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Friday, October 19, 2018


Venezuela - new maritime law on pilotage

One of our associate members, a Maracaibo port agent, has informed that a new marine law was published in the Official Gazette on 9 November 2001.

With reference to the Transitory Disposition 6 of the above-mentioned law, the Puerto la Cruz, Lake Maracaibo, Las Piedras/Amuay Bay and Punta Cardon harbour masters have informed that the Ministry of Infrastructure will continue to administer resources obtained from pilotage fees including pilot wages. Pilotage is likely to become privatised and licensed as from 15 January 2002, from which date new pilotage and overtime tariffs will take effect.

According to the previous law of September 1998, pilotage and overtime dues were to be paid only once per navigational cycle. A new overtime fee will now be levied for pilotage services provided outside working hours effective 15 January 2002. The new law introduces payment for each movement of the vessel with pilot onboard provided it is outside normal working hours (Monday to Friday and holidays 0700-1100 and 1300-1700), unless the various movements of the vessels occur in succession. It has, however, since 26 November 2001 0001 hours been levied for each separate movement of one ship but as per the previous law for another, i.e. just once. Our source also understands that the fee is payable for each pilot onboard. In practice, in case of pilot exchange from channel to mooring pilot or vice versa during such hours, there could be multiple charges.

A certain amount of uncertainty still prevails with regard to the final decision as to whether the fees will be charged only once per navigational cycle or for each movement. It would consequently seem premature at the time of writing to anticipate the full extent of the new pilotage fee structure for 2002. INTERTANKO members are consequently well advised to be prepared for multiple pilotage fee levies and make allowance for such possible "surprises" in their voyage estimates. It may be even more preferable to seek a protection clause in future charter parties.

Source: Protected

Contact: Gunnar A. Knudsen