Seaman's Handbook

Maritime Pilotage Regulations

4.

    • Subject to the provisions of the Act, the Authority shall
      organize and ensure the provision of pilotage services
      in the ports by entering into a pilotage agreement in
      terms of regulation 6(1) with a service provider.
    • If a service provider fails to provide the pilotage
      service in accordance with these regulations and with
      the pilotage agreement, in cases of emergency the
      Authority may seek to engage competent persons so as
      to ensure the proper running of the pilotage service.
    • Prior to entering into an agreement with a service
      provider, the Authority shall ensure that the structure
      of the entity is such as to allow for the adequate
      provision of pilotage services in accordance with these
      regulations and the pilotage agreement.
  • The Authority shall establish, in accordance with the pilotage agreement, the number of licensed pilots required for the
    provision of pilotage services at any one time taking into account
    market considerat ions and the eff icacy of the service to be
    provided.
  • Pilotage shall be under the supervision and regulation of the
    Authority.

4A.

  • The ports specified in Part III of the Schedule to the Act shall be compulsory pilotage ports and all ships, other than ships excepted under sub-regulation (2), shall, while navigating within the limits of a compulsory pilotage port, whether by entering, leaving, anchoring or moving, be under the direction of a pilot:
    Provided that where an excepted ship -
    • has not taken a berth assigned to her by the Authority and, in the opinion of the Authority, is foul or is likely to foul any mark, buoy or some other ship due to any cause whatsoever; or
    • has anchored in the fairway of any port,
  • then, without prejudice to any criminal proceedings that may be taken against the master of such ship, the Authority may direct that such ship be moored or re-moored under the direction of a pilot:
    Provided further that even in the case of excepted ships the Authority may direct that their navigation within the limits of a compulsory pilotage port, whether entering, leaving, anchoring or moving, shall be carried out under the direction of a pilot.
  • For the purposes of this regulation, the following ships shall be excepted ships:
    • ships owned or operated by the Government of Malta;
    • men-of-war of a foreign power;
    • ships of less than 500 gross tons calculated in accordance with the rules for the time being in force for the measurement of ships under the Merchant Shipping Act;
    • fishing vessels;
    • yachts;
    • ships, including tugs, dredgers, barges and other types of vessels, whose ordinary course of navigation and trade does not extend beyond the limits of the territorial waters of Malta; and
    • high speed craft calling in Malta on a scheduled service and whose master complies with qualifications and standards developed by the Authority from time to time.
  • The Authority may exempt any ship from compulsory pilotage where ships are unable to obtain the services of a pilot due to bad weather or in any other particular case. Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-regulation (2), ships carrying dangerous goods, disabled ships and tug and tow combinations may be required by the Authority to engage the services of a pilot.
  • Where any port is a compulsory pilotage port, the Minister may by order define the limits of such port for the purposes of compulsory pilotage.

5.

  • The function of a pilot on board a ship is to provide information and advice to the master of the ship, as well as to assist the master and the shipís navigating officers to make safe passage through the pilotage area or areas for which the pilot is engaged.Despite the presence of a pilot on a ship, the master of the ship continues to be responsible for the conduct and navigation of the ship in all respects.

6.

  • The Authority shall enter into a pilotage agreement with the service provider.
  • The pilotage agreement shall include provisions regarding the provision of pilotage services in the ports and their approaches together with the management and operation of pilot launches in these ports.
  • There shall be a Code of Conduct annexed to the pilotage agreement outlining standards that the pilots are to adopt and procedures that they are to follow in the provision of pilotage services. The Code of Conduct shall form an integral part of the pilotage agreement.

7.

  • Subject to the provisions of these regulations, the Authority may grant licenses to persons to act as pilots.
  • No person shall be licensed as a pilot unless he has:
    • passed such qualifying examinations as may be prescribed;
    • been licensed as a trainee pilot as prescribed in these regulations;
    • obtained such practical experience in the pilotage of ships during the period referred to in paragraph (b);
    • had his licence confirmed by the Authority; and
    • satisfied such other conditions as may from time to time be prescribed.
  • The licence issued to a pilot shall indicate the limits within which the licensee is qualified to act.
  • Notwithstanding the provisions of this regulation, the Authority may, if it considers expedient, authorise any person to pilot a ship in a port subject to such terms and conditions as it deems fit.
  • The person in whose favour a licence is issued must pay to the Authority a fee as is established from time to time by the Authority.
  • Such licence may be revoked by the Authority in terms of these regulations.
  • Subject to the provisions of the Act, when issuing a licence under these regulations, the Authority may attach such conditions to the licence as specified in regulation 13.

8.

  • The licence issued to a pilot shall be automatically cancelled by the Authority when the pilot retires on reaching the retiring age that may from time to time be prescribed, or if such pilot is found by a Medical Board appointed by the Authority to be physically unfit to carry out his duties.
  • The Authority may also suspend or revoke the licence issued to a pilot as a consequence of the award by a Disciplinary Commit tee of a punishment consisting in the suspension or revocation of the licence, or if the pilot absents himself from duty for a period exceeding one year. Such licence, if so revoked, shall cease to have effect from the date when such decision is taken by the Authority and, if so suspended, it shall cease to have effect for the period for which it is suspended.
  • Subject to any condition which the Disciplinary Committee may make, the Authority may re-issue a licence to a pilot whose licence has been revoked under sub-regulation (2).
  • A licence issued to pilot shall be surrendered to the Authority whenever it is for any reason cancelled, suspended or revoked. In such cases, the l icence shal l be returned to the Authority within twenty-four hours.
  • A person whose licence has been cancelled, suspended or revoked shall have a right to appeal to the Board from the decision of the Authority or of the Disciplinary Committee by application within fifteen days of the notification to him of the decision.

9.

  • No person shall be licensed to serve as a pilot unless such person -
    • (deleted by Legal Notice 240 of 2004);
    • is not less than twenty-three years of age and not over forty years of age on the closing date for the submission of applications;
    • produces satisfactory evidence of good character and sobriety of conduct;
    • has been declared to be physically and mentally fit to serve as a pilot by a medical board appointed by the Authority and in accordance with appropriate standards of medical fitness established by the Authority to ensure that a pilot does not have a condition that could jeopardize or hinder the safe conduct of pilotage operations;
    • possesses one of the following qualifications in the following order of priority:
      • a certificate of competency of Master of a ship of 3000 GT or more without limitations (STCW Regulation II/2) issued by the Authority in terms of the Merchant Shipping (Training and Certification) Regulations, as amended; transport facility, including any port or aerodrome;
      • an equivalent certificate to (i) issued by the relevant Authority of a flag state that is party to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 as amended;
      • a certificate of competency of Chief Mate of a ship of 3000 GT or more without limitations (STCW Regulation II/2) issued by the Authority in terms of the Merchant Shipping (Training and Certification) Regulations, as amended;
      • an equivalent certificate to (iii) issued by the relevant Authority of a flag state that is party to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 as amended;
      • a certificate of competency for grades not lower than officer in charge of a Navigational Watch of an ocean going ship issued in accordance with the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act or an equivalent certificate issued by a foreign competent authority acceptable to the Authority;
      • a certificate of competency of commercial vessel master issued by the Authority in terms of the Commercial Vessels Regulations, as amended.
    • produces satisfactory evidence that he has served as an officer for not less than three years on ships of 2000 gross tons and over;
    • has passed the appropriate examination prescribed in regulation 10;
    • is able to read, write and speak Maltese and English fluently;
    • has served as a trainee pilot in accordance with the provisions of these regulations.
  • No person shall be licensed to serve as a pilot if he has been found guilty of any criminal offence which in the opinion of the Authority is deemed to be detrimental to the provision of pilotage services as a whole.

10.

  • A person wishing to obtain a pilotís licence must first obtain a licence to serve as a trainee pilot. Before a licence is granted to a candidate to serve as a trainee pilot the Authority and the Board shall be satisfied that such candidate -
    • satisfies the provisions of regulations 9(1)(b) to (h) and 9(2);
    • has passed, to the satisfaction of the panel of examiners appointed by the Board from the technical committee, a written and, or oral examination based on a syllabus which is published from time to time by the Authority.
  • Before sitting for the aforementioned examination, each candidate shall pay the Authority a fee established from time to time by the Authority
  • When in the case that more candidates than the number of applicants needed to fill the vacancy or vacancies are successful in the examination, which would be of a qualifying nature, the order of merit which would thereafter determine the placement of candidates would be established by the Board on the advice of the panel of examiners.
  • The Board shall give preference to those successful candidates who hold superior qualifications and who have the most practical experience. To this effect, the Board shall issue its first call for applications for those persons who are qualified in terms of regulation 9(1)(e)(i) to (iv):

    Provided that if none of the candidates is found to comply with the necessary requirements, a second call for applications may be issued to include also persons with qualifications in terms of regulation 9(1)(e)(v) and (vi).

11.

  • When a candidate satisfies the requirements of regulation 10, the Authority, on the advice of the Board, may issue to such candidate a licence to serve as a trainee pilot subject to such conditions as the Authority, on the advice of the Board, may deem fit.
  • A licence issued in terms of subregulation (1) shall, unless previously revoked, remain valid for a period of six months from the date of issue, during which time the licensee shall be deemed to be a trainee pilot.
  • The trainee pilot shall be remunerated during his traineeship by the service provider.

12.

  • In order to qualify for a licence to serve as a pilot, a trainee pilot shall, not earlier than the fourth month and not later than the sixth month from the date of issue of the trainee licence, satisfy the Authority:
    • that he has accompanied a licensed pilot on not less than four hundred pilotage operations on board ships, while such ships were entering or leaving the compulsory pilotage ports, of which one hundred must be done during the night and one hundred must be inward bound;
    • that the trainee has all such moves referred to in paragraph (a) recorded in a special log book kept for this purpose in which shall be recorded the ship, date, nature of move and countersigned by the accompanied pilot. Each log sheet is to be countersigned by the Chief Pilot at the end of the traineeship;
    • that he has acquired necessary knowledge of the relevant legislation and pilotage practice and operations, particularly in so far as these regulations refer to the report, movement and berthing of ships;
    • that he has detailed knowledge of the information that should be passed to the Master of the ship as well as detailed knowledge of the information that should be received from such Master.
  • A trainee pilot who fails to satisfy the provisions prescribed in subregulation (1) may be allowed to undergo further training for a period not exceeding six months.
  • A trainee pilot who satisfies the requirements prescribed in subregulation (1) shall be issued a licence to serve as a pilot, by the Authority.
  • A licence issued in terms of subregulation (3) shall be automatically revoked if within fifteen days from its date of issue the pilot has not become a member of the service provider.
  • The service provider is obliged to accept as a member a pilot as soon as he has obtained his licence.

13.

  • Pilots shall be divided into the following classes:
    • Class 1 Pilots: Pilots licensed to pilot any ship;
    • Class 2 Pilots: Pilots licensed to pilot ships up to 300 metres LOA;
    • Class 3 Pilots: Pilots licensed to pilot ships up to 250 metres LOA;
    • Class 4 Pilots: Pilots licensed to pilot ships up to 200 metres LOA;
    • Class 5 Pilots: Pilots licensed to pilot ships up to 170 metres LOA; and
    • Class 6 Pilots: Pilots licensed to pilot ships up to 140 metres LOA.
  • Prior to his application to the Authority for classification as a Class 5 pilot, a Class 6 pilot must have first served for at least ten months as a Class 6 pilot and must have accompanied a pilot for at least 100 moves (25 of which must be during the night) on ships over 140 metres LOA.
  • Prior to his application to the Authority for classification as a Class 4 pilot, a Class 5 pilot must have served for at least ten months as a Class 5 pilot and accompanied a pilot for at least 50 moves (13 of which must be during the night) on ships over 170 metres LOA.
  • Prior to his application to the Authority for classification as
    a Class 3 pilot, a Class 4 pilot must have served for at least ten months as a Class 4 pilot and accompanied a pilot for at least 30 moves (10 of which must be during the night) on ships over 200 metres LOA.
  • Prior to his application to the Authority for classification as a Class 2 pilot, a Class 3 pilot must have served for at least ten months as a Class 3 pilot and accompanied a pilot for at least 15 moves (5 of which must be during the night) on ships over 250 metres LOA.
  • Prior to his application to the Authority for classification as a Class 1 pilot, a Class 2 pilot must have served for at least ten months as a Class 2 pilot.
  • The moves referred to in sub-regulations (2) to (6) must be recorded in a special logbook kept for this purpose indicating the ship particulars, date, and nature of move. Each entry shall be countersigned by the accompanied pilot and Chief Pilot.
  • The pilot who is to have his licence upgraded can present proof of his training by the ninth month so that his application can be processed by the Authority in time to upgrade his licence when due
  • The application of a pilot to the Authority requesting a licence upgrade shall be accompanied by a copy of the recorded moves referred to in sub-regulation (7).
  • Once an application for an upgrade accompanied by the records referred to in sub-regulation (7) has been presented by the pilot to the Authority, the Authority shall issue the upgrade unless such pilot has, during the previous ten months, been found negl igent in the conduct of his dut ies by the Disciplinary Committee appointed by the Board.
  • In the cases referred to in sub-regulation (10), where a Disciplinary Committee finds a pilot negligent in the conduct of his duties the Authority will determine that period of time, which shall not be longer than a further ten months, during which the pilot concerned must continue to operate in the Class from which he is applying for an upgrade before such pilot is able to re-apply for such upgrade.
  • If a pilot fails to upgrade his licence as specified in subregulat ions (2) to (6) for each category within a period not exceeding eighteen months, his licence may be revoked:
    Provided that the pilot shall have a right of appeal in terms of regulation 8(5).
  • Under no circumstances, except as stated in sub-regulation (14) and except when accompanying a pilot for the purposes of subregulations (2) to (6), may a pilot pilot a ship in excess of the limits stipulated in his licence.
  • Notwithstanding the restrictions in sub-regulation (13), the Authority may, at its discretion andhaving regard to -
    • the circumstances; and
    • the specification of any ship,
  • on the request of the Chief Pilot and subject to the pilotís consent, authorise a pilot to pilot ships outside the parameters of his licence
  • Such authorisation must be given to the Chief Pilot in writing and signed by the Authority. If such authorisation is required outside office hours, it will be given by the Authority verbally and confirmed in writing as early as practicable.
  • The Chief Pilot shall inform and authorise the pilot concerned and shall give such pilot a copy of the authorisation referred to in sub-regulation (15) as soon as practicable.
  • The Chief Pilot shall be guilty of an offence under these regulat ions i f he instructs a pilot to pilot a ship outside the parameters of his licence without the required authorisation in accordance with sub-regulations (14) and (15).

14.

  • A licensed pilot who fails to perform regular pilotage services for a period of twelve months shall have his licence revoked by the Authority unless this failure is due to medical reasons or other circumstances acceptable to the Authority.
  • Such pilot shall have a right of appeal in terms of regulation 8(5).
  • The Authority may, in agreement with the service provider, exempt the Chief Pilot from providing regular pilotage services if his services are required elsewhere in connection with pilotage technical matters.

15.

  • When there is a vacancy for pilots, the service provider must notify the Authority; the Authority shall publish a notice to that effect and shall request the Board to organise the holding of examinations in accordance with regulation 10.
  • If the vacancy is due to retirement the service provider shall inform the Author i ty at least six months before so that the Authority can initiate the recruitment process.
  • The panel of examiners appointed by the Board by virtue of regulation 10(1)(b) shall submit the results of the examination held in terms of these regulations to the Board and shall show the order of merit obtained by all candidates.

16.

  • The Authority shall appoint a Medical Board to examine whether a pilot is physically and mentally fit for the proper discharge of his duties and in any case when a pilot attains forty years of age and thereafter at the end of every fifth year.
  • If the Medical Board under subregulation (1) certifies that the pilot is no longer fit to carry out his duties, the Authority shall revoke the licence.
  • A licence issued under these regulations shall be automatically withdrawn on the day that the licensee reaches the statutory pension age:
    Provided that the Authority may, in accordance with the pilotage agreement, extend the validity of such licence if on medical examination the licensee is found to be physically and mentally fit to serve as a pilot by a Medical Board appointed by the Authority.
  • In this regulation, "statutory pension age" means that age at which a person becomes eligible to receive a mandatory social security retirement pension in terms of the Social Security Act.

16A.

  • The liability for civil damages of the service provider for any loss or damage, including death and personal injury, resulting from any cause during the performance of the pilotage service, shall not exceed the sum of ten thousand euro (Ä10,000) in respect of any one service and the cost of the pilotage dues in respect of the service during which the liability arose.
  • The liability for civil damages of a licensed pilot, whether on board a ship or elsewhere, for any loss or damage, including death and personal injury, resulting from any cause during the performance of his duties, shall not exceed the sum of one thousand euro (Ä1,000) in respect of any one voyage and the cost of the pilotage dues in respect of the voyage during which the liability arose.
  • Where, without any act or omission by the Authority, any loss of life or personal injury, or loss or damage to any ship, or to any property on board any ship or to any property or rights of any kind, is caused by a licensed pilot, the Authority shall not be liable to damages beyond the amount of ten thousand euro (Ä10,000).
  • The limit of liability under this regulation shall apply to the whole of any losses and damages, which may arise upon any one dist inct occasion although such losses and damages may be sustained by more than one person.
  • The grant or renewal of a licence to a pilot or the conclusion of a pilotage agreement with the service provider by the Authority, in accordance with the provisions of the Act and these regulations, shall not place or imply any liability on the Authority or the Government of Malta for any loss or damage occasioned by an act or default of any pilot or the service provider, whether the employment of a pilot is compulsory or not.

16B.

A pilot may require the master of any ship which he is piloting to declare her draught of water, length and beam, and such other information as may be required for the safe piloting of the ship, and the master shall comply with any such request.

16C.

Every pilot, when acting as such, shall be provided with his licence and shall, if so requested, produce it to the master of the ship he pilots.

16D.

Notwithstanding anything contained in any law, the owner or master of a ship navigating under the circumstances in which pilotage is compulsory shall be answerable for any loss or damage caused by the ship or by any fault of the navigation of the ship in the same manner as he would if pilotage were not compulsory:
Provided that the owner or master shall be responsible for any damage incurred to the pilot launch during the pilot transfer.

17.

  • It shall be the duty of the service provider to:
    • conduct the administration of the pilotage service;
    • make an equitable distribution of the pilotage load amongst the pilots;
    • distribute the watches amongst the pilots in accordance with the pilotage agreement;
    • keep general discipline and good order amongst the pilots;
    • provide the Authority with such statistical information as it may require, including, but not limited to, timely compilation of data relating to pilotage movements and operation of pilot launches, attendance and absenteeism of pilots and annual audited accounts of the service provider and any subsidiary or affiliate undertakings, or other entities over which the service provider has effective control;
    • ensure that equipment used by the pilots is at all times available and in good working order;
    • take steps to acquire alternative equipment as may be necessary;
    • liaise with the Authority on pilotage matters and submit any reports as may be requested by such Authority;
    • administer the pilotsí office or offices;
    • perform pilotage duties as specified in the pilotage agreement and these regulations, and other duties which may arise from time to time in connection with the provision of pilotage services;
    • recommend measures to the Authority to further enhance the pilotage service;
    • provide the Authority with the identity of the member or members having the judicial representation of the service provider.

18.

  • One of the licensed pilots shall be a Chief Pilot, who shall be assisted by a Deputy Chief Pilot, both of whom shall be Class 1 pilots.
  • The serving pilots shall, following an election, nominate from amongst the Class 1 Pilots a candidate for the position of Chief Pilot. The candidate so nominated shall be appointed by the Authori ty on advice of the Board and upon approval by the Minister.
  • The Deputy Chief Pilot shall be chosen by the pilots on the basis of an election.
  • If the serving pilots fail to nominate a pilot for the post of Chief Pilot within one month from the vacancy of the post of Chief Pilot, the Board may itself make such nomination to the Authority.
  • The Chief Pilot and the Deputy Chief Pilot shall hold such office for a period of three years, which may be renewed following the procedure mentioned above.
  • The Minister may, acting on the advice of the Board and, or Authority, remove the Chief Pilot if he is no longer suitable to hold such office.
  • For the purposes of subregulation (6), the grounds on which the Chief Pilot shall be deemed to be no longer suitable to hold such office shall include:
    • if for any reason whatsoever his licence is revoked or suspended;
    • if he is no longer capable of performing his duties under these regulations and, or the agreement;
    • if he has been found guilty of misconduct or any other disciplinary breach by the Disciplinary Committee in accordance with these regulations;
    • if a vote of two-thirds of all serving pilots is taken in favour of his removal from the position of Chief Pilot.
  • The Chief Pilot shall at all times liaise with the pilots and with the Authority.
  • It shall be the duty of the Chief Pilot to:
    • keep good order and discipline amongst the duty pilots;
    • be a reference point for the Authority in respect of technical matters relating to the pilotage service;liaise with the Authority on pilotage matters and submit any reports as may be requested by such Authority;
    • comply with any reasonable directive given to him by the Authority in connection with the provision of pilotage services;
    • perform any other duties required of him under these regulations.
  • The Deputy Chief Pilot shall assume the duties of the Chief Pilot during such time as the Chief Pilot is absent from his duties and if the situation so arises, until such time as another Chief Pilot is nominated and appointed.