Compulsary Pilotage in the Scheldt area

In this region, a compulsory pilotage obligation has been imposed under article 9 of the Scheldt Regulations. However, an exemption from compulsory pilotage is allowed for certain categories of vessels. For more details, see the Compulsory Pilotage (Exemption) Decree (in Dutch).

The Joint Nautical Authority (JNA) can impose a compulsory pilotage obligation on an ad-hoc basis if, in the opinion of the JNA, due to weather conditions or circumstances in relation to the ship, shipping traffic, the navigation channels, or anchoring, there is a situation that would make the non-use of pilotage services irresponsible or dangerous.

Compulsory Pilotage (Exemption) Decree (in Dutch)
Pilotage Ordering Procedure Scheldt Regulations 2013 (in Dutch)

Pilotage Certificate.

(Exemption) Decree Scheldt Regulations 2008
The regional authority can issue an exemption certificate for one or more shipping channels or sectors. This certificate is valid for the navigation on a route in the JNM area by a certain vessel, for the captain and the navigating officer of the sea-going vessel on which this person is acting as the traffic participant. A certificate of exemption will only be issued if all the specified requirements for the issuing of a certificate have been satisfied.

A certificate can be issued for one or more similar sea-going vessels.
An issued exemption certificate will NOT be valid for maritime vessels carrying dangerous cargo or for combinations of sea-going vessels.
The compulsory pilotage obligation applies for all other categories of shipping.
In the event of a suspension of pilotage services, in certain cases Shore-Based Pilotage (LOA) can be used for incoming vessels.

Pilotage Certificate (Exemption) Decree Scheldt Regulations 2008 (in Dutch)

Shore-Based Pilotage

In the event of a suspension of the pilotage platform that is normally used (pilot cutter), the bad weather pilotage rules will come into effect. This can lead to two different situations:
  • pilotage is suspended for all vessels except SWATH operable vessels;
  • pilotage is suspended for all vessels.
Depending on a number of criteria, such as length, draught, type of vessel, cargo, and the number of voyages made by the captain/traffic participant, a vessel might be eligible for Shore-Based Pilotage. The Permanent Committee of Supervision on Scheldt Navigation has drawn up rules for this.
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