What We Do

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;
  • 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.


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.


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.