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Ministry of Works & Transport

Pilotage Authority

Pilotage Authority Printable Version

PILOTAGE AUTHORITY

 

Pilotage Authority - Overview

The Pilotage Authority was established under the provisions of Chapter 51:02 of the Laws of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to oversee all matters relating to the licensing and conduct of pilots and the safe pilotage of ships within the waters of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Act provides that the Pilotage Authority may make or amend Bye-Laws. It also states that amendment to the Bye Laws shall not take effect unless it has been approved by the Minister.

Definition of Pilotage

Pilotage is the term used to describe the navigation and safe conduct of ships into and out of harbours. This is achieved through the activities of licenced mariners known as pilots. Pilotage also involves the provision of transport and transfer of licenced marine pilots to and from vessels for which pilotage services are required. Pilotage is one of the most important and essential professions in the maritime industry, given the economic and environmental concerns in various ports and environs from today’s large cargo vessels and passenger liners.

Strategic Objectives

The strategic objective of the Pilotage Authority is to provide good governance in terms of the services provided by the Trinidad Pilots and Berthing Masters Association (now called Trinidad and Tobago Pilots Association and hereinafter referred as the Pilots’ Association), overseeing all matters related to the licensing and conduct of pilots, including but not limited to:

  •  Ensuring the safe pilotage of ships in the waters of Trinidad and Tobago (compulsory areas) 

  •  Ensuring the maintenance of safety standards by the marine pilots

Responsibilities

The Pilotage Authority is responsible for the following activities in accordance with the Pilotage Act and Byelaws: -

  • Licensing pilots for the purpose of conducting ships within compulsory areas as defined in the Act
  • Making Bye-laws

  • Determining the qualifications of candidates for pilots Licenses and pilotage certificates
  • Determining the number of pilots to be licensed

  • Ensuring the good governance of pilots

  • Providing for the punishment of any breach of bye-laws
  • Approving the training standards for pilots

  • Determining the method of conducting examinations for masters and mates applying for pilotage Licenses and certificates

  • Fixing the rates of payment for pilotage services

  • Ensuring that investigations are conducted when there is an accident or incident involving pilotage to determine the cause of the incident, and steps to be taken to prevent a recurrence

Meetings

The Pilotage Authority in accordance with the Pilotage Act meets on the third Monday in each calendar month to consider all business in connection with:

  • Recommendations for the amendment of the Pilotage Act and Bye-Laws

  • Complaints against pilots

  • Proposals to vary fees for pilotage licenses or certificates
  • Disposal of funds accruing to the Authority

  •  Proposals to engage apprentices to the pilotage service
  • Suggestions for the improvement of the pilotage service

  • Business arising under the Bye-Laws which is before the Authority

Membership of the Pilotage Authority

The Pilotage Act stipulates that members of the Pilotage Authority shall be appointed by the Minister, on such terms and conditions approved by him. The composition of the Authority includes representatives appointed as members and alternates. The list is as follows:

  •  The Director of Maritime Services (Chairperson)
  • A representative of the Shipping Association

  •  Two members of the Pilots Association
  • A representative of the Port Authority

  • A person who holds a certificate as Master Mariner, issued by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago or an equivalent or higher certificate or alternatively, someone who has attained the rank of Lieutenant – Commander in the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force

  •  An Attorney-at-law
  • A person suitably qualified in economics, accountancy or commerce

Appointment of Members and Alternates of the Authority

In 2014 and 2015 Cabinet by Minute No. 2682 of September 25, 2014, and Cabinet Minute No. 1142 of May 14, 2015 agreed to the appointment of members and alternates of the Pilotage Authority for a period of two years from the date of the letters of appointments. The letters were dated January 16, 2015 and the appointments were with effect from September 25, 2014 that will expire on September 24, 2016.

Structure of Pilotage in Trinidad and Tobago

Pilotage services are provided by the Trinidad and Tobago Pilots’ Association (TTPA) formerly referred to as the Trinidad Pilots and Berthing Masters Association Limited when it was created in 1939. As at 30 September 2015, thirty four (34) marine pilots were employed by the TTPA and licenced by the Pilotage Authority, in accordance with the Pilotage Act. These pilots possess the necessary qualifications, skill, experience, training and local knowledge to enable them to carry out their duties in safely piloting vessels within the waters of Trinidad and Tobago.

Despite the presence of a pilot on-board a ship, the master of the ship continues to be responsible for the ship in all respects. The pilot has control of the vessel but the Master of the vessel retains command. The pilot knows the port but is a stranger to the vessel while the Master knows his vessel but is a stranger to the port. In addition to local knowledge and expertise, pilots are able to provide effective communication with the shore management and tug operators, often in the local language in order to execute safe and efficient transiting, anchoring and mooring operations.

Finance

The expenses of the Pilotage Authority are met from sums levied from the Trinidad and Tobago Pilots Association and from revenue from the first issue and annual renewal of pilot licenses and pilots’ certificates.


Contact Information
Ministry of Works and Transport
Chairman - Pilotage Authority
Maritime Services Division
Clarence House
#127-129 Duke Street
Port of Spain
Phone: 223-4351
Email: [email protected]

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