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Tuesday, October 16, 2018


This week has seen the 32nd session of the Sub-Committee on Standards and Watchkeeping (STW32) at IMO. An item of interest on the agenda at this meeting was the revision of Annex 1 to resolution A.485(XII) ‘Training and certification of Marine Pilots’. Annex 2 of this resolution relates to the operational aspects of Marine Pilots and is due for discussion at the Safety of Navigation Sub-Committee (NAV 47).

A paper was submitted by the International Maritime Pilots Association (IMPA) STW32/4 – Please click here to read the paper with a proposal to revise Annex 1. Although the deadline for accepting this revision of Annex 1 was set for this session of STW, INTERTANKO did not support the proposal as submitted and the IMO Sub Committee agreed to postpone the decision to the next STW session. The INTERTANKO position was that there was not sufficient meat in the substance of the revision. Moreover - and this is the critical point - until Annex 2 (which deals with operational issues) is properly set out, then it is only logical that Annex 1 (dealing with the Pilots training mechanism) cannot be agreed upon - the horse must go before the cart.

INTERTANKO has also pointed out that the proposed draft STW 32/4 of Annex 1 of Resolution A.485(XII) submitted by IMPA omitted some critical aspects relating directly to the Training and Certification of Marine Pilots.

For example, the draft revision had completely removed a mechanism for accident investigation, an aspect INTERTANKO feels is paramount for the transparent investigation of accidents whilst under Pilotage. The proposed draft of Annex 1 did not include a reference to, or did not clarify sufficiently, matters such as: -

  •  The specific role of the Pilot and his integral part of the bridge team.
  • The exchange and pre-exchange of essential information between the Master and the Pilot and the Pilot and the Master.
  • Information relating particularly to optimum track and the early advice of in-port passage planning to the berth was not adequately dealt with. This information is required under Resolution A.893 (21)

It is essential that this shore-based information is available to the Master in order that he can develop a realistic passage plan.

The Syllabus for Pilot Certification or licensing did not make proper reference to: -

  •  Control of Command whilst under Pilotage
  • The pre-exchange of information,
  • Under Keel Clearance

A correct and proper passage plan goes much further than simply courses and distances; the Pilot should be trained in the optimum tracks available and passage planning requirements specific to that area. It is already a requirement that the passage plan extends all the way to the berth; the Pilot should be instrumental in assisting with this.

We are pleased that despite a strong fight by some opposition to have the proposed Annex 1 (STW32/4) accepted at this session of STW32, this revision has been delayed. This will enable us to hopefully agree the operational issues in Annex 2 of this resolution at NAV 47. After which Annex 1 will be dealt with at the next session of STW.  For further information, please contact