Skippers will have to swim under the new rules
Material posted: Gornova Anna M.Publication date: 06-02-2020

In the Federation Council propose to radically improve pilotage services on sea routes and ports

The navigation of vessels in dangerous waters exclusively of the state Maritime guides will enhance the effectiveness of the system of pilotage ensure commercial navigation on highways and in all Russian ports. Legislators and experts positively assess the influence introduced in the state Duma amendments to the merchant shipping Code of the Russian Federation, involving the creation of a unified state pilotage service.

Public interest and private desires

Pilotage services are included in the comprehensive system of safety of navigation in Russian waters, but the quality and effectiveness of their provision for 16 years, causing heated debate among lawmakers and experts. They are associated primarily with the lack of regulation of the activities of private pilots, which by the decision of the constitutional court in 2004, returned to the market of port services after three years of oblivion.

Recall, the Federal judicial body of constitutional control recognized adopted in 2001 the Government decision No. 538 accordingly to the Russian legislation, giving instructions to regulate the activities of non-state pilotage organizations. Alas, it is still a legal gap is not closed. As a result of such long-term "conservation" regulatory framework of the pilot ensure that today, there is a significant imbalance in the pilot-they succeed, perched in the most profitable and commercially viable ports and their colleagues from Rosmorport, including working on marginally profitable Northern areas, suffer losses, calculated annually, hundreds of millions of rubles.

Sets rules on navigation in the water area of the Northern sea route

According to lawmakers and experts, this bias is not only in the public interest, but is contrary to the international norms.

In 2014, the senators and deputies tried to rectify the situation, making the Duma a draft law, however that in a number of objective reasons was rejected. At the end of last year trying to change the policy of the state relative to a pilot casing, said the group of senators headed by the first Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on agrarian and food policy and environmental management Sergey Mitin. But due to the fact that, together with the amendments to the merchant shipping Code of the draft law was proposed to make changes to the administrative code, contrary to the regulations of the state Duma the document was sent for revision.

When re-introducing 27 January from the text document ruled out changes to the administrative code. In an interview with "Parlamentskaya Gazeta" Mitin noted that the bill proposes to bring Russian law in line with the resolution of the International Maritime organization (IMO), which is the responsibility of the organization of the pilotage of ships in hazardous areas rests with the state. Currently in Russia it is the international obligation is not reflected in the national legislation "which does not allow to organize an efficient system of pilotage service in all sea ports, and to ensure state supervision and control."

The parliamentarian recalled that the emergence of private pilotage companies has slowed the development of the whole pilotage system in Russia, brought her out-of-control state and thus violated international obligations. According to him, the creation of a unified state pilotage service will provide the necessary level of safety of navigation in all sea ports of Russia, "and in addition, unifies the training and monitoring of qualifications of Maritime pilots".



The primacy of international law is confirmed

The importance of the initiative of senators, according to associate Professor of the Department of state and legal disciplines of the Russian Academy Kira Sazonova, extends much further Maritime legislation and eliminate ambiguities in the functionality of the skippers.

"After the speech of Vladimir Putin with the Message to the Federal Assembly appeared stuffing and all sorts of speculation about what we supposedly disappear the primacy of international law. Now, he's not going anywhere. The fourth paragraph of article 15 of the Constitution persists unchanged. And the fact that it is proposed to establish a unified state pilotage service — it is precisely the implementation of the primacy of international law and the implementation of the decisions of the international bodies of the Russian Federation", — said "the parliamentary newspaper" the expert.

"There are two sides, she added. The first is that we are participants of the UN Convention on the law of the sea, and second, we listen to such an influential structure as IMO, which tells us that we have not synchronized the rules for pilotage. In fact, these rules for many years was at the mercy of a small group of traders, periodically competing".

The government will increase the income from pilot activities, and the court will have a reliable and more secure transaction.

According to Kira Sazonova, the latter, to put it mildly, is not conducive to improving the safety of navigation. And it can't be ignored, especially when the President set a task to increase significantly the volume of cargo along the Northern sea route by 2024. "In this regard, the initiative will be most welcome, — said the expert. — The government will increase the income from pilot activities, and the court will have a reliable and more secure transaction".

The same idea is shared by the coordinator of the project "Marine policy" Center for strategic estimates and projections Anna Gornova. Commenting on a REGNUM initiative of the Federation Council, the expert recalled that the international obligation under the pilotage of vessels has long been needed in relation to the Russian national legislation "to restore a unified system of pilotage service within its single economic space". In her opinion, this will allow you to optimize the tariffs for pilotage services for each port based on the difference in their attendance, the huge extent of sea-coast and the differences of climatic zones of the country.

The countries of the Caspian region will be able to discuss problems in a new format

"This approach will be easier to remedy the paradoxical situation when the state is actually forced to subsidizes the profitability of private companies, settled exclusively in profitable ports. Today, it turns out that pilotage dues is one of the mandatory port charges — are regulated by different laws in different organizations. In one case he is the target funds on safety of navigation (FSUE Rosmorport) and the other commercial income of private entrepreneurs", — quotes Agency the words of the Hearth.


In addition, the coordinator of the project "Marine policy" said that because of the unresolved activities of private skippers observed lowering of the level of training of the pilot staff. "And in private companies, where the pilots have to be guided by the commercial interests of their owners, prepregnancy go by the wayside, and violations of the labor pilots become not uncommon," — says the expert.

The creation of a unified state pilotage service, according to the Hearth, dictated by reasons of national security. To update the whole system and centralize a pilot sector it is proposed to apply the latest domestic developments and equipment.