Compulsary Pilotage on the River Scheldt

Compulsary pilotage applies in this region according to Art. 9 of the Scheldt Regulations. There are also
articles in which a number of categories of vessels are exempted from compulsory pilotage. Please consult the Pilotage Exemption Certificate Decree.

The Joint Nautical Authority (JNA) can ad hoc impose compulsory pilotage if, at the discretion of the JNA it is a matter of weather conditions or conditions relating to the vessel, the shipping traffic, or the fairway, or when lying at anchor without the services of a pilot is impermissible.

Decree Pilotage Exemption Scheldt Regulations (Dutch only)

Decree Pilotage Exemption Certificates Scheldt Regulations 2008

The regional Authority can issue a Pilotage Exemption Certificate for one or more traffic fairways or parts thereof. This Certificate is valid for the passage on a stretch in the JNA area of a certain vessel, for the Captain or the Mate of this seagoing vessel on which this person is acting as a traffic participant. The Exemption Certificate will only be issued if the conditions required for issuing have been met.

An Exemption Certificate can be issued for one or more similar seagoing vessels. An issued certificate is NOT valid for a vessel carrying dangerous goods and for compound seagoing vessels. For all other categories of shipping traffic compulsory pilotage applies. During suspended pilotage service only inbound traffic may use Shore Based Pilotage in certain cases.

Decree Pilotage Exemption Certificates Scheldt Regulations 2008 (Dutch only)

Shore Based Pilotage (SBP)

IMO vessels which qualify for SBP: see Annex 1 of Mutual Publication Flemish-Dutch Scheldt Directors, announcement nr. 03/2018 (Dutch only). What was announced in point 3d in the aforementioned annex should read as follows:

In the past 12 months the master must have completed at least 24 voyages on the stretch Wandelaar- Flushing Roads, Schouwenbank – Flushing Roads or a combination of both or vice versa. If the master has completed at least 8 voyages during the past four months on one of the stretches as mentioned before or a combination of both or vice versa, then a positive assessment can follow within the criteria.

Pilotage Exemption

Under certain conditions ships with a length over all of 95 mts or less can be exempted from compulsory pilotage.

The Joint Nautical Authority (JNA) can also, for limited reasons, exempt a vessel ad hoc as a one off. Further details can be found in the documents below (Dutch only).


 Pilots Netherlands Pilots Flanders