INTERTANKO/INTERCARGO & the Danish Maritime Authority join forces on pilotage

As a result of mutual discussions, INTERTANKO and INTERCARGO and the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) have agreed to set up a Joint Pilotage User Group. The group will also be joined by the Royal Danish Administration of Navigation and Hydrography (RDANH). INTERTANKO will also be seeking support from its industry partners to support this initiative and participate in the Group.

The background of this industry-government initiative relates to the concerns expressed by the Danish Maritime regarding the difficulties surrounding navigation in Danish waters, particularly in the narrow Baltic straits such as the Great Belt and the Sound. It has requested that a wide range of international shipping associations urge their members to take a pilot when they enter or leave the Baltic Sea, as recommended by IMO resolution MSC.138(76).

However, because resolution MSC.138(76) is a recommendation, it is not possible to enforce pilotage in the region. Nevertheless INTERTANKO and INTERCARGO have reviewed this request and have agreed to support the DMA’s request.

In parallel with this development, INTERTANKO has developed DanishStrait pilotage clauses - voyage & time charter and is encouraging their application in the tanker industry in the belief that charterers should share in the responsibility for safe navigation. INTERCARGO has the same belief and  is therefore currently reviewing a similar clause for dry bulk shipping on time charter.

Formal terms of reference for the Group will be drawn up. The intention is that this group will formulate a two-way process of feedback, review, comment, and action, that will primarily be related to responsible safety, communication, and bridge team coordination. It may ultimately include issues such as those associated with any future deregulation of pilotage in the region.

INTERTANKO's Marine Director Capt Howard Snaith says, "We  support the DMA’s request. We recognise all IMO Recommendations. Although we draw a distinction between Recommendations and Mandatory Resolutions (as is intended by the IMO) INTERTANKO is nevertheless prepared to go further and encourage its members to comply with this particular recommendation.

We believe this type of cooperation between the pilots and industry is a positive stepwhich could create a model for future use, greatly enhancing responsible safety during times of pilotage by establishing effective two-way mechanisms for feedback and response for the mutual benefit of all involved."

The Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority, Jorgen Hammer Hansen, says, “We are very content with the forming of a Joint Pilotage User group hopefully with a broad representation from international industry parties.

It is of the utmost importance to ensure the safe navigation of ships in transit through the entrances to the Baltic Sea to avoid grounding and possible damage to the environment. All parties in the chain of responsibility should recognize that and the User Group is an important and valuable element in dealing with this responsibility.

None of the 46 ships grounding in the Great Belt area during the period from 1 January 1997 to 1 July 2005 had a pilot on board. We are therefore confident that enhanced use of pilots contains a great potential for improvement. We are looking forward to work in the User Group and see a decline in groundings”.

Contact: Howard Snaith