Pilotage Rules – Invitation to Comment

You are invited to comment on the draft amendments to the Maritime Rules, Part 90, Pilotage. The basis for Part 90 is found in section 36(1) (i) of the Maritime Transport Act 1994.
The existing maritime rule Part 90 (Pilotage), which came into force on 1 April 2003, set out a new pilotage regime under the Maritime Transport Act 1994, bringing pilots’ and exempt masters’ licensing within that Act’s maritime document system managed by Maritime New Zealand. The current Part 90 was always intended as an interim step towards substantive reform of New Zealand pilotage law. This initiative was programmed as one component of a larger review of the management of port and harbour safety in New Zealand. The following draft amendments to Part 90 are, thus, the final step in the development of New Zealand pilotage law.
Objectives of Part 90
1.To maintain the contribution of pilotage to safety of navigation, protection of the marine environment, and the efficiency of seaborne commerce. 2. To maintain the existing privileges of pilots and exempt masters currently in the system. 3. To enable new pilots’ licences and masters’ exemptions to be issued. 4. To ensure transparency and consistency in respect of sanctions for non-performance and protection of the rights of individuals. 5. To set minimum national standards while enabling port-specific risks to be addressed. 6. To recognise and support industry best practice.
Purpose of the draft amendments to Part 90
There are a number of key draft amendments and additions to Part 90, including:
•The introduction of a revalidation requirement for pilots and exempt masters every five years. This would require these persons, in addition to ensuring they meet currency and exercise of privilegeconditions, to make application prior to the expiry of their licence or exemption. This would entail the provision of proof of meeting exercise of privilege conditions, proof of current medicalcertificate, and a charge of $96. While the first two requirements are requirements in the existing
rule, the charge and application process are new requirements. This requirement would bring the New Zealand practice into line with international requirements under STCW-95 for revalidation of certificates every five years.
•An amendment to the Compulsory Pilotage rule that permits dedicated bunker barges that are used for the sole purpose of ship-to-ship bunkering operations to apply for an exemption from carrying a pilot within the pilotage area. This amendment was suggested by industry because insome ports it could be necessary for bunker barges to carry a pilot on every ship-to-ship bunkering operation as they were within pilotage area. This amendment provides the opportunity for these types of vessels to apply for an exemption and allows them to carry out their normal operations without the need for pilot involvement; therefore reducing complication and pilots’ workloads.
•The inclusion of a clause (90.19) allowing the Director to accept equivalent certificates orqualifications to meet the pre-requisites for the issue of a pilot’s licence or master’s exemptioncertificate under this Part. This amendment is suggested for consistency with other maritime rules.This amendment widens the qualification requirements and the scope of individuals who can be assessed for a pilot’s licence. A review of all maritime qualifications is scheduled to occur in the 2008-2009 financial year. This review may result in recommended changes to the pre-requisitequalifications. Any resulting proposed amendments will be consulted on as part of the reviewprocess. Comments are invited as to whether other qualifications should be accepted as alternative pre-requisites for a pilot’s licence in New Zealand, e.g. naval qualifications, coastal master or specificpilotage qualifications from other jurisdictions such as Australia or the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, for example, the Pilotage Act 1987 prescribes no prerequisite qualification andrequires the competent harbour authority to determine the qualifications and experience required of maritime pilots. Australia is currently considering proposals to allow entrants into the pillotageindustry who do not have a Class 1 certificate of competency. Whatever prerequisite qualification of certificate any maritime rule might specify, the MaritimeTransport Act 1994 contains a general power enabling the Director of Maritime New Zealand to recognise other qualifications or certifications that he or she considers appropriate in each case forthe purpose of granting or renewing a maritime document, or recognising a document as a maritime document (section 41). The Act also empowers the Director to grant exemptions from any specified requirement in any maritime rule (section 47).
•An alteration to the Local and Advanced Training rule that allows for a trainee pilot’s past experience in another port to be taken into consideration by the Director when they are applying for a pilot’s licence. This amendment has been suggested so there is greater flexibility for individuals applying for a pilot’s licence. This will widen the areas of employment.
•An amendment to the Local and Advanced Training rule that states that within every five years, pilots must take an ‘advanced pilotage course’ to renew their pilot’s licence. This change has been made to ensure that pilots maintain industry knowledge and that industry best practice isconsistent.
•An amendment to rule 90.6 that will allow the Chief Officer/First Mate to exercise the exemption certificate of their Master under supervision. This amendment has been made to ease some of theworkload of the Master and to give experience to the Chief Officer/First Mate.
•A revision of a clause relating to the gross tonnage of tugs and tows. It is proposed that the combined gross tonnage be considered for exemption purposes. If the tow does not have atonnage then the overall length shall apply when the harbour towline length of the tug and tow exceeds any length limit applying to exemptions. This has been suggested because whilst the tug may be below the limits set for pilotage, the combined gross tonnage of the tug and tow mayexceed the minimum requirement by a large amount. Similarly, the length may exceed the minimum requirements. Tug and tow combinations are considered to be more difficult to handle than the equivalent tonnage ship, and although tug masters are highly experienced, it is considered that the local knowledge of the pilot will reduce any risk associated with the operation.
•A number of changes have been made to the schedule specifying exercise of privilege conditionsand specific rules for pilotage areas. These changes will have a variety of impacts. Two examples are Fiordland and Bluff. For Fiordland harbours where the present 100GT limit is to be raised to 500GT, the impact will be that many of the masters on tourist vessels no longer require exemptions. For Bluff, where the 500GT limit is to be reduced to 100GT this may require some vessels which currently do not carry a pilot to have to take one or obtain an exemption.
•Specific feedback is sought as to the inclusion of exercise of privilege conditions and matters suchas currency in the schedule to the Rule. This inclusion gives these conditions enforceability as they are part of the Rule; however this means that any changes to these conditions would take sometime to effect as the Rule itself would be required to be amended. Specifying these conditions inthe Advisory Circular would allow for greater flexibility to change requirements, but would reducetheir enforceability, as Advisory Circulars are designed to provide assistance and explanations asopposed to setting standards.
There are also a number of minor additional proposed amendments, which are to:
•further clarify any ambiguities with terminology in the rule
•further clarify the intention of certain aspects of the rule
•resolve minor inconsistencies within the rule
•resolve any inconsistencies with other Maritime New Zealand rules; especially to ensure that the provisions for issuing of pilot’s licences is consistent with the issuing of other Maritime NewZealand certificates and documents, such as STCW certificates
•ensure that Part 90 is consistent with industry best practice
•simplify Part 90 for ease of understanding and comprehension
•ensure that safety issues are taken into consideration and that safety is endorsed at all times
•make sure that local interests are understood and acknowledged
•provide consistency throughout pilotage areas in New Zealand
•give the responsibility back to local authorities.
What will the draft amendment rules cost?
It is envisaged that there will be no significant additional costs to pilotage operators with theintroduction of the rules. The introduction of this Part will bring in a requirement for revalidation of pilot’s licence or master’s exemption every five years. This will impose an additional cost of $96 every five years plus time taken to complete the application form. This change will bring the New Zealand practice into line with international requirements contained in STCW-95 and is considered a necessary step in ensuring that pilots and exempt masters remain competent to carry out pilotage tasks. Many current pilots are already completing additional training as part of their employment conditions. There will be a cost associated with additional training for renewal of a pilot’s licence for those pilots who are not already doing so.
What are the Benefits arising from the draft amendment rules?
•standardisation and improved consistency of pilotage rules
•clarification of pilotage rules
•the control and responsibility around pilotage rules will be given back to the stakeholders
•recognised industry best practice
•set a minimum standard for pilots which can be implemented nationally.
There are no foreseeable risks with the draft amendments of the pilotage rules.
Those Affected by the Rules
•Ship owners
•Ships’ agents
•Port companies
•Regional/District Councils who provide the services of a Harbourmaster
It is foreseen that due to clarification and standardisation, consistency within the pilotage rules will havea positive impact on the aforementioned stakeholders.
Ships affected by the draft Amendment Rules
The Maritime Rules Part 90 will affect all ships within New Zealand pilotage areas except warships. Under the Maritime Transport Act 1994, all warships are exempt from the requirements to carry a pilot.
The New Zealand Transport Strategy
The amendments to Part 90 are consistent with the New Zealand Transport Strategy [NZTS], which aims to maintain and improve maritime safety and security, assist economic development, improveaccess and mobility, promote and protect public health and ensure environmental sustainability. In this regard, the amendment will –
•Maintain and improve maritime safety and security through supporting the development of a skilled and professional maritime workforce.
•Assist economic development through strengthening maritime capability and facilitating the efficient use of an integrated transport system.
•Improve the access and mobility of New Zealand mariners within international markets throughharmonising New Zealand’s qualifications with international standards. •Contribute to the objectives of the NZTS by supporting the maritime mode’s capability tocontribute to the optimal use of an integrated transport system.
Making submissions
The deadline for making comments on the draft Amendments Rules is 19 December 2007 (i.e. yourcomments must be received by that date).You may make comments by:
•e-mail to rules.coordinator@maritimenz.govt.nz
•ordinary post to PO Box 27006, Wellington
•fax to (04) 494 1263
•delivery to Level 10, Optimation House,1 Grey Street, Wellington.
Submissions are public information Please indicate clearly if your comments are commercially sensitive, or if, for some reason, you consider they should not be disclosed. In addition, if you are an individual (i.e. your comments are made personally and not on behalf of a company or an organisation) please indicate if you consider for some reason that your identity should not be disclosed.We will acknowledge all submissions that we receive and once the rule is finalised you will receive asummary of the full consultation. Subject to the rules of the Privacy Act and the Official Information Act, you may view the submissions made by other people at the Wellington office of Maritime New Zealand between 8.30 am and 4.30 pmon weekdays (except statutory holidays). 

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