Seaman's Handbook

Maritime Pilotage Regulations


  • The request for the attendance of a pilot or pilots aboard a ship shall be made by the ship’s master or ship’s agent to the Authority in accordance with directives issued by the Authority from time to time and in accordance with the pilotage agreement.
  • Should a ship require a pilot or other related service at short notice, she shall make the appropriate signals as prescribed in the I.M.O. International Code of Signals.


  • Every master shall ensure that the procedure for boarding and disembarking from ships is in accordance with SOLAS Regulation V/23 (Pilot Transfer Arrangements).
  • The pilot may request the master of a ship which he is piloting to declare to him the particulars of the ship’s draft, state of readiness of engines and navigational aids, and other information relat ing to the ship as the pi lot specif ies and is reasonably necessary to enable the pilot to carry out his duties as the pilot of the ship.
  • The master shall also bring to the notice of the pilot any defects in, and any matter peculiar to the ship, her machinery and equipment , of which the master is aware and which might materially affect the navigation of the ship.Every master of a ship shall provide a lee and reduce suff icient ly the speed of his ship when the pi lot launch is approaching.


  • No ship shall hoist or display a pilot flag indicating that a pilot is on board unless such ship -
    • is a pilot launch on duty, or
    • is being piloted by a pilot licensed according to these regulations.


A pilot shall not berth or shift any ship from her berth without the approval of the Authority.


Subject to the provisions of any other laws or regulations, a pilot shall, when assigned to an operation, be deemed to have full control over mooring men and pilot launch crew assigned with him to that operation.


  • The service provider shall be the owner of the pilot launches and shal l be respons ible for the management and operation of the pilot launches as provided for in the pilotage agreement.
  • A pilot, when assigned to an operation, is deemed to have full control over the pilot launch.


When providing pilotage services, each pilot shall implement a high standard of care and skill as established by the Code of Conduct referred to in regulation 6(2).


  • The pilot shall complete a certificate of pilotage service outlining the pilotage service he has rendered, to be signed by the ship’s master in respect of each service he performs:
    Provided that in exceptional circumstances, if such certificate is for any justified reason not available, the Chief Pilot or the Deputy Chief Pilot may sign the Pilotage Certificate.
  • The format and contents of such certificate shall be agreed to by the Authority and the service provider.


  • When providing pilotage services the pilot shall liaise as required with the Authority in order to record the proceedings of the said service.
  • Whenever a duty pilot perceives or encounters any difficulties in the provision of the services, he shall immediately communicate this to the Chief Pilot who if necessary shall liaise with, or seek the direction of the Authority.
  • It shall also be the duty of the pilot to draw to the attention of the Chief Pilot, who shall in turn inform the Authority, any deficiencies on ships piloted, or any other occurrence that may affect the safe manoeuvre of the ship or the safety of personnel.
  • Pilots shall immediately report to the Chief Pilot and the Authority any environmental concerns, navigational hazards or defects in navigational aids.
  • It shall be the duty of the Authority to ensure the safe and efficient use of ports, their approaches and allocated berths.
  • The pilot shall, however, be obliged to follow the written instructions of the Authority received prior to boarding the ship, even if such instructions may appear to conflict with already existing available printed data:
    Provided that in an emergency such written instructions may be dispensed with.


  • A pilot shall immediately report to the Chief Pilot and the Authority any accident involving the ship which he is serving, particularly any incidents or accidents that may have resulted in damage to port facilities and, or third parties.
  • A pilot shall also immediately report to the Chief Pilot and the Authori ty any near misses or any concerns in respect to navigation as expressed by the master or pilot whilst piloting a ship.
  • Such notification shall be followed by a formal written report which shall reach the Chief Pilot and the Authority not later than twenty four hours after the occurrence of such incident or accident.
  • The report mentioned in this regulation shall not be made available to any person without the approval of the service provider and, or the Authority and, or by order of a competent court.
  • Notwithstanding any proceedings which may be taken under any law, the Authority may take disciplinary action against any pilot who fails to comply with the provisions of this regulation.


  • A pilot shall embark ships at the pilot boarding station as established by the Authority; and disembark at a position as agreed to between the pilot and the ship’s master, or at a position as directed by the Authority.
  • The Authority may authorize a pilot to board or disembark from a ship inside the port if the weather is such as to preclude the pilot launch from safely transferring a pilot outside such port.
  • A pilot who does not comply with the provisions of subregulation (1) shall explain his actions to the Authority within two working days, and if the Authority is not satisfied with such explanation, it may take disciplinary action against the pilot concerned.


  • Subject to the following citeria the Authority may provide shore based pilotage:
    • the shore based pilotage service shall be provided only in areas as established by the Authority;
    • the shore based pilotage service shall be rendered by the service provider through its licensed pilots for the purpose of -
      • piloting ships to the pilot launch; and, or
      • piloting ships when pilots cannot embark or disembark at sea.
  • Shore based pilotage shall only be provided when:
    • required and accepted by the master of the ship and allowed by the Authority; and
    • the pilot rendering the shore based pilotage considers it possible.
  • Masters of ships employing shore based pilotage shall be obliged to accept a pilot as soon as embarkation is possible.
  • The Authority in consultation with the service provider shall establish the norms under which such service shall be rendered.


The Authority shall in its discretion issue Pilot Exemption Certificates to Masters of ships who regularly call at the ports in accordance with established criteria, provided that the Authority shall reach agreement with the service provider about the level of compensation, if any, for loss of revenue.