the State agency or department can board the ship during pilotage and have legal authority
There is variance in pilotage dues for different vessel types
Generally Government departments/agencies or Port Authorities play a key role in either stipulating the criteriathat underpin the level of pilotage dues and/or setting the actual level of dues.Pilotage providers in some instances have the power to set the criteria and level of pilotage dues (in Denmark,Estonia and Slovenia).
In Estonia the Maritime Safety Act sets out the framework for pilotage dues, whichstipulates that the calculation of dues must be transparent and public, and that they should ensure a 'reasonableprofit'.In Norway and a number of other countries the principles for setting pilotage dues is based on the user paysprinciple, that costs should be distributed between vessels according to the expenses that they incur.
Looking at pilotage dues charged for three specified vessel types there are clear variances.Dues are generally high on average in northern Europe (particularly in the Netherlands, Norway and Belgium): incontrast pilotage dues are significantly lower than the average in southern European countries, particularlyCroatia, Cyprus, Malta, Bulgaria and Italy for example.
However, it should be considered that the fairways are typically shorter in the Mediterranean ports than in thenorthern ports: this is likely to justify the observed lower pilotage dues in southern Europe.
The questionnaire did not explore in detail the rationale and assumptions used to define the tariffs. From theresponses gathered, however, it is clear that there are different approaches, which reflect the nature of thepilotage service provision, in terms of whether it is a public service or provided by a private company.
For more information, please read PWC study on Pilotage Exemption Certificates